Category Archives: Recreation

Suicide Rock and Reservoir Historical Marker

Published / by Sam Scott / 2 Comments on Suicide Rock and Reservoir Historical Marker

Suicide Rock and Reservoir Historical Marker

Write up by Samuel Scott

Placed by: Sons of Utah Pioneers Holladay Chapter, No. 79, dedicated 1996

Location of the Historical Marker near  Suicide Rock

Latitude 40°42’34.67″N

Longitude 111°47’49.57″W

Historical Marker Text:


“One of the foremost sights that met the eye of the early travelers when they reached the mouth of Parley’s Canyon before entering into the valley of the Great Salt Lake, was a huge mass of red rock which stood in the middle of the mouth of the canyon. It consisted mainly of red sandstone and had stood as a sentinel for centuries.

For hundreds of years, it stood as a watchtower for the Indians until, as the story goes, an Indian maiden upon learning of the death of her brave, leaped from the top, to her death on the rocks below, giving it the name of Suicide Rock. Now, it is a billboard for the youth who dare to climb its heights with a paint brush or spray can.

In the settlement of the valley with a constant increase in population, the water from the various canyon streams of the Wasatch Range provided irrigation as well as culinary water for the people. In order to free up more of the canyon water for culinary use, a canal was built from Jordan Narrows conveying Jordan River water to the east bench of the Salt Lake valley. The Jordan and Salt Lake City Canal was begun in 1879, and completed in 1882, and has remained in constant use since. The canyon streams were thereafter enhanced with reservoirs to catch and retain the spring runoff, for use in the drier seasons.

In about 1891 a reservoir was built on the east side of Suicide Rock to help contain the spring run-off from washing out the farms west of the canyon mouth, as well as to help provide a way of getting water from the stream to where it was needed. From this reservoir, and ditches from the canyon stream above the reservoir, culinary along with irrigation water was conveyed to the various farms below as well as up to the plateaus on the north and south sides of the hollow which were located above the canal. This reservoir served for many years until an extremely wet spring one year washed out part of the reservoir and some of the railroad tracks and roadway in the canyon. Culinary water supplies had been further enhanced by this time and a direct connection was made to use Parley’s Canyon water, so the reservoir was never replaced.

Of the stream, the roadway, and the railroad line that ran in the narrow spaces between the rock and canyon sidewalls, only the stream remains.”

Site No. 79                  Holladay Chapter, Sons of Utah Pioneers          Dedicated 1996

Suicide Rock on February 9, 2022.

Extended Research:

Suicide Rock is located at the mouth of Parleys Canyon, a canyon named after the Mormon pioneer Parley P. Pratt who had scouted the canyon in 1848.[1] The sandstone rock formation that is known today as Suicide Rock was also known as Sentinel Rock, because it is thought that it was used as a lookout point for American Indians long before the arrival of Mormon settlers. The name Suicide Rock became more popular after a story circulated about an American Indian maiden who threw herself off of the rock out of the grief of losing her brave lover. A similar story is told about “Squaw Peak” in Utah county of “one squaw killing herself falling from a precipice” following a military skirmish, and Suicide Rock in Idyllwild, California bears a legend of an American Indian princess and her lover committing suicide rather than being separated. The popularity of this trope over a wide variety of areas makes it unlikely to be factual, and it possibly emerged as a response to Helen Hunt Jackson’s novel Ramona, published in 1884, which popularized the tale. Various locations across the country picked up on the theme and used it in order to promote tourism.[2]

In 1892 Salt Lake City officials built a reservoir adjacent to the rock in order to supply culinary water from Parleys Creek to the valley. It was Utah’s first municipal culinary water storage reservoir.[3] The construction of the reservoir would have negative consequences for a community named Mountain Dell. The water provided by the reservoir during this time was unfiltered, which meant that contamination could easily lead to widespread illness. Since the community of Mountain Dell lived upstream from the reservoir they suddenly posed a threat of contaminating Salt Lake City’s drinking water with their animals and waste. This was confirmed in 1903 when a typhoid outbreak afflicted hundreds in Salt Lake City. The source of the epidemic was traced back to water from Parleys Creek, and a local farm situated upstream.[4] According to historian Cullen Battle, “In Mountain Dell, the city began buying up properties with animal lots and outhouses next to the creeks. The small landowners were the first to go, and the village quickly de-populated. Soon, the post office closed, and the school district and ward dissolved. By about 1907, most residents had given up their homes and farms, and Mountain Dell became—and remains today—an area devoted to watershed protection.” Nevertheless, the process of buying out and removing landowners on Mountain Dell lasted until 1920, and a case involving Seymour B. Young went as far as the Utah Supreme Court in 1915, ultimately ruling in favor of Salt Lake City officials.[5]

The reservoir eventually fell out of use after it experienced flooding, and advancements in technology along with the construction of Little Dell Reservoir led to its demise. Since then, Suicide Rock has become a popular recreation spot for young adults. Many of Utah’s high school and collegiate students continue the tradition of spray-painting, or “tagging,” the rock each year, rendering it into an ever-changing illustration of the times. In addition to this, one might also discover the not-so-well kept secret pastime of “shooting the tube” within walking distance of Suicide Rock. A rite of passage for some, anyone looking to cool off can temporarily dam up the entrance of a tunnel carrying Parley’s Creek water under the freeway. When the makeshift dam is pulled, the sudden rush of water propels thrill seekers through on a ride to the other side! A link to a video of the activity is included below. [6]

Utahns preparing to “shoot the tube.”[7]

Waterworks at mouth of Parleys Canyon, circa 1900. Salt Lake City built this reservoir seven miles downstream of Mountain Dell in the early 1890s to supply drinking water to city residents. C. R. Savage Photo.” [8]

Image shows Suicide Rock at the base of what was once Parley’s Canyon Reservoir.” [9]

Water flows over a remnant of the wall of the old Parley’s Canyon reservoir.” [10]

Aerial view of Parley’s Canyon Reservoir[11]

“Parley’s Creek – Suicide Rock, Flood Damage” Ca. 1910 [12]

Spray paint decorates the entirety of Suicide Rock

Photo by Joe Penacoli[13]

For Further Reference

Secondary Sources

Battle, Cullen, “Ghosts of Mountain Dell: Transportation and Technological Change in the Wasatch Mountains,” Utah Historical Quarterly 86, No. 1 (2018).

Farmer, Jared. On Zion’s Mount : Mormons, Indians, and the American Landscape. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008.

First Ascent of the Nose, Suicide Rock,”, (accessed April 8, 2022).

Pugh, Jeremy. “A Unique Utah Summer Tradition: ‘Shooting the Tube,’” Salt Lake Magazine, July 27, 2018.

Summit Signature: 27J Suicide Rock,” Hundred Peaks Section, Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club, accessed 03/29/2020.

Primary Sources

 “Parley’s Creek – Suicide Rock, Flood Damage,” University of Utah, J Willard Marriot Digital Library. Last modified May 6, 2021.

Korn, J. Roderic, “The Golden Pass Road,” Utah Historical Quarterly, vol. 19 (1951).

Parley’s Canyon Reservoir P.13,” University of Utah, J. Willard Marriot Digital Library, Last modified May 6, 2021.

[1] J. Roderic Korn, “The Golden Pass Road,” Utah Historical Quarterly, vol. 19 (1951), 229-236.

[2]Summit Signature: 27J Suicide Rock,” Hundred Peaks Section, Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club, accessed 03/29/2020.

Jared Farmer, On Zion’s Mount : Mormons, Indians, and the American Landscape, (Harvard University Press, 2008), 274-275.

[3] Cullen Battle, “Ghosts of Mountain Dell: Transportation and Technological Change in the Wasatch Mountains,” Utah Historical Quarterly, volume 86, no. 1 (2018).

[4] Cullen Battle, “Ghosts of Mountain Dell: Transportation and Technological Change in the Wasatch Mountains,” Utah Historical Quarterly, volume 86, no. 1 (2018)

[5] Cullen Battle, “Ghosts of Mountain Dell: Transportation and Technological Change in the Wasatch Mountains,” Utah Historical Quarterly, volume 86, no. 1 (2018)

[6]  Jeremy Pugh, “A Unique Utah Summer Tradition: ‘Shooting the Tube,’” Salt Lake Magazine, July 27, 2018.

[7] Jeremy Pugh, “A Unique Utah Summer Tradition: ‘Shooting the Tube,’” Salt Lake Magazine, July 27, 2018.

[8] Cullen Battle, “Ghosts of Mountain Dell: Transportation and Technological Change in the Wasatch Mountains,” Utah Historical Quarterly, volume 86, no. 1 (2018).

[9]Reservoir at Parley’s Canyon, Inspecting Conduit,” J. Willard Marriot Digital Library, The University of Utah, Last modified May 6, 2021.

[10]Parley’s Reservoir,” J. Willard Marriot Digital Library, The University of Utah, Last modified May 6, 2021.

[11]Parley’s Canyon Reservoir P.13,” J. Willard Marriot Digital Library, University of Utah, Last modified May 6, 2021.

[12]Parley’s Creek – Suicide Rock, Flood Damage,” J. Willard Marriot Digital Library, University of Utah, Last modified May 6, 2021.

[13]First Ascent of the Nose, Suicide Rock,”, (accessed April 8, 2022).

Liberty Park

Published / by Pablo Gonzalez / Leave a Comment

Write up by – Pablo Gonzalez 

Placed by: Daughters of Utah Pioneers, No. 130 

GPS Coordinates: 40.746445, -111.874916 

Historical Marker Text: 

Historical Marker Number 130

The original five acre plot, located in the Big Field Survey, was assigned to Isaac Chase, a pioneer of 1847. A spring of clear water made it a verdant spot. Later he purchased three other tracts and planted seeds of locust trees around his home and mill. 

In 1860, it became the property of Brigham Young who added varieties of Mulberry, Cottonwood, and other trees. In Pioneer Days, it was known as the Mill Farm, Forest Park, and Locust Patch. 

In 1881, Salt Lake City purchased the land from the Young Estate. On June 17, 1882, it was formally opened as a recreational area and officially named Liberty Park. 

Extended Research: 

Liberty Park is an 80-acre lot located in the heart of Salt Lake City. Today the park is a recreational area where many memories have been created with all of the activities that this place offers. People go to Liberty Park to be active, learn history, relax, and to simply hang out with friends and family. The park itself is a great historical marker because it has history dating back to 1847 and has seen major changes throughout time.  

This area originally belonged to Isaac Chase, who was among the second group of Latter-day Saints to arrive in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. Isaac Chase who was a successful miller in New York state, started building a mill on this property and it was finished being built in 1852.1 In 1854 Brigham Young, being his son in law, also became Isaac Chase’s business partner. In 1859, Isaac Chase gave this land to Brigham Young in exchange for a cabin in Centerville. Before Brigham Young’s death in 1877, he stated that he wished that the land on which the mill stood would be sold to the city for the lowest possible price.2 

On April 20th, 1881 Salt Lake City bought 100 acres of land from Brigham Young’s estate for $27,500.3 This land that originally belonged to Isaac Chase still contained his grist mill. This mill is also currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is also the only remaining mill in Salt Lake City that is still in its original location. When Salt Lake City bought this land, their primary intention was to create the farm area into a park for the city. This is because parks during this time “were seen as important factors in civilizing America’s increasingly industrialized cities and improving the moral character of their inhabitants.”4 This is the reason why the following year after the land was bought, they started improving the park under the control of a Swiss man named Arnold Schultes.5 In 1882, the land was officially opened as a recreational area and was formally named Liberty Park. 

Liberty Park

When the Park first opened up, it had a road that went right through the middle of the park dividing it in half.6 The city eventually closed that road to traffic. Liberty Park was viewed as a great addition to the city but it had some controversy over clean air. People believed that smelter smoke was damaging the park and the neighboring residential areas. In 1908, Salt Lake Mayor John Bransford said that smoke reduction was the city’s most urgent need.7 This project was a success and the air quality around Liberty Park got significantly better.

The first playground opened in Liberty Park by 1912, and it remained Salt Lake City’s largest park until Sugar House Park opened in the early 1950s.8 The park, and many of the features that are still present within it, were well established by 1920. The park was a popular attraction for Salt Lake City residents.

In 1911, Liberty Park opened up a zoo by adding monkeys and deer to the park and by 1916 they added their first elephant.10 The zoo stayed operational until 1931 when the zoo moved to what we know today as Hogle Zoo in Emigration Canyon.11 A 1931 report on parks and recreation centers describes the park this way: “Broad driveways bordered by colonnades of shade trees; lawns, flowers, lakes, playgrounds, tennis courts, concerts, and the municipal zoo have long been the outstanding attraction of this extensive park.”9

In the 1930s Tracy Aviary was added to the park when Russel Tracy donated a large collection of birds and equipment.12 This was a huge success since it brought a lot of attention to the park. By the 1980s, Liberty Park added new playgrounds, a carousel, and the road that split liberty park was no longer there. In fact, the road is how we know it today as having a one-way loop around the entire park.13 More recently, changes to Liberty Park include restrooms, a concession building, Wilson Pavilion, and several monuments. Activity areas recently constructed include: the Seven Canyons water feature, playgrounds, and bocce ball courts, lighting, fencing, signage, street furniture, mechanical boxes, and new sidewalks.14

 Today Liberty Park is still what it was intended to be when it first opened up in 1882. It is a large area meant for recreational activities. The park itself is a very spacious place where people can do a variety of activities like walking/running, swimming, play tennis, be on paddle boats, go to the children’s amusement park, playgrounds, picnic facilities, and they have plenty of room for recreation or relaxation.15 The park itself also hosts many events for the general public like a firework show during Pioneer Day.  

For Further Reference: 

Primary Sources: 

Liberty Park, Site Planning Workshop Report, Aviary & Concession Areas. Final report, June 2014.  

Bailey, Tom. Liberty Park, S.L.C. P.45. Print Photograph. Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah. 01/16/2009.  

Secondary Sources: 

Chase Barfuss, Brigham Young University. “Isaac Chase Mill.” Intermountain Histories. Accessed February 3, 2022.

“Liberty Park Has Been an Oasis in City since 1881.” Deseret News. Deseret News, October 18, 2010.  

“A Look Back: Liberty Park (and Its Kangaroos), 1935-51.” The Salt Lake Tribune, June 10, 2011. Accessed February 3, 2022.

Egyptian Theater with Sundance Film Festival on Marquee

Park City Egyptian Theater

Published / by Jesse Labastida / 1 Comment on Park City Egyptian Theater

write-up by Jesus Labastida Munguia

Placed by: Park City Centennial Commission

GPS Coordinates: 40.6425°N 111.495°

Historical Marker Text (1):  



The Egyptian Theater

In the early 1900’s Park City’s social and entertainment needs were served by a number of flourishing theaters and social halls. When the Dewey Theater, originally on this site, collapsed under a heavy snow load, John Rugar replaced it with the Egyptian Theater built in 1926. It was designed to seat 400 and to accommodate both movies and vaudeville. It became the first “sound movie” theater in Park City.

After being remodeled in 1963, the building opened as the Silver Wheel Theater and old fashioned “meller dramas” were performed for the next fifteen years. In 1978 the building’s architectural integrity was threatened by an attempt to change its facade to a western motif. Preservation of its distinctive Egyptian features was achieved, however, when the building became the home of Park City Performances in 1981.

The Egyptian Revival Style represents a unique period architecture which peaked in America around 1930. Egyptian theaters are rare, and this is one of only two remaining in Utah. Originally the interior contained replicas of Egyptian artifacts. This is a masonry structure with   a false front shield its hip roof. Tiles at the base of the ticket booth and pilasters in obelisk shape reinforce the Egyptian Motif.

Presented by the Park City Centennial Commission, 1984

Egyptian Theater with Sundance Marquee.

Extended Research:

The Egyptian Theater is an iconic fixture of Utah’s Park City community, standing prominently on Main Street. Its edifice is a beautiful representation of its Egyptian Revival architecture. The history of the Egyptian Theater is just as colorful as its outside design. The site where it is located has had a longstanding reputation for being the place in Park City where members of the community could congregate to enjoy entertainment provided through local theater and arts.[1]

Main Street Egyptian Theatre at Night.

The history of the Egyptian theater traces its roots all the way to “the Big Fire of 1898.” The fire tore through Park City’s now historical Main Street creating a site that two businessmen, David Keith and James Ivers, found suitable to construct the Dewey Theatre– the very first iteration of the Egyptian Theater. The Dewey Theater was known for showcasing the best professional fighters and travelling theatrical troupes of the time. The old Dewey Theater even boasted a barbershop, a candy store, and a state-of-the-art floor that could be raised and lowered to suit the needs of the theater. Sadly, the reign of the famous Dewey Theater would come to an end in 1916 after a heavy snowpack that accumulated on the roof caused it to cave-in. Fortunately, the collapse took place after closing time and no one was injured.[2]   

In 1926, a new theater was constructed at the old Dewey Site under a $50,000 contract.[3] The theater was designed in the style of Ancient Egyptian architecture and motifs, heavily influenced by a craze in Egyptology following the discovery of King Tutt’s tomb. The Egyptian theater offered picture shows as well as theatre performances for enjoyment. The erection of the theatre was heavily dependent on the growing demand for entertainment in Park City. John Ruger spearheaded the development project and maintained ownership until 1948 when he sold the theater to Russ Dodderman. Shortly after several changes in management, owners renamed the playhouse the Lu Ann Theater for a period thereafter.[4]

City Officials in Front of the Silver Wheel Theater.

Much like the rest of the nation in the 20th century, Utah saw developments of movie theaters across the state. Many theaters of the early 20th century utilized the previous playhouse and opera house buildings and revamped the theater’s edifice with attention grabbing design motifs ranging from Spanish Colonial revival to Neoclassical architecture. This sudden possibility of movie-going ushered in a new era of connection to Main Street. The Egyptian Theater in Park City is one of two remaining Egyptian Revival theaters in the state, the other is the Peery’s Egyptian Theatre in Ogden, Utah. The attention-grabbing Egyptian architecture seen at the Egyptian Theaters are reflective of the novel craze of movie-going that took place across the United States; it is loud, exciting, and demands the attention of all who walk by it.[5]

By 1959, Art Durrant purchased the playhouse and ran it for a little more than three years before he became burnt out from managing the theater. He subsequently sold the property to a theater management company named Silver Wheel Enterprises. Silver Wheel Enterprises decided to change the name of the location once more to the Silver Wheel Theater for its opening in 1963. The Silver Wheel Egyptian theater would go through many similar changes in management and changes in entertainment, eventually becoming home to the Park City Performances (PCP), a local community theatre organization.[6]

In the twenty first century the Egyptian Theater is a historical testament to Park City’s love for entertainment. The theater today is used for community performances and film viewing, as it is one of Sundance Film Festival’s most desirable venues, where highly praised filmmakers are invited to showcase their films.

For Further Reference:

Primary Sources:

City Officials in Front of the Silver Wheel Theater (Egyptian Theater), Park City, Utah (2 Views). Photograph. Accessed May 2, 2022.

Dewey Theater Changes Hands.” Salt Lake Tribune. February 20, 1910.

Egyptian-American Theaters Change Hands.” Park Record. March 11, 1948.

New Silver Wheel Enterprises Buys Lu Ann Theater in Park.” Summit County Bee and Park Record. March 4, 1963.

New Theatre Will Be On Dewey Site.” Park Record, July 2, 1926.

Silver Mill, Theater Group near Agreement on Egyptian.” Park Record. September 22, 1983. 

Secondary Sources:

“About Us.” Park City Shows. Egyptian Theatre, December 11, 2021.

 Carter, Thomas, and Peter L. Goss. “Egyptian Revival 1920-1930.” In Utah’s Historic Architecture, 1847-1940: A Guide, 135–35. Salt Lake City, UT, Utah: Center for Architectural Studies, Graduate sic School of Architecture, University of Utah, & Utah State Historical Society, 1991.

Roper, Roger. “Going to the Movies: A Photo Essay of Theaters.” Utah Historical Quarterly 67, no. 2 (1999): 111–22.

[1] Carter, Thomas, and Peter L. Goss. “Egyptian Revival 1920-1930. In Utah’s

Historic Architecture, 1847-1940: A Guide, 135–35. Salt Lake City, UT, Utah: Center for

Architectural Studies, Graduate sic School of Architecture, University of Utah, & Utah

State Historical Society, 1991.

[2] “New Silver Wheel Enterprises Buys Lu Ann Theater in Park.” Summit County Bee and Park Record. March 4, 1963.

[3] “New Theatre Will Be On Dewey Site.” Park Record, July 2, 1926.

[4] “New Theatre Will Be On Dewey Site.” Park Record, July 2, 1926.

[5] Roper, Roger. “Going to the Movies: A Photo Essay of Theaters.” Utah Historical Quarterly 67, no. 2 (1999): 111–22.

[6] “Silver Mill, Theater Group near Agreement on Egyptian.” Park Record. September 22, 1983.

Bonneville Salt Flats & Speedway

Published / by John Henderson / 2 Comments on Bonneville Salt Flats & Speedway

Write-up by: John W. Henderson, Jr.

Placed by: Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, June 1972

GPS Coordinates: 40.77953, -113.83226

Photo 1 by John Henderson, January 29, 2022.

Historical Marker Text:

Photo 2 by John Henderson, January 29, 2022.


And Utah’s Famed Measured Mile – Site of World Land-Speed Record Runs

Utah’s famed measured mile is located approximately seven miles beyond this marker, well in front of the mountains you see on the horizon. The elevation along the course is approximately 4,218 feet above sea level. *** The total length of the course that includes the measured mile varies from year to year, but for recent runs it has been laid out in a path 80 feet wide and approximately ten miles long, with a black reference stripe down the middle. Due to the curvature of the earth, it is impossible to see from one end of the course to the other. *** Timing of world land-speed record runs is under the jurisdiction of the United States Automobile Club. World land-speed record times represent an electronically-timed average of two runs over the measured mile, within a one hour time period – one run in each direction. *** The first world land-speed record on the Bonneville Salt Flats was set on September 3, 1935, by Sir Malcolm Campbell. His speed was 301.13 miles per hour. *** Craig Breedlove holds the honor of being the first man to go faster than 400, 500, and 600 miles per hour. His record of 600.601 miles per hour, set on November 15, 1965, was finally broken on October 23, 1970, by Gary Gabelich. *** Gabelich’s new record is 622.407 miles per hour. Both Gabelich’s rocket engine ‘Blue Flame’ and Breedlove’s jet-powered ‘Spirit of America’ were equipped with specially designed inflatable tires, pre-tested to speeds in excess of 800 miles per hour.

Photo 3: “Bonneville Salt Flats P.10,” Shipler Commercial Photographers, 1914.
Photo 4: “Craig Breedlove’s ‘Spirit of America’, Shipler Commercial Photographers, 1964.

Extended Research:

Known for hosting land-speed record attempts, the Bonneville Salt Flats are a geological and geographical wonder. Located near the shared border of Nevada and Utah in Tooele County, Utah and spanning 30,000 acres, this salt pan is a remnant of the ancient Lake Bonneville, which existed 32,000 to 14,000 years ago and was originally part of a larger body of water that existed during the geological Gelasian Stage of the Pleistocene Epoch, also known as the “Last Ice Age”.[1] Lake Bonneville covered an area of approximately 2,300 square miles and included the area now known as the Great Salt Lake and Great Salt Lake Desert.[2]

Euro-American explorers conducted reconnaissance of the area encompassing the Bonneville Salt Flat as early as 1833. Ordered by Captain Benjamin L.E. Bonneville, Pacific Coast explorer Joseph R. Walker may have encountered some of what remained of Lake Bonneville during his journey to California.[3] The Bartleson-Bidwell company, captained by John Bartleson and carrying the first white woman and child through Utah, would skirt the western edge of the desert on their way to California in 1841.[4] However, the first recorded crossing of the Great Salt Lake Desert region came 20 years later in 1845, when Captain John C. Fremont, accompanied by scouts Walker and Kit Carson, surveyed the area.[5]

Still, the Bonneville Salt Flats itself remained virtually untouched due to being too harsh an environment for early settlers and wagon trains passing thru to California. But western industrial development and modernization soon entered Tooele County: first, the permanent establishment of the telegraph in 1861; telephone services in 1905; and the first permanent crossing of the Bonneville Salt Flats by the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1910.[6] These developments gave rise to increased mining operations and travel through the county in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

The Bonneville Salt Flats may be known best for one reason: speed. In 1907, Bill Rishel began promoting the flats as a place for racers to drive their automobiles, following others’ attempts to set land-speed records in Paris, France and Daytona Beach, Florida. Although many initially refused the idea of racing on the flats, news of Utahn Ab Jenkins’ race against a locomotive train in 1925 and 24-hour endurance race in 1932 eventually spread, and in 1935, drivers from England arrived to break Jenkins’ records. In July 1935, John Cobb broke over 64 records on the flats, including Jenkins’ endurance record. In September 1935, Sir Malcolm Campbell, who had previously set the world land-speed record at Daytona Beach, broke his old record on the flats with a new land-speed record of 301.1202 miles per hour.[7] The race was on (so to speak) and the flats have seen racers come to be the new driver to best. The impacts of natural climate (i.e., wind, excess rain) and human events (i.e., commercial industries, interstate transportation) have been grounds for scientific and government concern. Increased temperatures, evaporation, and manmade boundaries have permanently affected the natural ecosystem and depleted the salt in and around the Bonneville Salt Flats, despite continued restoration efforts.[8] Several federal and local organizations, including the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, have joined forces to restore and preserve the flats.

Photo 5 by John Henderson, January 29, 2022.

[1] C. Claiborne Ray, “The Great Salt Flats,” New York Times (New York City, NY), November 30, 2004; Brenda B. Bowen, et al., “Temporal dynamics of flooding, evaporation, and desiccation cycles and observations of salt crust area change at the Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, Geomorphology 299 (2017): 1; “GSA Geologic Time Scale,” Geological Society of America, updated August 2018.

[2] Ouida Blanthorn, Utah Centennial County History Series: A History of Tooele County (Salt Lake City: Tooele County Commission, Utah State Historical Society, 1998), 5.

[3] Blanthorn, A History of Tooele County, 48.

[4] Dean L. May, Utah: A People’s History (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1987), 50.

[5] Blanthorn, A History of Tooele County, 13.

[6] “The Bonneville Salt Flats,”, accessed February 24, 2022.

[7] Jessie Embry and Ron Shook, “‘These Bloomin’ Salt Beds’: Racing on the Bonneville Salt Flats,” Utah Historical Quarterly 65, no. 4 (1997): 357.

[8] Bowen, “Temporal dynamics,” 10.

For Further Reference:

Primary Sources

GSA Geologic Time Scale.” Geological Society of America. Updated August 2018.

Secondary Sources

Blanthorn, Ouida. Utah Centennial County History Series: A History of Tooele County. Salt Lake City: Tooele County Commission, Utah State Historical Society, 1998.

The Bonneville Salt Flats.” Accessed February 24, 2022.

Bowen, Brenda B., Evan L. Kipnis, and Logan W. Raming. “Temporal dynamics of flooding, evaporation, and desiccation cycles and observations of salt crust area change at the Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah.” Geomorphology 299 (2017). Accessed February 24, 2022.

Carpenter, Glenn A. “The U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s Role in Resource Management of the Bonneville Salt Flats.” In Great Salt Lake: An Overview of Change, edited by J. Wallace Gwynn, 498-507. Salt Lake City: Salt Lake Field Office, Bureau of Land Management, 2002.

Embry, Jessie, and Ron Shook. “‘These Bloomin’ Salt Beds’: Racing on the Bonneville Salt Flats.” Utah Historical Quarterly 65, no. 4 (1997): 355-71.

Ray, Claiborne C. “The Great Salt Flats.” New York Times (New York City, NY), November 30, 2004.

Hill Aerospace Museum

Published / by Max Thompson / Leave a Comment

Write up by: Maxwell Thompson

GPS Coordinates: 

Latitude: 41° 9′ 43.4088” N
Longitude: 112° 1′ 8.5224” W

Historical Marker Text: “1991- This Plaque commemorates the gift of the museum building complex from the citizens of the state of Utah to the United States Air Force—the 1988 and 1989 Utah State Legislatures”

Extended Research: 

The Hill Aerospace Museum is located on the northwest corner of Hill Air Force Base in Roy, Utah. The Air Force base itself was built and activated in 1940 and named after Major Ployer P. Hill, a test pilot who died while testing a plane.[1] The base is the second largest in the Air Force in terms of population as well as its geographic size, with over one million acres of land and 1,700 facilities. For Utahns, the base is the state’s largest single employer site, with over 23,000 people working there.[2] The base was used as a maintenance and supply depot during World War II and then as logistical support for large numbers of aircraft during the Korean and Vietnam wars.[3]

In the 1940s, the museum was originally located on the military base itself, although it was fairly small and only held a WWII display of some weapons and equipment.[4] The Museum grew and eventually moved to its current location in 1987 where it now houses several large planes which are no longer in commission, war equipment, and some educational centers for the children who visit. In 1988, the State of Utah appropriated $5 million for the building of the current museum complex. 

The focus of the Hill Aerospace Museum is on flight and the history of the Air Force. There is a secondary focus on Utah flight history. Throughout the museum there are small plaques with descriptions of Utah Air Force aviators who served their country in different capacities. This is capped off by the Utah Aviation Hall of Fame which is just inside the entrance to the museum. This is a special room that is dedicated to celebrating the contributions that men and women from Utah have made to the world of aviation. With Hill Air Force Base being so close to the museum, there are quite a few aviators who served at Hill who are showcased in the Hall of Fame. 

Inside of the museum are two large areas where different artifacts, mainly planes and helicopters, are displayed. Outside there are very large carrier planes for visitors to see.

 The Museum is comprised of two different sections, both are more like giant plane hangars than a regular museum. Both sections house aircraft from different eras, beginning with World War I, all the way up through some of the popular F-16s that are used in today’s Air Force. Included along with the aircraft, are a series of  uniforms that the military men and women wore while in combat, along with their everyday uniforms. The uniforms are organized chronologically,  set up to parallel the plane era progression.

It is also worth noting that there is an aircraft just outside the museum, which was one of the jets used as  “Air Force One” while  Lyndon B. Johnson was president of the United States. The aircraft has had some work done on it to renovate it after some normal wear and tear from a few years of flight.[5]

In sum, the Aerospace Museum at Hill is filled with planes and helicopters and offers an overview of aviation history. There are plenty of airplanes and aviation artifacts at the museum to capture the attention of visitors, old and young alike.

Former Air Force One plane on display at the Aerospace Museum

For further reference:

Secondary Sources:

“About the Museum,” Hill Aerospace Museum,

“About Us,” Hill Airforce Base,

Aerospace Heritage Foundation of Utah. Hill Aerospace Museum Official Guide Book. 2007.

Hibbard, Charles G. “Hill Air Force Base.” Utah History Encyclopedia. Ed. by Allen Kent Powell. Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, 1994.

[1] Charles G. Hibbard, “Hill Air Force Base,” Utah History Encyclopedia, ed. by Allen Kent Powell (Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, 1994).

[2] Hibbard, “Hill Air Force Base;” “About Us,” Hill Air Force Base,, accessed 9 April 2020.

[3] Hibbard, “Hill Air Force Base.”

[4] “About Us,” Hill Air Force Base,, accessed 9 April 2020; “Hill Aerospace Museum,” Hill Air Force Base,, accessed 9 April 2020.

[5] Hill Aerospace Museum Plaque.

Pioneers of Antimony

Published / by Eric Montague / 13 Comments on Pioneers of Antimony

Pioneers of Antimony

Write-up: Eric Cecil Montague

Placed By: Daughters of Utah Pioneers Forrest Camp · · · Garfield County (1949)

G.P.S. Coordinates: 38° 6.907′ N, 111° 59.8′ W

Historical Marker Text:

In 1873, Albert Guiser and others located in a fertile meadow, which they named Grass Valley. Surveyors camped on a stream, lassoed a young coyote and called the place Coyote Creek. The first L.D.S. settlers were Isaac Riddle and family, who took up land on the east fork of the Sevier River. Later, a school house was built, and the Marion Ward organized with Culbert King as bishop. In 1920 the name was officially changed to Antimony after the antimony mines east of the valley.

A picture on the day of the dedication of the marker with Antimony townswomen – Amber Riddle and Maude Wiley on the left and Esther Mathews and Ethel Savage on the right. (Courtesy of the Mayor’s Office – Antimony, Utah)

Extended Research:

The history of Antimony is a story of diverse groups making a home in a beautiful valley. Much like the story of Utah at large, these groups consisted of Native Americans, early settlers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (L.D.S.), and miners. The fertile valley of Antimony has been known by several names over the years: Clover Flat[1], Grass Valley[2], Coyote[3], and after 1920, Antimony. The latest name was chosen because of the abundant antimony mines in the canyons that surround Antimony and the mining industry that the mineral supported. This valley is covered in lush grass that is naturally irrigated by Otter Creek and the East Fork of the Sevier River.

The primary native people of the valley were Southern Paiute Native Americans. Previously, approximately 10,000 years ago, early native peoples, including the Fremont and Ancestral Puebloan peoples, inhabited Southern Utah.[4] Twenty-seven miles south of Antimony, at the ranch of Jeff Rex, archaeologists found ruins known as the North Creek Shelter Site. These ruins provide insight into the lives of the native peoples that inhabited the area before European settlement. The site, used as temporary shelter by many generations of hunters and travelers, contains artifacts from the Paiutes and earlier native peoples. Artifacts found at North Creek include stone tools, farming equipment, projectiles for hunting, pottery, and other common native objects.[5] The item from the North Creek site that received the most acclaim was a wild potato; this is the earliest documented use of potatoes in North America.[6]

North Creek Shelter Site

The more recent peoples of the region are linguistic relatives of the Utes, known as the Kaiparowits Band of the Southern Paiute.[7] Shoshone bands also occupied the area. Both groups used the substance now known as antimony (a very brittle, bluish-white metallic substance),[8] which they extracted from the canyons around Grass Valley,[9] for tools and weaponry. This Southern Paiute band engaged with Europeans (Mormon settlers and the U.S. Army) during the Black Hawk War (1865–1872), and Europeans settled permanently in the region shortly thereafter. The small Southern Pauite band that lived in Grass Valley called themselves the Paw Goosawd Uhmpuhtseng or Water Clover People.[10]

The earliest Anglo-European contact with the region occurred as a result of the Spanish Trail and the John C. Fremont explorations. A trading path off the Old Spanish Trail called the Gunnison trail was used during the 1830s and 1840s. The trail split at the summit of Salt Creek in Salina Canyon. From there, the path passed through Seven Mile Canyon and Fish Lake, descended along Otter Creek, and continued along the Sevier to the Pahvant Mountains.[11] Trading caravans used this path to supply two economies: goods and slaves. The most prominent trade goods were furs, buckskin, and dried buffalo meat. In addition, the Ute people sold captured Southern Paiutes as slaves to the Spanish traders.[12] Later, in the winter of 1853–1854, Captain John C. Fremont made his fifth and final expedition to the Western territories. During this expedition, Fremont encountered harsh weather and searched for safety. After a long trip through the San Rafael Swell, Capitol Reef, and the Awapa Plateau, Fremont and his group followed Otter Creek into Grass Valley, and there found shelter and recuperated.[13] The party later continued to Parowan for further recovery. In a letter to his sister about his trials, Fremont wrote that “the Mormons saved me and mine from death and starvation.”[14]

During the Black Hawk War, Mormon settler Captain James Andrus received orders from Brigadier General Erastus Snow to conduct a reconnaissance mission throughout Southern Utah to ascertain the strength of Native American communities in the region. This group passed through Grass Valley on September 4, 1866. In Grass Valley, the soldiers found the most “extensive” defense works they had ever encountered, erected by the Southern Paiutes.[15]

Brigham Young, then president of the L.D.S. Church, organized the first Mormon exploration party into Grass Valley in 1873, following the end of the Black Hawk War. The group included Albert K. Therber, William Jex, Abraham Holladay, General William Pace, George Bean, and George Evans. Throughout Southern Utah, Chief Tabiona of the Shoshone tribe served as their guide. During their exploration of Southern Utah, on June 18, 1873, they camped at what is known today as Antimony Bench. That evening, they recorded in their journal that “We were just going to camp for the night when we saw an old coyote with three young ones. We gave chase and caught the little ones, cut their ears off short, tied a paper collar around one’s neck and turned them loose. We named the stream Coyote.”[16] Thus, Grass Valley was renamed Coyote.

In 1873, the first European settler arrived in the valley: Albert Guiser. Guiser and his family owned mines in Oregon, namely the Bonanza, the Brazos, the Pyx, and the Worley mines. He likely came to Utah as a mining speculator because of the propaganda surrounding Utah during the national mining fervor and its promised mineral riches. Guiser established a cattle operation in the valley as well, yet did not establish a permanent settlement or buildings in Coyote, only visiting during summer.[17]

To understand the account of Antimony’s first permanent settlers, one must be acquainted with the practice by the adherents of the Mormon faith known as the United Order. The United Order, established by Brigham Young, was an economic concept based on cooperative and communitarian ideals. In the Order, all property was held in common, whereby its participants’ goal was to become self-sufficient from the external world. Most United Order communities only lasted a few years before dissolving.[18] Two Order communities that had lasting effects on Antimony were Kingston and Circleville. John Rice King, son of the leader of the Order in Kingston, purchased the Antimony Guiser cattle operation as part of the Order.[19] Two prominent future leaders of Antimony came from United Order communities: Isaac Riddle and Culbert King, from Kingston and Circleville, respectively. Riddle used Grass Valley to graze the Order’s cooperative beef herd. The Order from Kingston built a dairy beside Riddle’s ranch in Antimony.[20] After the dissolution of the Order in 1878, Isaac, Culbert, and others came to Grass Valley.

Isaac Riddle was the first permanent settler in Coyote. Riddle was born in Boone County, Kentucky, where his family converted to the Mormon faith and moved to Nauvoo, Illinois. He enjoyed his time making shingles for the Nauvoo temple. Riddle spoke of the challenges that he encountered from the “mobbers of Illinois,” who persecuted the Mormons. He also described the troubles of 1844 that the Mormons encountered in Nauvoo at the murder of the founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith. Notably, he wrote a description of Smith’s death, stating that “he cannot tell how we felt.” For the next six years, while migrating to Utah, Riddle endured numerous trials. His three-year journey to Winter Quarters in Omaha resulted in his “destitute condition.” To add further challenges, Riddle’s father left him in charge of the family in Omaha for two years when he was only 17 years old. After his arrival in Utah, Brigham Young called on Riddle and Jacob Hamblin to go on a mission to Southern Utah to improve relations with the native people.[21] Riddle’s exploration of Utah resulted in his acquisition of a vast estate throughout Southern Utah. In 1875, Riddle and his son, Isaac Jr., built ranches on the east fork of the Sevier River in Grass Valley.[22] Isaac and his son had explored the area the year before and assessed it to be perfect for cattle because of its abundant water and natural meadows. In addition to Riddle, John Hunt, Joseph Hunt, Gideon Murdock, and Walter Hyatt all used Antimony for cattle grazing.[23] Riddle was a shrewd businessman. To this end, he allotted a part of his ranches as a stopover for travelers on their way to Hole-In-The-Rock.[24] Riddle’s financial interests not only included ranches, but he also established many grist mills and sawmills throughout the region. After the dissolution of the United Order, Riddle owned thousands of cattle, sheep, and horses. He was also a polygamist with multiple wives, which resulted in his incarceration, along with George Q. Cannon, an apostle of the L.D.S. Church, from September 1887 to February 1888 for polygamy under the Edmunds Tucker Act. Riddle died on September 1, 1906.

Isaac Riddle

Isaac Riddle in Prison for Polygamy with George Q. Cannon (L.D.S. Apostle) Riddle is the in the second row, first person on left side

In 1878, around the Riddle Ranch, the town of Antimony began when thirty-three Mormon families—some of whom were friends of the Riddles—moved into the valley. The most noteworthy among the settlers were the Eliza Esther McCullough, Elizabeth Ann Callister, Sarah Elizabeth Pratt, Lydia Ann Webb, and Culbert King families; the Eliza Syrett and Volney King family; the Helen Maria Webb and John King family; the Mary Theodocia Savage and John Dingman Wilcox family; the Esther Clarinda King and George Black family; the Polly Ann Ross and Culbert Levi King family; the Christina Brown and Mortimer W. Warner family; the Charles E. Rowen family; the Knute Peterson family; the Peter Neilson family; and the James Huff family.[25]

Antimony Post Office 1896

Of the first settlers in Antimony, one prominent member of the community, Culbert King, became the spiritual leader of the early Mormon settlers. King was born on January 31, 1836, in the state of New York. His parents joined the L.D.S. Church and moved to Illinois. In Nauvoo, the King family became acquainted with the religious leader, Joseph Smith. Following Smith’s murder they joined the migration of the Saints in 1846, arriving in Utah in 1851. Shortly after their arrival, Brigham Young sent the Kings to Fillmore, Millard County, where they erected the first house in the area. King served as a soldier during both the Walker and Black Hawk wars. Afterward, he became a friend to the Southern Paiutes and became somewhat proficient in speaking their language. After staying for 15 years in Kanosh, he moved to Circleville, Piute County, where he lived in the United Order for several years and served as a member of the ecclesiastical leadership there until the Order dissolved. He then relocated to Grass Valley and, in 1882, became bishop of the L.D.S. ward. From December 1885 to June 1886, he was imprisoned for polygamy. He continued to serve as bishop until 1901 when he was released and ordained a patriarch by Apostle Francis M. Lyman. He died on October 29, 1909. He and his wives were all buried in Antimony.[26]

Culbert King

Culbert King with Primary Assocation

The most prominent non-Mormon settler and early miner in Antimony was Archibald Munchie Hunter. After emigrating from Scotland to the United States through Boston in 1851, Hunter’s career took him across the nation. In 1874, he arrived in Utah and resided in Sevier County as a breeder of thoroughbred racehorses. In 1879, he joined the settlers in Antimony. That he felt at home in Antimony is no surprise, given the communitarian beliefs of the town founders and Hunter’s prominence as a socialist. He spent the rest of his life there, supporting himself by providing supplies to various mining speculations, running a hotel, and raising and exporting his horses to Scotland. The successful mining efforts of Hunter and others gave the town its current name—Antimony—after the mineral that he and others mined in the canyons above the town. When he moved to Antimony in 1879, Hunter became chairman of the school board, and residents who experienced financial difficulties testified to Hunter’s generosity. Hunter cared for his sister, Jane Talbot, and her five children in his home, which he also ran as a hotel. He died in Antimony in 1931 and was buried in Salt Lake City.[27]

Archibald M. Hunter

Archibald Hunter with Family in front of his hotel

Archibald, as a school board trustee and benefactor, is significant to another group of Antimony pioneers: its earliest women. Female pioneers in Antimony influenced the town substantially, most notably as teachers and nurses. Carrie Henry, Lydia Tebbs Winters, and Esther Clarinda Black were the first teachers in Coyote. In 1882, at the home of George Black, the first schoolhouse was built, and in 1885, the school found its more permanent residence in the newly built church, until a dedicated school building was built in 1916. The school’s most remembered teacher was Esther Clarinda Black. One of her students, Lillian McGillvra Abbott, remembered her as having a “pleasant disposition.”[28] Black’s daughter, Esther Black Matthews, revered her mother. She recalled that Black began to teach out of necessity to provide for her family while her husband, George Black, served a mission for the L.D.S. Church in England.[29] Black’s impact on the community cannot be understated due to her effect on the town’s children. Black served for 23 years as the town leader of the youth organization of the L.D.S. Church, named the Primary Association, thus influencing the education and spiritual lives of the town’s children.[30]

Lydia Tebbs Winters with Antimony School Children

In addition to teaching, Esther was also a midwife. Midwifery and nursing were vital to the health of the young town. The first baby born in Antimony was Forrest King, son of John R. and Helen King, on April 1, 1879.[31] Some of the most esteemed nurses were Catherine Wilcox Webb and her two daughters, Helen Matilda Webb King and Lydia Webb Huntley,[32] among whom Catherine’s history is remarkable. Her first husband was Eber Wilcox, a member of Zion’s Camp, a Mormon militia organized by Joseph Smith to reclaim property stolen from members of the faith by Missourians. Wilcox died of cholera while on the Zion’s Camp expedition at Fishing River.[33] Joseph Smith officiated over Catherine’s marriage to her second husband, John Webb, in Kirtland, Ohio.[34] Catherine and her family came to Utah as original overland pioneers with the James Pace Company in 1850[35] and settled in Fillmore. After Catherine’s husband was killed guarding the fort at Fillmore during the Black Hawk War,[36] she joined her children in Coyote. She and her daughters were excellent nurses. Upon Catherine’s death, her obituary said of her that “her sphere of usefulness was unbounded as she assisted at the birth of many and at the bedside of the sick. She knew her profession well and was extensively known and well-beloved by all her acquaintances.”[37]

Catherine Wilcox Webb

From its humble pioneer beginnings, the town now known as Antimony made its mark on the Utah history in both the 19th and 20th centuries. The infamous Butch Cassidy and his group of criminal outlaws often frequented the area when it was known as Coyote and one-time marshal George Black encountered the gang there.[38] The telephone line arrived in Antimony in 1912, permanently connecting the town to the outside world.[39] That same decade, Antimony contributed in two ways to World War I. First, it sent eight of its young men to serve: Alonzo Black, Nelo Brindley, Loril Carpenter, Glen Crabb, Wilford Davis, Gus Lambson, David Nicholes, and Arnold Smoot. All eight returned home with honorable discharges. In addition to its soldiers, two antimony mines shipped ore to ammunition plants as part of the war effort. Following the war, the global influenza pandemic claimed four of Antimony’s residents: George Jolley, Arella Smoot, Thomas Ricketts, and Nephi Black.[40]

The official incorporation of Antimony as a town occurred in 1934, during the peak of its population. The 1880 census counted the town’s population as 125, and it rose in the 1920s and 1930s to its all-time peak of 290. It then precipitously declined until it began to rise again in 2000 and is just over 130 today. In 1938, The Works Progress Administration of the New Deal brought culinary water to Antimony.[41] Its population decline over the 20th century is a result of the difficulties of farming and mining in the region. The antimony mines closed after World War I. Without mining, Antimony had to rely solely on its agriculture. Antimony has always been a farming community, with the potato as its most common crop. The former importance of potato farming is demonstrated all over Antimony today in the potato cellar derelicts that dot the highway and roads throughout town.

Antimony Potato Cellar

While World War II was raging half a world away, L.D.S. Apostle Marion G. Romney spoke at the dedication of the newly built Antimony Ward chapel on April 23, 1944. In his dedicatory prayer, Romney prayed for those from Antimony and the rest of the U.S. who were serving overseas. He said, “Bless our boys and girls in the armed services who are spread out upon the earth in this great war.”[42] Antimony sent the following young men to battle in World War II: Lark Allen, Wayne Allen, Burns Black, Noel Black, Dean Crabb, Keith Crabb, Keith Gates, Robert Gates, Dahl Gleave, Marthell Gleave, George Jolley, R.J. Jolley, Arthell King, Darral King, Eugene King, Fount Lambson, Boyd Lindquist, Verl McInelly, Alton Mathews, Dasel Mathews, Gerald Mathews, Calvin Montague, Cecil Montague, Arden Nay, Clinton Nay, Harvey Nay, Merrill Nay, Guyle Riddle, Ted Riddle, James Sandberg, Lynn Savage, LaMaun Sorenson, Harmon Steed, Robert Steed, Arther Twitchell, Clarence Twitchell, Ephrium Twitchell, Grant Warner, Robert O. Warner, Warren Wildon, Carling Young, and Verl Young. All of these men returned home, except for three who were killed in action: Lark Allen, Ted Riddle, and Arther Twitchell. On Friday, May 30, 1947, the town held a service in honor of its war veterans. It was presided over by the president of the Panguitch L.D.S. Stake, Douglas Q. Cannon, and the bishop of the L.D.S. ward, Chester Allen, who had lost his son, Lark.

Antimony War Veterans Plaque – WWI & WWII

Dedicatory Services for Bronze Plaque Program Cover

Dedicatory Services for Bronze Plaque Program Inside

In 1946, electricity arrived in Antimony. The first home in which the Garkane Power Company installed its service was that of Avera and Ivan Montague.[43] Throughout the first half of the 20th century, dances were held in one of the canyons leading out of Antimony at the Purple Haze dance hall. When it opened, for 50 cents, people from towns around Antimony came to hear the live orchestra and dance late into the night as the sunset cast a purple haze over the canyon. The dance hall closed in the 1960s as the popularity of social dancing subsided.[44]

Throughout the last half of the 20th century, Antimony’s population dwindled, even dipping below 100 residents in 1990. One reason for this was the declining potato crop industry and other farming struggles.[45] Another reason was the pull factor that drew the younger generations of Antimony into larger cities. Population decline usually has a negative economic effect on rural towns. The impact of this is evident in the median income of Antimony households dropping to $22,500 in 2010, as reported by the 2010 census. However, since its lowest population point, Antimony is rebounding, largely due to its tourism and recreational significance, as the town is on the route to Bryce Canyon, a U.S. National Park. Antimony also has the advantage of being part of the American Discovery Trail, a non-motorized trail that one can use to travel across middle America. The trail is “a new breed of national trail—part city, part small town, part forest, part mountains, part desert—all in one trail. Its 6,800+ miles of continuous, multi-use trail stretches from Cape Henlopen State Park, Delaware, to Pt. Reyes National Seashore, California.”[46] Furthermore, Mayor Shannon Allen has brought popularity to Antimony with a fireworks display every Independence Day. Antimony is home to many highly popular attractions: the Antimony Mercantile, Otter Creek Reservoir, and the Rockin’ R Ranch. The “Merc” is well-known for its half-pound Antimony Burger, the Rockin’ R for its dude ranch experience, and Otter Creek for its unprecedented trout fishing. As its citizens attest, Antimony owns a special place in Utah’s history.


Primary Sources

Abbott, Lillian McGilvra. My Life Story. No Date.

Deseret News (July 1884): 16.

Garfield County News (April 1923): 6.

The Engineering and Mining Journal (1896).

The Joseph Smith Papers, Journals 1 (1832–1839).

Fremont, Capt. J. C. Report of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains in the year 1842 and to Oregon and North California in the years 1843-44. Washington: Gales and Seaton, printers, 1845.

King, Culbert Biographical Sketch of Culbert Levi King. No Date.

Mathews, Esther Black. A Short Sketch of My Life: Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. 1947.

Riddle, Isaac. “Autobiography of Isaac Riddle.” In The Descendants of John Riddle, edited by Chauncey Cazier Riddle, 2003.

Utah Department of Heritage & Arts. “Archibald Murchie Hunter Papers.” No date.

Utah Digital Newspapers. ” Salt Lake Tribune | 1885-12-13 | The Second District Court.” No date.

Wallace, John Hankins. Wallace’s Monthly 9 (1883).

Secondary Sources


Biography of Catherine Narrowmore. Fillmore, Utah: Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. No Date.

Brown, Harlow F. Grass Valley History. Ogden: FamilySearch International, 1937.

Chidester, Ida, and Eleanor Bruhn. Golden Nuggets of Pioneer Days: A History of Garfield County. Panguitch, Utah: The Garfield County News, 1949.

Crampton, C. Gregory. “Military Reconnaissance in Southern Utah, 1866.” Utah Historical Quarterly 32, no. 2 (1866): 145–161.

Gottfredson, Peter, Indian Depredations in Utah. Salt Lake City: Press of Skelton Publishing Co., 1919.

Gunnerson, James H. The Fremont Culture: A Study in Culture Dynamics on the Northern Anasazi Frontier, Papers of the Peabody Museum, vol. 59, No. 2. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1920.

Janetski, Joel C., Mark L. Bodily, Bradley A. Newbold, and David T. Yoder. “Deep Human History in Escalante Valley and Southern Utah.” Utah Historical Quarterly 79, no. 3 (2001): 5–24.

Jensen, Andrew. Encyclopedic History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Salt Lake City: Press of Skelton Publishing Co., 1941.

Kelly, Isabel T. Southern Paiute Ethnography. Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1964.

Louderback, Lisbeth A., Bruce M. Pavlik “Ancient potato use in North America.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114, no. 29 (July 2017): 201705540.

Mormon Historic. “North America & Hawaii.” No date.

Newell, Linda King, and Vivian Linford Talbot. A History of Garflied County. Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1998.

Newell, Linda King. A History of Piute County. Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1999.

Nielsen, Mabel Woodard, and Audrie Cuyler Ford. Johns Valley: The Way We Saw It. Springville: Art City Publishing Co., 1971.

Periodic Table of the Elements. “Antimony.”

Probasco, Christian. Highway 12 – Hoodoo Lands and the Rim Red and Bryce Canyons, the Paunsaugunt Plateau. Salt Lake City: Utah State University Press, 2005.

Reeve, W. Paul, and Ardis Parshall. Mormonism: A Historical Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, 2010.

“Catherine Webb.” Overland Travel Pioneer Database, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Warner, M. Lane. Antimony, Utah – Its History and Its People 1873-2004, 2nd ed. Provo, Utah 2004.

[1] John Hankins Wallace, Wallace’s Monthly 9 (1883): 625.

[2] Andrew Jensen, Encyclopedic History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Press of Skelton Publishing Co., 1941), 4.

[3] Lane M. Warner, Antimony, Utah – Its History and Its People 1873-2004, 2nd ed. (Provo, Utah, 2004), 5.

[4] James H. Gunnerson, The Fremont Culture: A Study in Culture Dynamics on the Northern Anasazi Frontier, Papers of the Peabody Museum, vol. 59, No. 2 (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1920).

[5] Joel C., Janetski et al. “Deep Human History in Escalante Valley and Southern Utah,” Utah Historical Quarterly 79, no. 3 (2001): 5–24.

[6] Lisbeth A. Louderback and Pavlik M. Bruce, “Ancient potato use in North America,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114, no. 29. (July 2017): 201705540.

[7] Isabel Kelly, “Southern Paiute Ethnography,” Anthropological Papers No. 69, Glen Canyon Series No. 21 (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1964)

[8] Periodic Table of the Elements, “Antimony,”

[9] Warner, Antimony, Utah, 4.

[10] Linda King Newell and Vivian Linford Talbot, A History of Garflied County (Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1998), 62.

[11] Harlow F. Brown, Grass Valley History, (Ogden: FamilySearch International, 1937), 2.

[12] Newell and Talbot, A History of Garflied County, 43.

[13] Brown, Grass Valley History, 2.

[14] Capt. J. C. Fremont, Report of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains in the year 1842 and to Oregon and North California in the years 1843-44 (Washington: Gales and Seaton, printers, 1845).

[15] Gregory C. Crampton, “Military Reconnaissance in Southern Utah, 1866,” Utah Historical Quarterly 32, no. 2 (1866): 159.

[16] Peter Gottfredson, Indian Depredations in Utah (Salt Lake City: Press of Skelton Publishing Co., 1919): 324-330.

[17] The Engineering and Mining Journal (1896): 383.

[18] W. Paul Reeve and Ardis Parshall, Mormonism: A Historical Encyclopedia (Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, 2010), 287.

[19] Newell and Talbot, A History of Garflied County, 119.

[20] Newell and Talbot, A History of Garflied County, 127.

[21] Riddle, Isaac. 2003. Autobiography of Isaac Riddle in The Descendants of John Riddle. Edited by Chauncey Cazier Riddle.

[22] Jensen, Andrew. 1941. Encyclopedic History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Deseret News. 4.

[23] Nielsen, Mabel Woodard, and Audrie Cuyler Ford. 1971. Johns Valley: The Way We Saw It. Springville, UT: Art City Publishing Co. 196.

[24] Probasco, Christian. 2005. Highway 12 – Hoodoo Lands and the Rim Red and Bryce Canyons, the Paunsaugunt Plateau. Utah State University Press. 33.

[25] Chidester, Ida, and Eleanor Bruhn. 1949. Golden Nuggets of Pioneer Days – A History of Garfield County. Panguitch, Utah: The Garfield County News. 124.

[26] Jensen, Andrew. 1941. Encyclopedic History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Deseret News. 185

[27] Archibald Murchie Hunter Papers, 1871-1933.  MSS B 68. Utah State Historical Society Archive, Salt Lake City, Utah

[28] Mathews, Esther Black. 1947. A Short Sketch of My Life: Daughters of the Utah Pioneers.

[29] Abbott, Lillian McGillvra. My Life Story

[30] Garfield County News. 1923. April 20: 6.

[31] Linda King Newell, A History of Piute County (Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1999), 129.

[32] Newell and Talbot, A History of Garflied County, 120.


[34] The Joseph Smith Papers, Journals, vol. 1 1832-1839.


[36] Biography of Catherine Narrowmore. Fillmore, Utah: Daughters of the Utah Pioneers.

[37] Deseret News. 1884. July 30: 16.

[38] Warner, Antimony, Utah ,96.

[39] Newell and Talbot, A History of Garflied County, 222.

[40] Newell and Talbot, A History of Garflied County, 258.

[41] Newell and Talbot, A History of Garflied County, 294.

[42] Warner, Antimony, Utah, 71.

[43] Newell and Talbot, A History of Garflied County, 300.

[44] Warner, Antimony, Utah, 77.

[45] Newell and Talbot, A History of Garflied County, 337.


Antimony Mining Company Stock Certificate

Wasatch Springs Plunge

Published / by Juli Huddleston / 6 Comments on Wasatch Springs Plunge

Write-up by Julia Huddleston

Placed By: Division of State History. The building is on the national register of historic places

GPS: 40.789, -111.900

Historical Marker Text:

Built near several warm springs, the Wasatch Springs Plunge is significant for its Mission style architecture and as an early municipal recreational facility. The warm springs along this portion of the Wasatch Fault were used by Native Americans even before the arrival of the Mormon pioneers who quickly developed the springs and constructed numerous bathing facilities, praising the warm sulphurous [sic] water for its curative and rejuvenating qualities. This substantial masonry building was built by Salt Lake City in 1921 and replaced earlier frame buildings.

Designed by the noted local architecture firm of Cannon and Fetzer, the building exemplifies the Mission Style. The stuccoed walls, red tile roofs, curvilinear parapets, arched openings and arcades are characteristic of the Mission style which emanated from California at the end of the nineteenth century and was based on the old Catholic missions.

Due to problems with the water, deterioration of the structure, construction of newer pools and changes in demographics, the facility fell into disuse in the 1970s and was closed. It was later rehabilitated and reopened in 1983 as The Children’s Museum of Utah.

Marker placed in 1993.

Extended Research:

Built in 1921, the Wasatch Springs Plunge served as a municipal pool for fifty years, tapping into the natural hot springs at the far northern end of Salt Lake City. The building, located at 840 North and 300 West was built by noted architectural firm Cannon and Fetzer and is a striking example of Spanish Colonial Revival style architecture. In its heyday, the building had two pools, administrative offices, several private soaking tanks, a barbershop, a hairdresser, and men and women’s masseurs. Additionally, there were also five rooms available for overnight guests.[1]

The Warm Springs have been utilized by all groups of people who call this region home. Historian Kathryn MacKay notes, “The 2-3 mile strip of hot springs and lake had been used for preceding centuries by the American Indians – Shoshones, Utes, Paiutes – who traveled through the area on hunting, foraging, trading, and social expeditions.”[2] It is likely that white fur trappers who were known to have visited the adjacent area also visited the springs. The first written encounter with the springs comes from a California-bound group, who followed Hastings Cutoff in 1846, and wrote of the warm water and its distinctly unpleasant odor. Erastus Snow, who, along with seven others, arrived in advance of Brigham Young’s wagon train, wrote about the Warm Springs on July 22, 1847. After describing the location, and the rocks nearby, he noted the temperature by writing, “We had no instrument to determine the degree of Temperature but suffice it to say that it was about right for scalding hogs.” Snow decided “The springs are the greatest facilities for a steam doctor I ever saw.” [3]

Classified Photograph Collection, “Warm Springs Bath House P. 1.” Courtesy Utah State History.

The permanent Euro-American settlement of the Salt Lake valley also marks the beginning of human-made structures intended to enhance the enjoyment of the natural springs. The springs were considered to have healing properties and were marketed not only for recreation but also for medicinal uses. In 1850, the Bath House opened and was within the purview of the neighboring Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) 19th ward bishop’s responsibilities. By 1864, this building had fallen into disrepair and was no longer operated by the LDS Church. Over the next several decades the facilities were used for recreational purposes and, in 1916, Salt Lake City assumed ownership. It was at this point when the current structure was built and would remain in near-constant use for the next 85 years.

Classified Photograph Collection, “Warm Springs Bath House P. 15.” Courtesy Utah State History.
Classified Photograph Collection, “Warm Springs Bath House P. 14.” Courtesy Utah State History.
Classified Photograph Collection, “Warm Springs Bath House P. 16.” Courtesy Utah State History.

This period of the building’s history was not without problems. In 1946, concerns were raised over the sanitation of the water, and the city initially suggested chlorinating the pools. However, chlorine mixed with sulfur produces noxious chemicals, harmful to swimmers. As a compromise, the city decided to cap the natural hot springs, and the space was converted to a fresh-water, chlorinated pool.[4] Around that time, the pools began losing their appeal, and by the mid-1970s, they were no longer financially sustainable and were shuttered for nearly a decade before the Children’s Museum of Utah moved into the space in 1981.

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, detail showing the Wasatch Springs Plunge in 1950. University of Utah Marriott Library, Print and Journal Division.

Today, the future of the building is unknown. Placed on the historic registry in 1980, the building has not been occupied full-time since the Children’s Museum of Utah moved out in 2006. The Golden Spike Train Club of Utah uses the space to house and work on their model railroad projects, but their future there is not guaranteed.[5] In 2016, Salt Lake City began accepting proposals for development, but eventually ruled out the possibility of putting housing on the site. A local organization, the Warm Springs Alliance, is advocating for the building to be used as warm springs once again.[6] However, this proposal faces significant financial hurdles. As of spring 2019, the building’s future is unknown, but there is no shortage of interest and enthusiasm for utilizing this historic gem in downtown Salt Lake.

Wasatch Springs Plunge in February 2019.
Wasatch Springs Plunge in February 2019.

For Further Reference:

Primary Sources:

Erastus Snow Journal, Church History Library, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City.

Secondary Sources:

Lutz, Susan Juch. “Cleaned Up and Cleaned Out: Ruined Hot Springs Resorts of Utah.” GHC Bulletin (Energy and Geoscience Institute, University of Utah), 2004.

Jones, Darrell E. and W. Randall Dixon. “’It Was Very Warm and Smelt Very Bad’: Warm Springs and the First Bathhouse in Salt Lake.” Utah Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, Number 4 (2008): 212-226.

MacKay, Kathryn. “National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form: Wasatch Springs Plunge.” United States Department of the Interior Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service, 1980.

McFarland, Sheena. “Whatever happened to … Wasatch Springs Plunge?” The Salt Lake Tribune, December 23, 2014.

McLane, Michael. “The Children’s Museum.Mapping SLC,

McLane, Michael. “Past and Present Collide at Warm Springs.” Catalyst Magazine, December 1, 2017.

[1] Kathryn MacKay. “National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form: Wasatch Springs Plunge.” United States Department of the Interior Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service, 1980, 9.

[2] MacKay, “National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form,” 6.

[3] Erastus Snow Journal, July 22, 1847, as quoted in Darrell E. Jones and W. Randall Dixon. “‘It Was Very Warm and Smelt Very Bad’: Warm Springs and the First Bathhouse in Salt Lake.” Utah Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, Number 4 (2008): 212-226.

[4] MacKay, 9.

[5] Michael McLane. “The Children’s Museum.” Mapping SLC. Accessed March 15, 2019. See also for information on the model train organization.


Joseph F. Steenblik Park

Published / by Juli Huddleston / Leave a Comment

Write-up by Julia Huddleston

View of Steenblik Park, February 2019.

GPS Coordinates: 40.787, -111.92H

Historical Marker Text:

Joseph F. Steenblik was a friend of youth and a builder of men in cultural, physical, and spiritual activities. Born in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1904, he lived in the Rose Park area since 1908. Over the years, Joseph promoted many scout activities, such as Scout-O-Rama, and chaired scout fund drives. In addition to his support of the Boy Scouts, Joseph recognized that girls need outdoor outings as much as boys. He was instrumental in the organizing and building of the Rose Park Library, Rose Park Gymnasium, and the local church Stake House. He was a good example of a Good Samaritan, kind to the less fortunate, good to his employees, and exemplified the values of dependability and hard work.

Open 8:00 A.M. to 11:00 P.M.

Leashed dogs only

No alcoholic beverages

Dairy Cats


Day Christiansen

The “Dairy Cats” were developed with the Steenblik Dairy, a longtime presence in the Rose Park Neighborhood, in mind. The cats are sited so children and adults can enjoy them as they visit or walk through Steenblik Park. The four cats are cast in bronze with variations in patina resulting in a diversity of colors combined with the classic richness of bronze.

“Dairy Cats” is a project of the Salt Lake City public art program, managed by the Salt Lake City Arts Council under the direction of the Salt Lake City Art Design Board. Thanks to the neighborhood representatives who assisted with the project, and also to the City Council member Carlton Christensen, Rose Park Community Council, SLC Parks, SLC Housing and Neighborhood Development, SLC Engineering, and the Department of Community Development.

Dairy Cats by Day Christiansen.

Extended Research:

Joseph F. Steenblik Park is a pocket park located in the heart of the vibrant and closely-knit Rose Park neighborhood in the northwest quadrant of Salt Lake City. Real estate developer Alan Brockbank gave Rose Park its name after he saw a corner market store with blooming rose bushes, which the storeowner credited to the fertile soil in the area. Inspired by the roses, Brockbank gave the new streets names of unusual rose varieties such as American Beauty, Rambler, Talisman, Sonata, Autumn, Debonair, and Nocturne.[1] Rose Park consists primarily of one-story red brick houses, with an architectural cohesion not often found in Salt Lake’s other older neighborhoods.

Even though many of the homes are close to seventy years old, this is not the first housing development to occupy the space. By 1911, the Oakley Park subdivision had become home to many railroad employees of various races, ethnicities, and religious backgrounds due to the proximity to the railroad yards outside downtown Salt Lake City. However, by the mid-1940s the neighborhood was badly blighted, and the health department gave residents an ultimatum to “rid themselves of a collection of horses, cows, stray dogs, hogs, ducks, turkeys, chickens, and goats” or move elsewhere.[2] Brockbank, who created the master plan for the new 2,000-home Rose Park subdivision in 1946, expedited this cleanup effort to meet the post-WWII demand for affordable housing for growing families. While not initially wholly positive for the residents (the new subdivision implemented regrettable restrictive covenant clauses prohibiting people of color from purchasing homes), the area rebounded and is once again welcoming and inclusive, boasting one of the highest rates of racial and ethnic diversity in the Salt Lake valley.[3]

Detail from Sanborn Fire Insurance map showing the Oakley Park subdivision in 1911. Marriott Library Special Collections, Print and Journal Division.

Throughout all these changes, the Steenblik family proved to be a consistent and influential presence in the neighborhood. Joseph F. Steenblik, along with his extended family, was instrumental in both the history and growth of the area. Born in 1904 in Salt Lake City, his parents had emigrated from the Netherlands the year previously. The family moved to Rose Park in 1908, where Joseph and several siblings lived for much of their lives. The family owned and operated Steenblik Dairy, a small-scale dairy farm that supplied milk to Salt Lake’s west side.[4] The dairy, which was located adjacent to the family home at 1442 W. Leadville Avenue, was established around 1920 and was operational into the 1970s. [5] After serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) to Holland, Steenblik married Ruth Reid, and the couple had seven children.

Joseph F. Steenblik’s home, adjacent to Steenblik Dairy. Tax assessment photograph, 1936. Courtesy Salt Lake County Archives.

In addition to working on the family dairy farm, Joseph, alongside his brother Roelof, operated a construction company—Steenblik Construction—which was incorporated in 1952. They were instrumental in aiding with the construction of the Rose Park Stake House, an impressive and unusually large meeting place for the local Latter-day Saint congregations. The building has two chapels, allowing for simultaneous worship services, two meeting halls for social gatherings, a courtyard, a gymnasium, as well as a detached recreation building. Steenblik served as the Stake president (an ecclesiastical position roughly equivalent to a bishop over a Catholic diocese) in addition to other important religious leadership roles.[6] Joseph F. Steenblik died in 1991, at the age of 87.

Steenblik Dairy, commercial tax assessment photograph, 1978. Salt Lake County Archives.

The Joseph F. Steenblik Park was built in 1984 with federal block grant funding, and was named in the “Name the Park” competition proposed by Mayor Palmer DePaulis.[7] In 2007 Salt Lake City commissioned local artist Day Christiansen to create a work of public art that would be emblematic of the neighborhood. Paying homage to Steenblik Dairy, his sculpture Dairy Cats consists of four five-foot tall bronze statues of seated cats that represent mouser cats often found on farms. The park pays tribute to Joseph F. Steenblik and his family’s lasting legacy in Rose Park. His influence is still visible throughout the neighborhood, and has contributed to the vibrancy and resiliency of the community.

[1] Charles L. Doane, Leo W. Russon, Archie S. Hurst, Salt Lake Rose Park Stake History 1955-1980: A Sesquicentennial Project,(Salt Lake City, Utah: Salt Lake Rose Park Stake, Inc. 1980).

[2] Richard W. Bernick, “S. L. Demands West Side Area Cleanup,” Salt Lake Telegram, 6 August, 1948.

[3] Chris Dunsmore, “Rose Park,” Mapping SLC,, March 7, 2019.

[4] “Roelof Steenblik Obituary,” Salt Lake Tribune,  December 26, 2002.

[5] Doane, Russon, and Hurst, Salt Lake Rose Park Stake History 1955-1980: A Sesquicentennial Project, Salt Lake City, Utah: Salt Lake Rose Park Stake, Inc. 1980, 2.

[6] Doane, Russon, and Hurst, (Salt Lake Rose Park Stake History) 207.

[7] Susan Lyman, “Mini-Parks Neighborhood Folk Heroes Find Their Place in the Shade,” Deseret News, August 28, 1988. Accessed via the Deseret News online archive.

For Further Reference:

Primary Sources:

Richard W. Bernick. “S. L. Demands West Side Area Cleanup.” Salt Lake Telegram, 6 August, 1948.

Alan Brockbank papers, Ms 604, Marriott Library Special Collections, University of Utah.

Roelof Steenblik Obituary.Salt Lake Tribune.  December 26, 2002.

Salt Lake County Tax Assessment Records, Salt Lake County Archives.

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, University of Utah Marriott Library.

Secondary Sources:

Doane, Charles L., Leo W. Russon and Archie S. Hurst. Salt Lake Rose Park Stake History, 1955-1980: A Sesquicentennial Project. Salt Lake City: Salt Lake Rose Park Stake, 1980.

Dunsmore, Chris. “Rose Park.” Mapping SLC, March 7, 2019.

Lyman, Susan. “Mini-Parks: Neighborhood Folk Heroes Find Their Place in the Shade.The Deseret News, August 28, 1988.


Tooele County Town Hall and Courthouse

Published / by Michael Anderson-McEwan / 2 Comments on Tooele County Town Hall and Courthouse

Write-up by Michael Anderson-McEwan

Placed by: Daughters of Utah Pioneers, No. 84, Utah American Revolution Bicentennial Commission and Tooele City Corporation, and The National Register of Historic Places

GPS coordinates: Latitude: 40.530757  Longitude: -112.297398

Photo Credit: (Accessed 3.14.19)

Historical Marker Text (1):

Erected in 1867 as a county court house. Active in construction were James Hammond, William Broad, Isaac Lee, W.C. Gollaher, John Gillespie, George Atkin and John Gordon. The building was used for court house, city hall and amusement center, until 1941, when the new city hall on Main Street was completed. Later the building was turned over to the daughters of Utah pioneers for use as an amusement and meeting hall. Rock used in building was taken from settlement canyon in Tooele County.

Historical Marker Text (2):

Dedicated to the Two Hundredth Anniversary of the United States of America and sponsored by the Utah American Revolution Bicentennial Commission and Tooele City Corporation. Built in 1867 as a meeting hall, this building also served as County Courthouse and City Hall, with a jail in the rear. In 1941, the building was given to the Daughters of Utah Pioneers who have maintained it as a museum. They and Tooele City have renovated the building.


Historical Marker Text (3):

This Greek Revival temple-form building was constructed in 1867 using local stone. The belfry, added sometime after 1874, is picturesque in style and has lathe-turned posts accentuated by scroll brackets, a distinctive spindle band, and a slightly bellcast pyramid roof. The hall was built, according to a newspaper article of the time, by the citizens of Tooele “for a dancing hall, for dramatic representations and other social and intellectual purposes.” It was leased to William C. Foster and Thomas Craft but was also used for holding court and other city and country business. Live entertainment, however, proved financially unsuccessful, and by 1871 the hall was utilized primarily as a courthouse. In 1899 a new courthouse was constructed, and the building became solely the city hall. In 1942, with the construction of a new city hall, it was authorized for use as a museum by the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. Marker placed in 1991.

Extended research:

The Tooele County Courthouse and City Hall was constructed in 1867 thanks to the combined efforts and planning of James Hammond, William Broad, Isaac Lee, William Culbertson Gollaher, John Gillespie, George Atkin, and John Gordon (Atkin and Gillespie would later serve on one of Tooele City’s first city councils; see image). Using stone sourced from nearby Settlement Canyon, they constructed the only extant temple-form city hall in Utah (and the oldest known to date)¹ with the total cost for the initial construction and furnishing of the hall adding up to $600² ($10,884.91 adjusted for the 2018 inflation rate).³

Tooele City council featuring George Atkin and John Gillespie (3rd and 6th from the right) (Photo credit: Utah State Historical Society)

The hall was meant to be used as both a social and governmental space, but due to the lack of money in the territory⁴, few Tooele residents were able to scrape together the necessary $400 to rent out the building. The hall’s managers soon found themselves unable to make ends meet and they were forced to use the building and its furnishings as collateral to pay off overdue rent to the city, in April of 1871. From then on, it was used predominantly as the county’s city hall, jail, and courthouse⁵ and was used as such until the county built a new courthouse in 1899 and a new city hall in 1941.⁶

After city officials moved to the new city hall in 1942, they granted the Daughters of Utah Pioneers a 50-year lease on the property, which they converted into a museum of local history.⁷ An addition to the building in 1975 connected it to the adjacent Sons of Utah Pioneers Museum (formerly Carnegie library), creating what is today known as Pioneer Plaza. These two museums possess a wide array of artifacts from local history, including an entire log cabin (originally built in 1855) which occupies the lot next door to the courthouse where a fire station formerly stood.⁸

[1]National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination Form page 2

[2]Information from an interview I conducted on site with one of the Hall’s current docents, Judy Schneider

[3]“The Inflation Calculator,” Morgan Friedman, accessed March 15, 2019

[4]George W. Tripp, Early Tooele A Documented Chronology 1867-1874. Vol. II, 5, Accessed April 5, 2019.

[5]NRHP nomination form page 4

[6]Ouida Nuhn Blanthorn, A History of Tooele County (Salt Lake City, UT: Utah State Historical Society, 1998), 86-87, accessed March 14, 2019.

[7]NRHP Nomination form page 6

[8]Interview with Judy Schneider

For Further reference:

Primary sources:

Tooele City Council. 1850-1870. Utah State Historical Society Classified Photo Collection, Utah State Historical Society, Tooele. In Tooele City Council. UT: Utah State Historical Society, 2013. Accessed March 14, 2019.

Secondary sources:

Blanthorn, Ouida Nuhn. A History of Tooele County. Salt Lake City, UT: Utah State Historical Society, 1998. Accessed March 14, 2019.

Friedman, Morgan. The Inflation Calculator. Accessed March 15, 2019.

Schneider, Judy. “On the History of Tooele County Courthouse and City Hall.” Interview by author. March 1, 2019.

Tripp, George W. Early Tooele A Documented Chronology 1867-1874. Vol. II. Accessed April 5, 2019.

United States. United States Department of the Interior Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service. Tooele County Courthouse and City Hall. By UDSH Staff. National Park Service. 1-6. Accessed March 14, 2019.

Garfield and Lake Point Resorts

Published / by Ben Kiser / 2 Comments on Garfield and Lake Point Resorts

Written by Benjamin Kiser, MA History Student, University of Utah

Placed By:  Daughters of Utah Pioneers Tooele County Company

GPS Coordinates:  40°42’57.0″N 112°14’21.9″W

Historical Marker Text:

Garfield and Lake Point Resorts Marker




            From 1881 to 1893 Garfield Beach was the most famous and finest recreation resort on the shores of the Great Salt Lake, with its railroad station, lunch stand, restaurant, bath houses and pier leading to the dance pavilion, and with the pioneer steamboat “City of Corinne” exhibited at anchor.  Lake Point was located 1 miles west.  A three story hotel erected there by Dr. Jeter Clinton became a stopping place for overland stages.  The boulder used for this shaft was taken from “Old Buffalo Ranch” one half mile west.


Extended Research:

Marker with Great Salt Lake on Right, I-80 and Oquirrh Mountains on Left

From the beginning of Euro-American settlement in Utah, Utahns have enjoyed recreation.  Before the rise of Wasatch Mountain ski resorts, hiking, and biking trails, residents turned to the Great Salt Lake for their recreational pursuits.[1]  The late 1800s were the heyday of Great Salt Lake resorts.  Two of the earliest resorts were at Garfield Beach and Lake Point.  Dr. Jeter F. Clinton, Mormon physician and Salt Lake City alderman turned resort promoter, founded Lake Point resort, also known as Clinton’s Landing, in 1870, building a large “Lake House” near the beach at the northwest point of the Oquirrh Mountains.  The resort remained small until 1875 when the Utah Western railroad completed a branch out to the area.  Expansion began leading to the construction of a multitude of bathhouses along the beach.[2]  Bathers came to Lake Point to experience the Great Salt Lake’s saline water, described by one local booster as “so buoyant; never chilling, it is so warm, free from danger, recreating and invigorating, a tonic for all, a healing for many ills, health restoring and strength renewing.”[3]  Lake Point was also a hub for the renowned steamboat “City of Corinne” which would transport passengers across the lake to Corinne, a railroad town on the Bear River.  Eventually, Black Rock and Garfield Resorts would eclipse Lake Point in grandeur and visitation.[4]

Lake Point Illustration from the Great Salt Lake
Courtesy Utah State Historical Society

Lake Point also served as a backdrop to an interesting incidence in the Utah Territory.  A breakaway from Mormonism, a group called the Morrisites under leader Joseph Morris, formed in the early 1860s.  Conflict quickly ensued between the dominant Mormon population and the newly formed sect.  In 1862, the territorial militia was called out to subdue the Morrisites, ultimately leading to the death of Joseph Morris.  A member of the Morrisite presidency, John Banks, was mortally wounded in the skirmish.  Dr. Jeter Clinton attended to Banks but he ultimately succumbed to his injuries.  Shortly after Banks’s death, some Morrisites began spreading rumors that Clinton killed Banks while tending to him.  Authorities largely left the rumors unheeded until 1877 when they arrested Clinton at his Lake Point home, indicting him for the murder of John Banks.  While ultimately exonerated of the crime, the Deseret News reported the 1877 case as an example of “shameful abuse” of a “prominent Mormon” in which “the bigotry, intolerance and persecuting spirit of our opponents…have been among the bitterest and most unprincipled.”[5]  Taken in the context of increased federal weakening of Mormon control over the territory through the 1874 Poland Act, the Clinton case provides a curious commentary on how Mormons perceived one instance of judicial persecution in the territory.

Garfield Beach Resort Pavilion and Bathers
Courtesy Utah State Historical Society

Garfield Beach resort, located approximately 1.5 miles to the east of Lake Point, opened its doors in 1875, remaining the premier Great Salt Lake destination until the opening of Saltair in 1893.  A product of the Utah Western Railway’s expansion into Tooele County, Garfield Beach wowed visitors with a 165 by 62 feet dance pavilion over the lake.  The resort cost $70,000.  Six trains a day serviced Garfield bringing 80,000 people to the beach in 1888.  The “City of Corinne” docked at Garfield, as well, where it furnished steamboat rides on the lake for 25 cents.[6]  The great resort dwindled after Saltair’s opening, as it experienced a reduction in visitors and beach degradation due to the pesky nature of the Great Salt Lake’s fluctuating levels.  Garfield Beach resort ultimately succumbed to a fire in 1904.[7]

Garfield Beach Advertisement
Courtesy Utah State Historical Society

A 2017 trip to the southern shores of the Great Salt Lake reveals a landscape greatly changed from the high point of lake recreation from the 1870s to the 1890s.  An interstate highway runs where both resorts once stood.  Little evidence remains of the great pavilions, lunch bars, railroad stations, and dance halls that were the highlight of a trip to Utah in the late nineteenth century.  Though a reconstructed Saltair remains, the specters of Lake Point and Garfield are long gone, eclipsed in a recreational shift from the Great Salt Lake to the Wasatch Mountains.

Garfield Beach from the Foothills of the Oquirrh Mountains
Courtesy Utah State Historical Society

[1] Jared Farmer, On Zion’s Mount: Mormons, Indians, and the American Landscape (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009).

[2] Dale L. Morgan, The Great Salt Lake (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1973 [1949]), 355-356.

[3] Ovando James Hollister, The Resources and Attractions of the Territory of Utah (Omaha: Omaha Republican Publishing House, 1879), 66, accessed March 29, 2017,

[4] Tooele County Daughters of Utah Pioneers, History of Utah’s Tooele County: From the Edge of the Great Basin Frontier (Tooele, UT: Transcript Bulletin Publishing, 2012), 177-179.

[5] “The Infamous Proceedings against Dr. Clinton,” Deseret News, April 30, 1879, retrieved on February 16, 2017,

[6] Marcus E. Jones, Resources and Attractions of Salt Lake City (Salt Lake City: Salt Lake Real Estate Board, 1889), 46-48, accessed on March 29, 2017,

[7] Ouida Blanthorn, comp., A History of Tooele County (Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1998), 154-158.

For Further Reference:

Primary Sources

Ovando James Hollister, The Resources and Attractions of the Territory of Utah (Omaha: Omaha Republican Publishing House, 1879), accessed March 29, 2017,

“The Infamous Proceedings against Dr. Clinton,” Deseret News, April 30, 1879, retrieved on February 16, 2017,

Marcus E. Jones, Resources and Attractions of Salt Lake City (Salt Lake City: Salt Lake Real Estate Board, 1889), accessed on March 29, 2017,

Secondary Sources

Jared Farmer, On Zion’s Mount: Mormons, Indians, and the American Landscape (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009.)

Dale L. Morgan, The Great Salt Lake (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1973 [1949].)

Tooele County Daughters of Utah Pioneers, History of Utah’s Tooele County: From the Edge of the Great Basin Frontier (Tooele, UT: Transcript Bulletin Publishing, 2012.)

Ouida Blanthorn, comp., A History of Tooele County (Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1998.)