Friday, February 24, 2006

News from Snail Hollow

Snail Hollow is an unremarkable rural neighborhood located in north Sanpete County, just off US Highway 89 in central Utah, south of Thistle Junction and just over the hill from Indianola.


John W. Redelfs said...

I think I've been there. Is that where I visited you and your folks?

Jim Cobabe said...

Yes! That's the place.

Though the origin of local place names is lost in antiquity, it is evident from detailed maps of the area that a "hollow" is a popular designation for a small mountain valley.

Interestingly, the "Snail" part of the name apparently derives from the many snail shells found scattered on high mountain ridges throughout the area. It is a curiousity, as there are no live snails anywhere to be found -- just empty shells. Even stranger, the shells apparently represent a species found in bodies of fresh water, though there is no significant accumulation of surface water in this semi-desert sagebrush and juniper ecology.

The shells are not fossilized, which would indicate that they were deposited here in a fairly recent age.