In the 1970’s a group of people went to Hobb’s Hollow to go for a night swim after they had been drinking and they were dragged down by the undertow and drowned. If you visit Hobb’s Hollow at night you’ll hear people calling for help, and strange reflections in the water. ((http://theghostsocietyofutah.angelfire.com/hauntedhotspots.html))
Hobb’s Hollow got its name from the family that settled in the secluded area in the late 1800’s.((http://hobbs.parkinsonfamily.org/histories/hobbs-ben.htm)) Originally created as an irrigation pond for local farmers, construction of the earthen dam that created Hobb’s reservoir began in 1916((Davis County Clipper, 1916-04-07 Layton Lines)) and was completed by May 1920.((Davis County Clipper, 1920-05-21 Layton Lines))
At its greatest depth, the reservoir reaches 30 feet, and people have been warned against swimming here since at least 1943.
The first drowning occurred here on the 6th of August, 1944 when Pvt. William C. Opey and three other men from nearby Hillfield had gone for a swim on a Sunday afternoon. The men stated they were swimming across the pond when they heard William Opey calling for help. Pvt. William Smith tried to help Opey to shore but became too tired to continue holding them both above water and Pvt. Opey went under and did not resurface.
When the body failed to surface and all attempts at locating it with grappling hooks had also been unsuccessful, authorities used dynamite to blast the reservoir in the hopes it would cause the body to become dislodged and float to the surface. Three days later on Wednesday, August 9th, 1944, Pvt. Opey’s body was retrieved and was sent to Washington D.C. for burial in Arlington National Cemetery.
Over the next 60 years, five more people would drown in Hobb’s reservoir. Joe Junior Munoz, aged 16, drowned while swimming with friends on July 26th, 1959.
Andrew D. Nightengale (16) and Michael Holden (16) drowned under similar circumstances in July 1965 and 1968.
On August 3, 1971, 19-year-old Charles Humphrey, a strong athlete drowned while swimming with two of his friends.
There were no reported deaths from 1971 – 2003. The last accidental drowning at Hobb’s Hollow occurred in 2004 when an 11-year-old boy went missing after taking his dog for a walk. His dog was found sitting by the edge of the water, and the boys body was found in the water, not too far from shore.
Almost every newspaper article referencing a drowning at Hobbs Hollow says that police state no swimming signs are posted around the reservoir. Even today, you can find YouTube videos of people jumping off of tree swings into the reservoir. City officials regularly cut down the tree swings and have removed many of the big trees near the shoreline that held the swings to further discourage swimming here.
*An interesting aside, when Matt and I took these pictures, we both had fully charged phones. I had taken pictures up until the above picture was taken with no problems at all. When I walked to the shoreline to take the picture my phone was completely dead. I thought it was strange and asked my boyfriend to take the picture for me. His phone was suddenly extremely laggy and he noticed that his battery life had been cut in half, but was able to take the picture. When we left this area and were back on the trail heading towards our car my phone turned on and was at more than 50% battery life.