Sunday, May 3, 2015

Bravo, Mr. Higgins

The George A. Wyman Memorial Project has identified another Wyman Waypoint for the Memorial Grand Tour - Rider's Guide, pictured below.  It has taken the Project almost a year of searching for the details about S.C. Higgins of Ogden, UT.  Thanks to Greg Rice for the tip and especially to Eileen H. Stone of The Salt Lake Tribune for doing the investigative work on scene in Utah. 

This is a great example of how the long-distance riding and motorcycle touring community along with the interested public can help keep the Wyman story alive.  Whether through your tax-deductible donations, joining Friends of George, or just "Sharing" us on social media, together we can work towards "Linking the Past to the Present to Enrich the Future."

528.3 - S.C. Higgins RON
Date:  Thursday, May 28, 1903
Coordinates:  N41.21475°W111.97344°
Address:  2783 Grand Ave, Ogden, UT

Description:  While working on his motorcycle at the shop of L.H. Becraft, Wyman met up with Samuel C. Higgins, a machinist with the Southern Pacific RR.  Higgins, according to Wyman, owned and rode the only motorcycle in Ogden, a 1902 Indian designed by George M. Hendee.  After completing repairs to his motorcycle Wyman accepted an invitation to spend the night at the Higgins home on Grant Avenue, just a few blocks south of the Becraft bicycle shop.  This example of help and hospitality for a fellow enthusiast is today a time-honored tradition in the long-distance riding and motorcycle touring community.  Bravo, Mr. Higgins!

Special thanks to Eileen H. Stone, of The Salt Lake Tribune.  She discovered the details regarding the location of Samuel C. Higgins employment and residence.  After an article, she authored appeared in The Salt Lake Tribune, Livinghistory: An incredible journey via motorized bike across 1903 America the Wyman Memorial Project contacted her.  Intrigued by the goals of the Project, Eileen volunteered to use her investigative reporter skills on the task of finding information about S.C. Higgins.  Below are the fruits of her search:

  • From the 1902 City directory, Samuel C. Higgins was listed: Mach, Southern Pacific Co., 249 30th Street, Ogden, Utah.
  • From the librarian in Special Collections, Weber State University: Higgins lived at 2783 Grant Avenue in Ogden He was an employee of Southern Pacific.

In his own words:  " At Ogden, Utah, where I arrived after traveling 925 miles, I had 10 new spokes to put in to replace those that were snapped by pounding over railroad ties. As I had ridden 400 miles with a stick for a bar, I got also a new handlebar and I put on a new belt rim and one new tire, shipping my extra tire and oil and other stuff on to Omaha. This was on May 28, and I left Ogden on the 29th at 6:10 a.m.  S.C. Higgins, who had been my host overnight, rode out of the city with me on his motor bicycle for three or four miles in order that I might not take the wrong road. He is a genuine enthusiast, although well past 40 years of age, I should judge, and he took the liveliest sort of interest in my trip and the success of my undertaking. Mr. Higgins is a machinist, and several years ago he made a motor bicycle for himself. Now he rides an Indian."

Departing Route:  Wyman followed the wagon road out of Ogden. Today, take I-84 east through Weber Canyon. 

Date_________________, Time_________________, Odometer_________________, c DBR  c SPOT

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