Deseret News
Letter to the Editor

Wendover, Utah, has an impressive history. It was the training ground for the Enola Gay (the plane which dropped the bomb on Hiroshima). Workers raised the final pole for the transcontinental telephone line at Wendover, Utah, in 1914. For over 100 years, Wendover, Utah, has sponsored Speed Week, where dozens of world speed records have been set, broken and set again, on the Bonneville Salt Flats.

Yet most Utahns don’t even know Wendover, Utah, exists. Wendover is truly the town that Utah forgot.

About a dozen businesses still exist in town, including a new Family Dollar that is holding its grand opening. But most other businesses have rotted away in the salty air and have closed up, due to lack of business. The local grocery store and laundromat are the latest victims of this economic depression. Even the Last Chance Pawn Shop has seen its last chance and is now boarded up and abandoned. With no place to work, many have left town or have turned to working two or three casino jobs to make a meager living. But the living is so meager that most have to live in ramshackle housing. Some of the dilapidated housing has been condemned. Even when folks try to do remodeling, the absence of a hardware store (or any store) and the distance to a real shopping area make repairs and improvements difficult. But there is still housing that is lived in. Enrollment of around 300 students at the local elementary school and nearly 200 at the high school attest to that fact. And therein lies the problem: 500 children living in these deplorable conditions, with no way out and no hope for a brighter future. Wendover needs good, affordable housing; it needs investors for viable businesses. It needs recreation opportunities for 500 young people. It needs people with vision to help it build a future. A town with an amazing history deserves a chance at a decent present and the opportunity for an abundant future.

Jody Richards

Wendover, Tooele County