Utah’s Expanding Railroads and Salt Lake’s West Side

Salt Lake West Side Stories: Post Nineby Brad Westwood The completion of the world’s first transcontinental railroad in 1869 dramatically affected the social, political, economic, and cultural life of Salt Lake City, the Territory of Utah and the American West. Transportation was one aspect that contributed to changes in the West. The railroad cut travel time from the Pacific to …

Overland Travelers, Early Visitors, and the Coming of the Railroad

Salt Lake West Side Stories: Post Eightby Brad Westwood Utah was never entirely isolated from the United States, Latin America, and the Pacific World. From the 1800s onward, the Great Basin was a point of intersection where people from many cultures interacted with one another in several ways. One of the most well-known events that drew people west of the …

Proposed Uses of the Park and Urban Renewal

Salt Lake West Side Stories: Post Sixteenby Brad Westwood Throughout the nineteenth and into the twentieth century, businesses and government entities targeted Pioneer Park for what they labeled as “public good” purposes. The park, of course, had many identities. It was the site of several public work projects and it stood as a memorial to Utah’s Mormon Pioneers. By the …

The Pioneer Park Neighborhood’s Boundaries

Salt Lake West Side Stories: Post TwoBy Brad Westwood This post clarifies the traditional boundaries of Salt Lake City’s Pioneer Park nieghborhood or the original west side. It also defines terms used throughout the series when discussing geographic locations.  When we discuss Salt Lake City’s original west side we refer to a specific geographic area. The boundaries are as follows: …

Benevolent and Mutual Aid Societies, Fraternal Orders, and Labor Unions and Salt Lake City’s West Side

Salt Lake West Side Stories: Post Twentyby Brad Westwood and Cassandra Clark The growth of Utah’s industries and the influx of economic immigrants, created a demand for new community-based services including churches, stores, taverns and boardinghouses. Benevolent and mutual aid societies were part of these services. Another common aspect of life on the west side were mutual aid or benevolent …

Economic Immigrant Communities’ Impact on Salt Lake City

Salt Lake West Side Stories: Post Twenty-OneBy Brad Westwood The arrival of later economic immigrants, from across the United States and around the globe, to Utah and the Pioneer Park nieghborhood, created conflicts with the Mormon Church’s all-encompassing societal ideal. Salt Lake City’s west side was considered one of the poorest and rowdiest neighborhoods in the Salt Lake Valley. With …

Pioneer Park Neighborhood: The Wellspring of Modern Salt Lake City

Salt Lake West Side Stories: Post Eighteenby Brad Westwood In the decades following the Civil War, the United States emerged as one of the world’s largest economic engines. It was railroading, mining and industry, that attracted thousands of economic emigrants to Utah, that allowed Utah to be part of this larger economic story. The United States’ emergence as an industry …

Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Pioneer Park Neighborhood Developments

Salt Lake West Side Stories: Post Seventeenby Brad Westwood In 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed into law the Federal-Aid Highway Act. This Act allowed for the construction of an interstate highway system with the main purpose of defending the nation from foreign attack. The I-15 construction project took five years to complete (1959 to 1964), and the route followed …

Discovering human remains at Mountain Meadows: a conversation with historical archeologist Everett Bassett

08.24.2020 (Season 2: Episode 1) The story of the siege and massacre of approximately 120 California bound immigrants by Mormon settlers at Mountain Meadows (Washington County, 38 m. northwest of St. George) on September 11, 1857 is perhaps the second most well-known story in all of Utah’s history behind only the epic story of the 1847 Mormon Pioneers.  The massacred …

The Books Must Go Out

Utah’s state library shipped books for the blind all over the country during the pandemic By Ellen Fagg Weist | Photography by Todd Anderson On the phone, Ruth Levi, a 97-year-old reader from Chicago, admitted she was a little bit desperate. In the middle of the pandemic, the Midwestern warehouse of the National Library Services for the Blind and Print …

‘We Are Not A Trend’: Utah Artists on Racial Equity

Masked protesters, proclaiming Black Lives Matter, became one of the dramatic images of summer 2020 across the country and also in Utah streets.  After the COVID-19 shutdown paused the state’s art performances and closed museums, MUSE magazine sponsored a cultural conversation with artists discussing systemic racism. The panel, hosted by Utah Poet Laureate Paisley Rekdal, featured actor and singer Dee-Dee …