Ogden’s Union Station is filled with things to see and do during the day. Visitors can check out the artifacts and models in the Utah State Railroad Museum, a collection of guns in the John M. Browning Firearms Museum, and antique luxury vehicles in the Browning-Kimball Car Museum. But the museums close at 5 p.m., just as many folks are leaving work and ready for fun.
Late Night at the Museums, a monthly event at Union Station, debuts at 5 p.m. Friday, June 29.
The museums, at 2501 Wall Ave., will remain open until 8 p.m. with extra activities for families. Admission is $5 for adults; age 17 and younger get in free with a paying adult. Late Night at the Museums events are also scheduled for July 27 and Aug. 24.
“Our hope is to reach new families that work during the week and may not be able to attend the museums at our regular hours,” said Diana Azevedo, museum manager, in an email announcing the events.
Booths will be set up at Union Station and will include face painters Fairy Fun Faces, the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah, a balloon-animal artist, the George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park, and the Eccles Community Art Center. Activities at some booths will be free; there will be a small charge for others. There will also be food for sale by the station’s volunteer Conductors Association.
Lonnie Jensen, a blacksmith from Collinston, is planning to participate in Late Night at the Museums throughout the summer. He will demonstrate blacksmith skills on the plaza.
“We felt it was a great history fit for kids,” Union Station’s Azevedo said. “He does ornamental work but also uses old railroad spikes to make new things.”
During Late Night at the Museums, Jensen will be showing how he makes leaves out of steel.
“I’ll heat it up in my forge, and just use some basic blacksmith techniques,” he said. “I’ll be drawing out the stem of a leaf, and texturing the leaf, and everything will be done over the anvil with a hammer.”
Jensen has worked as a welder and steel worker for about 20 years and decided to try his hand as a blacksmith five or six years ago.
“I just like working with metal,” he said. “I had a friend move into the neighborhood. He took a class in college on blacksmithing, and he came over and talked me into building my own forges.”
Jensen was able to learn on his own, and from locals who blacksmith as a hobby, and is now working full time as a blacksmith.
“I don’t do any horseshoeing,” he said, but adds that he has made a few horseshoes as trinkets.
Jensen combines his welding and blacksmithing skills to create ornamental handrails and gates. He’s also working on smaller items to sell in Union Station’s gift shop.
“It’s kind of lost — the art of blacksmithing, and the techniques, have gone away,” he said, explaining that modern welders cut and paste metal, and machinists do removal. “A blacksmith heats it up and shapes it. ... Where all modern processes came from is the old blacksmiths.”