Tag Archives: Utah Historical Quarterly

Utah Historical Quarterly Web Extras

First published in 1928, the Utah Historical Quarterly, the state’s official history journal, features articles, essays, and book reviews and notices on all aspects of the Beehive State’s history. Since 2014, current issues are now accompanied by rich online supplements.

In the digital medium, we are able to do more than can be done in print: reproduce UHQ articles and essays accompanied with expanded photos, maps, and bibliographies, and publish photo galleries, primary sources, oral histories, podcast interviews, and other special features suitable for the web. See below for the current supplements and an archive of previous online content.

Click here for information on becoming a member of the Utah State Historical Society and receiving your own copy of the Utah Historical Quarterly. UHQ back issues are available online through a searchable database.

 

UHQ Fall 2016

Jedediah Smith's Southwestern Expeditions: An Interactive Map

Mountain Meadows Survivor F. M. Jones: A Conversation with Will Bagley

Nuclear Archival Resources

Canyonlands: A Photo Gallery

Utah Drawn – An Exhibition of Rare Maps

 

 


Summer2016UHQUHQ Summer 2016

Polygamy, A Play in Four Acts: Full Transcript

News from Salt Lake, 1847–1849: A Conversation with Andrew H. Hedges

Utah’s NASA Report: A Confidential Report

Remembering the Circleville Massacre

 


UHQ Spring 2016Cataract Canyon Boat Party

Tie-hacking and logging sites on the North Slope

Mary Stevens’ murder: A conversation with Roger Blomquist

Digital copy of James E. Talmage’s diary

 


 

UHQ Winter 2016

The Newsboy Walter B. Evans

Coda: Turn-of-the-Century Smallpox Vaccination

Early Utah Photographs by William Henry Jackson and Timothy H. O’Sullivan

The Great War’s Council of Defense: A Conversation with Allan Kent Powell

Ogden Canteen Log Books

Historic Salt Lake City Apartments of the Early Twentieth Century


 

2015FallUHQUHQ Fall 2015

John C. Frémont and the Mormons: A Conversation with Alexander L. Baugh

Photographs and Drawings from the Simpson Expedition, 1858-59

Susan Rhoades Neel on Earl and Pearl Douglass

Reflections on the Waterpocket Fold and Greater Capitol Reef, by Ralph Becker

Haldane “Buzz” Holmstrom on the Colorado River: A Gallery


 

2015SummerUHQ

UHQ Summer 2015

A Conversation with Marshall E. Bowen on Russian Molokans in Box Elder County, Utah

The Hill Creek Extension: A Portfolio of Primary Documents

Early Utah Women Inventors: A Conversation with Christine Cooper-Rompato

The Carol Carlisle Summer Wedding Dress Collection: A Photo Gallery

Ute and Shoshone Vocabularies


 

2015SpringUHQUHQ Spring 2015

Almon Babbitt and Early Utah Politics: A Portfolio of Documents
Introduced and transcribed by Bruce Worthen

Folklore and History: An Interview with Steve Siporin

Southeastern Utah Missile Launches

Extended Photo Gallery of the Green River Launch Complex


 

2015WinterUHQUHQ Winter 2015

UHQ Interviews: Utah Historiography
Conversations with Gary Topping on Utah Historiography and with Robert Parson on S. George Ellsworth

Charcoal Kilns: A Photo Gallery
Photos and captions by Douglas H. Page Jr.

Gallery of Female Imagery in Advertisements

Sounds of the Cathedral


 

2014FallUHQUHQ Fall 2014

Mormon and Federal Indian Policy: A Portfolio of Primary Documents

Mormon and Federal Indian Policy: A Portfolio of Primary Documents
Transcribed by Brent Rogers

An Interview with Noel Carmack and Connell O’Donovan on the 1855 murder of Isaac Whitehouse in Parowan, Utah, and the Art of Historical Storytelling

Water: Records in the Utah State Historical Society and the Utah State Archives

Ute Photographs


 

2014SummerUHQUHQ Summer 2014

Previous UHQ Cover Designs

The Making and Unmaking of Utah
By Jared Farmer

Race with the Sun
By Carl Kuntze

Memoirs: An Annotated Bibliography
Compiled by Caitlin Shirts

“This Is the Place” Monument

Tricia Smith-Mansfield
Utah History Encyclopedia

The “This Is the Place” Monument is located at the mouth of Emigration Canyon in Salt Lake City, Utah. In 1937 a state commission comprised of representatives of various faiths selected Mahonri M. Young, a grandson of Brigham Young, to design the monument, which derives its name from the words Brigham Young is said to have pronounced in the foothills of Emigration Canyon: “This is the right place. Drive on.”

This Is the Place Monument 1935

This Is the Place Monument 1935

The monument was dedicated during Utah’s pioneer centennial celebration in 1947. The granite structure stands sixty feet high and eighty-six feet long. It memorializes, in bronze sculptures, the Mormon pioneers as well as the traders, trappers, explorers, and others who were instrumental in the development of the West. The figures atop the center pedestal are Brigham Young in the center, Heber C. Kimball to the north, and Wilford Woodruff to the south. The three were prominent leaders during the early days of the Mormon Church.

At the base of the center column are Orson Pratt and Erastus Snow, members of a scouting party and the first to enter the valley on 21 July 1847. To the sides are the nine horsemen who made up the exploring party.

This Is the Place Monument

This Is the Place Monument

The wagon of the first pioneer company is depicted in bas-relief sculpture along the west side of the wings, with Brigham Young visible in Woodruff’s carriage at the rear. Along the east side are high relief sculptures of six men who were significant figures in early regional history: Etienne Provost, Chief Washakie, Peter Skene Ogden, Captain Benjamin Bonneville, Father Jan DeSmet, and John C. Fremont.

The Mormon pioneers followed the same route blazed the previous year by the Donner-Reed party, depicted on the east side of the center pedestal.

The figures on the south pedestal depict Spanish explorers who came into the area in 1776. The Dominguez-Escalante expedition came as far north as Utah Valley in an attempt to find a practical overland route to Monterey, California. Their account provided the first written description of the Intermountain region.

This Is the Place Monument (new)

This Is the Place Monument (new)

In the 1820s trappers and traders came to the American West to capitalize on the market for beaver pelts. These men, represented on the north column, were the first white men to see many of the mountains, rivers, lakes, and valleys of the West. William Ashley of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company is the figure sitting astride the horse.

History of West Valley (“E” Center)

Jami Balls

In the fall of 1848, not long after the Mormons settled Salt Lake Valley, Joseph Harker ventured west across the Jordan River. He established the first settlement on the west side of the valley and within a year seven other families joined him. The land was considered best suited for grazing since alkali and other mineral deposits tainted much of the land and it held no constantly flowing streams. However as acreage on the east side filled, more settlers trickled over to the west side. Some farmers settled far beyond the Jordan River, digging wells, piping water from scarce natural springs, or hauling the water from the river in barrels. In the 1870s, three major canals were built, but lack of drinking and irrigation water continued to discourage major settlement.

During the1890s a considerable population increase was seen, but conditions persisted to be arduous. The water flowing through the canals perpetuated salts and other minerals to leach to the surface, causing fields and orchards to perish. Some of the low-lying farms were flooded by runoff from saturated lands and created alkali lakes. Regardless of how strenuously farmers worked to modify farming techniques or drain the excess minerals, most had to work several jobs to sustain their families. For example, resident Willard Jones taught school, sold insurance, edited a newspaper, served as road supervisor, and worked as a copper mill mechanic in addition to farming.

Land speculators attempted to establish major permanent settlements, but to no avail. In 1889, the El Dorado subdivision housed eighteen families along with services such as a mercantile, post office, and school. However, only six years later the conditions proved too hard for the families and the development faced abandonment in 1895. In 1914, the Kimball & Richards Company launched the small town of Chesterfield near the 2100 South depot, but the project died with the recession of 1920. Another notable attempt surfaced during the Great Depression when 110 families purchased lots and built houses with the help of the County Welfare Department. Though this settlement didn't fail, the conditions there were extremely destitute with most dwellings consisting of only two rooms and lacking both central heat and a bathtub.

Conditions improved with the boom following World War II. In 1952 the Salt Lake County Water Conservancy District was created and contracted to buy water from the newly built Deer Creek Reservoir. The area experienced a greater population growth in the next twelve months than it had in the previous one hundred years. Throughout the 1960s development progressed rapidly and indiscriminately. Subdivisions went up hastily without gutters, sidewalks, or landscaping. By the late 1970s, increasing problems with services instigated a move towards incorporation. On February 26, 1980, an incorporation vote passed by a mere ninety-vote margin and West Valley instantly became Utah's third largest city by incorporating portions of Granger, Hunter, and Chesterfield.

Today, West Valley City is Utah's second largest city, drawing not only new residents but also business and industry. In 1997 the E Center opened its doors. HOK, one of the world's premiere arena architects, designed this state-of-the-art facility, which can be modified to accommodate audiences from 3,700 to 12,000.  The E Center is home to the International Hockey League's Utah Grizzlies and will house some of the ice hockey events of the 2002 Olympics Games.

Sources: Patricia Lyn Scott, "West Valley City" Utah History Encyclopedia; Becky Bartholomew, History Blazer; The E Center Website.

Ecker Hill: A Photographic Exhibit

 

The Olympic Park isn’t the first time Utah has had a world-class facility for ski jumping.

Text by Roger Roper, Utah History Encyclopedia
photographs from the Utah State Historical Society

Ecker Hill. USHS Collection C-558 #16.

Ecker Hill. USHS Collection C-558 #16.

Just a few miles north of the present Olympic ski jump facility in Parley’s Canyon is Ecker Hill.

 


Ecker Hill just before official opening of US Ski Jumping Championship, February 22, 1937. Photo by Bill Shipler. USHS Photo #9891.

Ecker Hill just before official opening of US Ski Jumping Championship, February 22, 1937. Photo by Bill Shipler. USHS Photo #9891.

In the late fall of 1928, members of the fledgling Utah Ski Club set about establishing a ski jumping facility near Parley’s Summit. The club consisted primarily of young Norwegian-Americans who were interested in promoting cross country skiing and ski jumping.


Scenes at National Ski Jump Competition held at Ecker Hill. USHS Collection C-242 Box 4.

Scenes at National Ski Jump Competition held at Ecker Hill. USHS Collection C-242 Box 4.

They completed the jump by Christmas Day 1928 and hosted the first ski jumping tournament on the hill in February 1929. The hill proved to be very suitable and in 1930 was officially named Ecker Hill by Utah Governor George Dern in honor of Peter Ecker, acting president of the Utah Ski Club.


Ski Jumping at Ecker Hill, February 17, 1935. USHS Photo #21101.

Ski Jumping at Ecker Hill, February 17, 1935. USHS Photo #21101.

Ecker Hill overshadowed the other major ski jumping hills established in Utah at that time, including Becker Hill in Ogden Canyon. A number of smaller jumps for amateurs and juniors were also built at various locations throughout the state at that time.


Ecker Hill in February 1937 during the US Ski Jumping Championship. Photo by Bill Shipler. USHS Photo #9893.

Ecker Hill in February 1937 during the US Ski Jumping Championship. Photo by Bill Shipler. USHS Photo #9893.

During the 1930s and 1940s Ecker Hill was one of a handful of world-class ski jumps in the United States. National meets were held regularly on the hill, and several world records were set there. Large crowds of up to 9,000 people gathered to watch the events.

 


Skiing Ecker Hill. USHS Photo #21103.

Skiing Ecker Hill. USHS Photo #21103.

Ecker Hill was the site of Utah’s 1938 Ski Jumping Championships. Einar Fredbo won the championship by jumping 64.5 meters and 67 meters. Contestants were given three jumps. The first was a practice and the last two figured into the contest.


Group of ski jumpers at Ecker Hill, 1935. USHS Collection C-558 #5.

Group of ski jumpers at Ecker Hill, 1935. USHS Collection C-558 #5.

During the early years at Ecker Hill most of the headlines were garnered by skiers from the Professional Ski Jumpers of America, a fifteen-member group that competed for prize money at various locations throughout the country.


Alf and Sverre Engen jumping together at Ecker Hill. USHS C-558 #11.

Alf and Sverre Engen jumping together at Ecker Hill. USHS C-558 #11.

Alf Engen is perhaps the best known of the early professional jumpers. He jumped world record distances several times during the 1930s, and each year from 1931 to 1935 he was named National Professional Jumping Champion. His top official mark at Ecker Hill was a 281-foot record setting jump in 1934.


Ralph Bastila at National Ski Jump at Ecker Hill. USHS Collection C-314 Fd 13 90.

Ralph Bastila at National Ski Jump at Ecker Hill. USHS Collection C-314 Fd 13 90.

Other world class skiers who jumped at Ecker Hill included the two-time Olympic champion from Norway Sigmund Ruud, as well as Sig Ulland, Gordon Wren, Sverre Engen, Art Devlin, and 1948 Olympic champion Peter Hugsted.


Group photo at Ecker Hill 1931. USHS Collection C-558 #12.

Group photo at Ecker Hill 1931. USHS Collection C-558 #12.

Some of the big names in Utah skiing are shown in this image.  Standing, left to right, are Halvor Hvalstad, Halvor Bjornstad, Sverre Engen, Einar Fredbo, Ted Rex, Alf Mathesen, Lars Haugen, Steffen Trogstad and Alf Engen. First row, left to right, are Pete Ecker, Vic Johannsen, Axel Andresen, Nordquist, Mark Strand and Ralph Larsen.


Scenes at National Ski Jump held at Ecker Hill. USHS Collection C-242 Box 4, Fd 17, #3.

Scenes at National Ski Jump held at Ecker Hill. USHS Collection C-242 Box 4, Fd 17, #3.

After the 1949 National Championships, use of Ecker Hill for ski jumping competitions declined rapidly. Longer and better designed hills were being constructed in both the U.S. and Europe, replacing smaller hills such as Ecker.


Participant of National Ski Jump held at Ecker Hill. USHS Collection C-242 Box 4, Fd 16, #13.

Participant of National Ski Jump held at Ecker Hill. USHS Collection C-242 Box 4, Fd 16, #13.

By the 1940s skiers were already coming close to landing on the flat at Ecker Hill with jumps of almost 300 feet. Improved ski jumping equipment and techniques rendered the hill obsolete for world-class events by the 1950s.


Ski Jumping at Ecker Hill. USHS Photo #21042.

Ski Jumping at Ecker Hill. USHS Photo #21042.

The decline in the popularity of ski jumping as a spectator sport also contributed to the demise of Ecker Hill. Ski enthusiasts who had previously been content to simply watch ski jumping were now more interested in the participatory sport of downhill skiing. Local resorts such as Brighton, Alta, and Park City began their rapid growth during the 1950s and 1960s.


Ecker Hill during US Ski Jumping Championship, February 22, 1937. Photo by Bill Shipler. USHS Photo #9892.

Ecker Hill during US Ski Jumping Championship, February 22, 1937. Photo by Bill Shipler. USHS Photo #9892.

Ecker Hill was last used around 1960. In recognition of its significance, the site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.

 

Bibliography on The History of Polygamy

Some of the best historical information has been published by the Utah State Historical Society.

Published by the Utah State Historical Society:

Beehive History, vol. 1-27. Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society.

History Blazer, Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1995–96.

Utah Historical Quarterly, vol. 1-69. Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1928–2001.

Utah Centennial County History Series. Utah State Historical Society, c. 1996.

Published in Cooperation with the Utah State Historical Society:

Alexander, Thomas G. Utah, the Right Place. Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith, Publishers, 1995.

Cuch, Forrest S. ed. A History of Utah’s American Indians. Salt Lake City: Division of Indian Affairs/Utah Division of State History, 2000.

Papanikolas, Helen Z., ed. The Peoples of Utah. Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1976.

Powell, Allan Kent, ed. Utah History Encyclopedia. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1994.

All photographs from State History’s Photograph Collection. Search our online photos.

See additional research information.

Material in the Utah History to Go site may be reprinted for non-commercial, educational, or media use. All that is needed is to acknowledge the Utah State Historical Society.

The Wives of Brigham Young

Who was Brigham Young’s “Favorite Wife?”

The oft asked question about the practice of polygamy in early Mormon history is: How many wives did Brigham Young have?

The question isn’t as easily answered as asked. When polygamy was a part of Mormon culture, there were different types of marriages or “sealings.”

It is hard to determine how many wives Young actually lived with in the normal sense of husband and wife because of the practice of “sealing.” Sealings, meaning a ceremony performed by Mormon church authorities that link a man and a woman, could be of two types. The most common, and the only one currently practiced by the Mormon church, is a ceremony that seals a man and a woman for time (mortal life) and eternity. A second form could seal a woman to one man for time and another for eternity. Such ceremonies usually occurred when a widow was sealed to her dead husband for eternity and to a living husband for time in the same ceremony. It was understood that any children by the second husband would be considered the progeny of the first. In the early days of the Mormon church, these relationships were commonly called proxy marriages.

According to Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) historical records, Brigham Young was sealed to as many as 56 women. Many of the wives to whom Young were sealed were widows or elderly women for whom he merely cared or gave the protection of his name.

When asked by Horace Greeley in 1859, Brigham Young said that he had 15 wives, “but some of those sealed to me are old ladies whom I regard rather as mothers than wives. . .” This answer reflects the complicated nature in the definition of “plural wife.” As to the number of wives with whom it is known that he had conjugal relations, sixteen wives bore him 57 children (46 of whom grew to maturity).

Several of his wives lived in the Lion House or the Beehive House; others had separate residences.

At the time of his death on August 23, 1877, Young had married 56 women–19 predeceased him, 10 divorced him, 23 survived him, and 4 are unaccounted for. Of the 23 who survived him, 17 received a share of his estate while the remaining 6 apparently had non conjugal roles.

Source: Jeffery Ogden Johnson, “Determining and Defining `Wife’: The Brigham Young Households,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Vol. 20, No. 3, Fall 1987; Leonard J. Arrington, Brigham Young: American Moses, Knopf, New York, 1985.

The Mormon Trail: A Photographic Exhibit

Curated in 1997 by Linda Thatcher

During the 1800s more than 500,000 emigrants crossed the Western plains hoping to find a new and better life for a variety of reasons. One of the largest groups to move west was the Mormons. From 1847 to 1868, 70,000 Mormon pioneers made the trek on foot, in wagon trains, or handcart companies to "Zion" (Salt Lake Valley) hoping to find a home where they could practice their religious beliefs without persecution. Those traveling to "Zion" came from a variety of backgrounds starting with the Saints that had been driven out of Nauvoo, to church members converted to Mormonism in England, Wales and Denmark.

In 1997 Utah and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints celebrated the Sesquentennial of the Mormon migration to honor the thousands of pioneers who made the trek to Utah. This photo exhibit was produced for the Sesquicentennial for schools and other interested groups to exhibit. The exhibit is presented here for those interested in the Mormon Trail to view.


Nauvoo, Illinois. Color print by A. Henry Lewis.

Nauvoo, Illinois. Color print by A. Henry Lewis.

By 1845 the Mormon population in and around Nauvoo, had grown to more than 11,000, making it one of the largest cities in Illinois. In September 1845 more than 200 Mormon homes and farm buildings were burned in an attempt to force the Mormons to leave the area. A move to the Far West had been discussed by LDS Church leaders as early as 1842, with Oregon, California, and Texas considered as potential destinations. In 1844 Joseph Smith obtained John C. Fremont's map and report, which described the Great Salt Lake and its surrounding fertile valleys. Subsequently, the Rocky Mountains and the Great Basin became the prime candidates for settlement.


Brigham Young as he looked in about 1850.

Brigham Young as he looked in about 1850.

Under the leadership of Brigham Young the Mormons left Nauvoo earlier than planned because of the revocation of their city charter, growing rumors of U.S. government intervention, and fears that federal troops would march on the city. They left Nauvoo on February 4, 1846.


A Mormon camp in Iowa along the route to Winter Quarters after expulsion from Nauvoo in 1846.

A Mormon camp in Iowa along the route to Winter Quarters after expulsion from Nauvoo in 1846.

After crossing the Mississippi River, the Mormons followed primitive territorial roads and Indian trails across Iowa. Their early departure exposed the pioneers to the worst winter elements. Heavy rains turned the rolling plains of southern Iowa into axle-deep mud. Furthermore, few pioneers carried adequate provisions for the trip. The weather, general unpreparedness, and lack of experience in moving such a large group of people, all contributed to the difficulties they endured. The Mormon migration came to be known for its preparedness, orderliness, discipline, safety, and effective organization, but that was later. The diaries written in those cold wagons during February and March yield a picture of confusion, disorder, and severe hardship. On March 27, 1846, Brigham Young issued instructions to organize the group into companies of 100s, 50s, and 10s.


A scene along the Mormon trail.

A scene along the Mormon trail.

The historic Mormon Trail developed in two stages: (1) from Sugar Creek across Iowa to Council Bluffs in the winter and spring of 1846, and (2) from Winter Quarters near Council Bluffs to the Rocky Mountains in the summer of 1847.


 

Camp at the end of the day.

Camp at the end of the day.

Brigham Young continued to exert his authority over the pioneers. On April 18, 1846, he laid out the daily routine of the camp: At five o'clock in the morning the bugle is to be sounded as a signal for every man to arise and attend prayers before he leaves his wagon. Then the people will engage in cooking, eating, feeding teams, etc., until seven o'clock, at which time the train is to move at the sound of the bugle. Each teamster is to keep beside his team with loaded gun in hand or within easy reach, while the extra men, observing the same rule regarding their weapons, are to walk by the side of the particular wagons to which they belong; and no man may leave his post without the permission of his officers. In case of an attack or any hostile demonstration by Indians, the wagons will travel in double file---the order of encampment to be in a circle. At half past eight each evening the bugles are to be sounded again, upon which signal all will hold prayers in their wagons, and be retired to rest by nine o'clock. Other rules included a noon rest for the animals. (The travelers were to have their dinner precooked to avoid the necessity of cooking at noon.) At night the wagons were drawn into a circle, and the animals grazed inside it where possible. When stock had to be staked out at night for feed, extra guards were posted.

All persons were to start together and keep together. A guard at the rear saw that nothing was left behind. Of course, even with strict discipline the realization of this ideal fell short at times.


The trail over a steep mountain.

The trail over a steep mountain.

Notwithstanding the better organization, it would be difficult to exaggerate the hardships of those first weeks on the trail. Sunrise temperatures were almost invariably below freezing until after April 15, 1846. Daytime temperatures rose enough to thaw the ground, and the heavily laden wagons became half-sunk in quagmires. Snowstorms continued through March. Rainstorms, sometimes lasting for days, pelted the wagon-dwellers much of April and May. Near Richardson's Point, Iowa there was "one mud hole, six miles long." Hosea Stout wrote on April 29, 1846, "This was an uncommonly wet rainy, muddy, miry disagreeable day. Very wet night last night the ground flooded in water[.]"


Crossing at Council Bluffs on the overland trail to the Far West. Frederick J. Piercy sketch.

Crossing at Council Bluffs on the overland trail to the Far West. Frederick J. Piercy sketch.

During the first stage of their journey in early June 1846 the camp moved on toward Council Bluffs, some 90 miles to the west, leaving behind enough people to improve and maintain Mount Pisgah for the benefit of future Saints going west. On June 13, the camp reached the Council Bluffs area at the Missouri River, and the first portion of the march was nearly over. In the Council Bluffs area the Mormons were not yet in the wilderness. In southern Iowa and eastern Nebraska between 1846 and 1853 the Mormons built at least fifty-five temporary and widely separated communities, farmed as much as 15,000 acres of land, and established three ferries. These numerous communities were established primarily to accommodate the thousands of Mormon emigrants, while they were waiting to cross either the Missouri River, or resting and preparing financially and physically to continue westward to Utah.


Covered wagon train scene in 1882.

Covered wagon train scene in 1882.

In early April 1847 the Mormon pioneers began the second stage of their trek west. Wagons began to trickle out of Winter Quarters in small groups. Near North Platte, Nebraska craftsmen devised a "roadometer" at the suggestion of William Clayton. Where it was first used is now known as the Odometer Start. Previously Clayton had kept track of distance by tying a red cloth to a wheel and counting the revolutions.


The roadometer was used by pioneers to measure the distance across the plains.

The roadometer was used by pioneers to measure the distance across the plains.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Camp along the trail.

Camp along the trail.

Life was hard on the trail. Women regularly began the trail day by getting up an hour or half an hour before the men to stoke the fire, heat the kettles of water to begin breakfast, milk the cow, etc. Cooking in the open was a new experience for most women. Two forked sticks were driven into the ground, a pole laid across, and the kettle swung upon it. Pots were continually falling into the fire, and families soon became accustomed to ashen crust on their food. After breakfast the women washed the tinware, stowed away the cooking equipment and food, and packed up while the men readied the wagons. After several hours on the road there was a brief stop at noon. Then the women brought out lunch usually prepared the night before. By evening everyone was ready to camp, where the work continued. The fire had to be kindled and water brought to camp. Men chopped wood, and children collected sagebrush, cottonwood twigs, or buffalo chips for the fire. Typical meals consisted of bacon, beans, cheese, boiled and mashed potatoes, dried fruit, homemade bread, biscuits, puddings. Some women even prepared preserves and jellies from wild berries and fruit gathered along the way. In the evening beds had to be made up, wagons cleaned out, and clothes mended or washed. Men fed and watered the livestock, mended harnesses, or repaired wagons in the evening; the work never ended for everyone on the trail.


Approaching Chimney Rock along the North Platte River in Nebraska. William Henry Jackson, 1929.

Approaching Chimney Rock along the North Platte River in Nebraska. William Henry Jackson, 1929.

One of the great landmarks on the emigrant trail was Chimney Rock in Nebraska, so named because its slender pillar rising above the bluffs resembled a giant chimney. The rock was shown on all early maps, and the Mormon pioneers were anxious to see it, both because of it fame and because it would give them a chance to check the accuracy of their maps. On May 22, 1847, Porter Rockwell rode into camp with some exciting news. He said he climbed atop a high bluff a mile distant and had seen Chimney Rock. But the emigrants did not reach the rock until May 26---where Orson Pratt estimated the height of the shaft at 260 feet.


Scott's Bluff from across the North Platte River.

Scott's Bluff from across the North Platte River.

The trail across the Great Plains traversed hundreds of miles along the north side of the Platte and North Platte rivers. At Fort Laramie the Mormons crossed to the south side of the river, where they joined the Oregon Trail.


Fort Laramie, Wyoming, William Henry Jackson photograph.

Fort Laramie, Wyoming, William Henry Jackson photograph.

At Fort Laramie members of the Pioneer Company were halfway to their destination. From this point on, it was decided, they would follow the Oregon Trail. Terrain dictated the decision for the most part. They rented a flatboat for $15.00 and began ferrying their wagons across the river. They stayed at Fort Laramie for three days and obtained supplies at high prices---cotton and calico were a $1.00 per yard, flour was 254 a pound, a cow cost $15-$20 and a horse about $40. On June 4 started up the Oregon Trail, heading west and northwest, gaining in elevation over roads sometimes quite hilly. Making about 13 miles a day, their journey brought them on June 12 to where the Oregon Trail crossed the North Platte, 124 miles from Fort Laramie. Here (at present Casper) the Mormons remained six days, hunting and fishing and building rafts to ferry wagons. On the June 19 the pioneers' company left the North Platte and rolled southwestward toward the Sweetwater River.


Independence Rock on the Mormon Trail by William Henry Jackson.

Independence Rock on the Mormon Trail by William Henry Jackson.

On June 23 they reached Independence Rock, one of the most famous landmarks on the entire Mormon Trail. William Clayton wrote in his journal: "We can see a hugh pile of rocks to the southwest a few miles. We have supposed this to be the rock of Independent." It is an oval-shaped outcrop of granite 1,900 feet long, 700 wide, and about 130 wide. Of the various stories regarding its name, the favorite is that some early trappers once celebrated the Fourth of July there. Mormons climbed it, danced on it, and painted and carved their names on it. The trail passed between the rock and the Sweetwater River in Wyoming.


Devil's Gate, Sweet Water River, Rocky Mountains, 1869. Charles R. Savage, photographer.

Devil's Gate, Sweet Water River, Rocky Mountains, 1869. Charles R. Savage, photographer.

A few miles farther and the pioneers reached Devil's Gate, another Oregon Trail landmark. The gate was a chasm 330 feet deep with the Sweetwater River running between the cliffs for about 200 yards. The pioneers camped a short distance beyond Devil's Gate and many of them walked back to get a better view. Thomas Bullock called it "a romantic spot."


South Pass, Wyoming, by William Henry Jackson

South Pass, Wyoming, by William Henry Jackson

On June 26 the pioneers marched into the 25-mile-wide plain that is South Pass (which made the wagon trek west possible) near the Continental Divide-where waters west of the summit flow into the Pacific Ocean. The ascent on the broad plain is so gradual that many of the travelers crossed the Continental Divide without being aware of it since the Pass is 7,700 feet high, the pioneers sometimes enjoyed a snowball fight. On June 28 the company met Jim Bridger, on his way to Fort Laramie, who spent the night with them. Bridger gave a long account of the country around the Great Salt Lake. Bridger felt that one disadvantage to settling in the region was the cold nights. William Clayton reported: "He thinks Utah Lake is the best country in the vicinity of Salt Lake and the country is still better the farther south we go until reaching the desert about 200 miles south of Utah Lake."


 

Fort Bridger, Wyoming, by William Henry Jackson

Fort Bridger, Wyoming, by William Henry Jackson

On July 7 the pioneers made it their goal to reach Fort Bridger-not because the trading post was important to them but because it marked the beginning of the last leg of their long trek. The structure was built in 1842 by Jim Bridger and opened as a trading post the next year by Bridger and his partner, Louis Vasquez. It was the second permanent settlement in Wyoming. The fort did business in the fur trade with trappers, mountain men, and Indians. As emigrants moved along the Oregon Trail, the post acquired many new customers. Having reached Fort Bridger the Mormon pioneers decided to "stay a day here and set some tires," as well as rest their animals and do some shopping. Prices at Fort Bridger were higher than they had found at other trading places along the trail. Shirts cost $6.00, pants $6.00, and dressed animal skins $3.00 each.


Emigrant train in Echo Canyon on the way to Salt Lake City in 1867. The poles were used by the Transcontinental Telegraph, completed in the fall of 1861.

Emigrant train in Echo Canyon on the way to Salt Lake City in 1867. The poles were used by the Transcontinental Telegraph, completed in the fall of 1861.

On July 16 the pioneers reached "a narrow revine" Echo Canyon and attempts to travel along the bottom proved to be a struggle. Occasionally teams had to be doubled to get over obstacles. The company penetrated farther into the canyon. As they did, "the mountains seem to increase in height and come so near together as too barely leave room for a crooked road," according to William Clayton. The wagons exited Echo Canyon and moved to near what is now Henefer. Ahead lay 36 miles of rugged mountains that taxed the strength of the pioneers and their teams.


Painting by William Henry Jackson depicting the pioneers first view of the Salt Lake Valley in 1847.

Painting by William Henry Jackson depicting the pioneers first view of the Salt Lake Valley in 1847.

Orson Pratt's advance guard was some distance in front of the main body, trying to improve the trail. Pratt and Erastus Snow were the first to enter the Salt Lake Valley on July 21, 1847, and a larger group followed on July 22, 1847. Thomas Bullock caught his first full view of the valley on July 22 and shouted "hurra, hurra, hurra, there's my home at last."


Hafen Brigham Young's First View of the Valley. Artist John Hafen's painting of the Mormon pioneers first view of the Salt Lake Valley.

Hafen Brigham Young's First View of the Valley. Artist John Hafen's painting of the Mormon pioneers first view of the Salt Lake Valley.

Brigham Young had fallen sick with "mountain fever" and was bringing up the rear with eight wagons. He was among the last to enter the valley, but his arrival July 24 made it official. Traveling six miles through Emigration Canyon "we came in full view of the great valley or basin," according to Wilford Woodruff. "A land of promise, held in reserve by the hand of God for a resting place of the saints," he thought, and declared this moment "an important day in the history of my life and the history of the church." Young, still feeling weak, "expressed his full satisfaction in the appearance of the valley as a resting place for the saints and said he was amply repaid for the journey," Woodruff later wrote. Nothing was mentioned in Woodruff's journal at the time about Brigham's having said, "This is the place." Thirty-three years later, in recalling the 1847 event, Woodruff said that Young, looking over the expanse below, saw the future glory of the valley and said: "It is enough. This is the right place, drive on."


View of Salt Lake City in 1853, sketched by Frederick J. Piercy. This is one of the earliest views of Salt Lake City.

View of Salt Lake City in 1853, sketched by Frederick J. Piercy. This is one of the earliest views of Salt Lake City.

At once the settlers began building their new empire. They diverted water from City Creek, planted crops, planned and laid out their city, and built homes. Brigham Young immediately set aside several acres for the Mormon Temple. Many early visitors were impressed with the layout of the city and commented on its clean, neat appearance. By 1850 there were 11,380 people living in Utah, and one visitor described Salt Lake in 1850 as "a large garden laid out in regular squares." Mark Twain noted the clean streams that trickled through town. Mormons continued to arrive during the remaining weeks of summer and fall, and approximately 1,650 people spent that first winter in the valley. After organizing the settlement, Brigham Young and many members of the pioneer party made the return trip to Winter Quarters to be with their families and to help organize the next spring's migration to the valley.


 

History of Soldier Hollow

Jami Balls

Soldier Hollow at Wasatch Mountain State Park is a scenic recreational area in Heber Valley. Prior to the 1850s the Timpanogos Utes, who lived around Utah Lake, used Heber Valley as an important summer hunting ground. The first non-American Indians to visit the area were members of the Dominguez-Escalante Expedition in 1776. About fifty years later, trappers entered this back valley of the Wasatch Mountains to trap beaver. The first permanent settlers came from Utah Valley in 1859, establishing their settlement just north of present-day Heber City. Later that year, Midway and Charleston were also settled. The area is often called "Utah's Switzerland" because of the majestic beauty of Mount Timpanogas to the west, its climate, and a large population of Swiss that settled in Midway. In the 1870s and 1880s separate worship services were held for English-speaking and German-speaking Swiss townspeople.

Around the turn of the 20th century, Heber Valley experienced steady growth and became an important shipping terminal for wool and sheep. In 1922 the Union Pacific Railroad constructed a spur from mines in Park City to Heber Valley to ship lead, zinc, and silver ore. Also during this time, a group of Midway dairy farmers formed the People's Co-operative Creamery. Heber Valley is well endowed with water, but due to its very cold winters and short cool summers is not a highly productive agricultural region. However, livestock thrived in the area. The dairy industry proved to be extremely lucrative until the 1950s when the area turned its attention towards tourism.

With its highest peak rising to 10,000 feet and over half the land 7,500 feet above sea level, the climate and land impart multiple uses. In December 2000, an award-winning lodge surrounded by 16 miles of trails opened in an area of Heber Valley known as Soldier Hollow. It is speculated that this name comes from Captain James H. Simpson and his company of road surveyors and other soldiers who camped in the area in 1849. From 1858-1861, over 7,000 U.S. Army personnel and associated civilians occupied Camp Floyd, south of Heber Valley. They were ordered to contain what Federal officials perceived as uprisings against the Federal government by Mormons. Accordingly, they ordered Captain Simpson to locate a better and perhaps shorter route between Camp Floyd and Fort Bridger, Wyoming. His company camped at Torbet's Creek in Heber Valley and it is more than likely that Soldier Hollow is named after the soldiers of Captain Simpson's expedition.

Soldier Hollow will host eighteen Olympic events and competition will be held over approximately sixteen days. Along with its extensive trail system, the venue also has a beautiful lodge constructed out of salvaged wood from the Lucin Cutoff Trestle. The Lodge contains floor-to-ceiling glass windows that provide spacious views of the Wasatch Mountains and cross-country trail system. Soldier Hollow also boasts a high-tech competition center situated at the finish line of the events. The Competition Center is the hub for timing, competition, scheduling, video and sound production, and scoreboard operation. Sure to be the busiest of the Olympic venues, Soldier Hollow will be host to six biathlons, 10 cross-country skiing events, and two skiing portions of the Nordic combined.

Sources: Jessie L. Embry, The History of Wasatch County; (no author given) "Wasatch County" Beehive History 14; Becky Bartholomew, "John Watkins and Midway's Architecture" History Blazer September 1996.

History of the Stockade and Salt Lake’s Red Light District

Jami Balls

Commonly referred to as "the oldest profession," prostitution holds a long and intriguing position in Utah history. The general feeling at the beginning of the 20th Century considered it as a "necessary" evil that could never be eliminated, but merely controlled. Laws existed mostly to satisfy middle-class morality, but normally, it was confined to a specific part of town called a "red-light" district where it could be observed and controlled.

Clearly, by the 1870s, Commercial Street, (today's Regent Street between Main and State Streets and 100 and 200 South) in downtown Salt Lake City was the center of the red-light district. Parlor houses along the street housed legitimate businesses; usually liquor or tobacco stores, and held "female boarders" in the upper parts of the houses. Miss Helen Blazes and Miss Ada Wilson were each madams of these types of establishments. Police regularly conducted raids of the establishments, fining, arresting, and even sometimes conducting physical examinations of the women.  By 1908 a formal registration system existed where police kept track of the names and addresses of madams and their houses and in turn, the madams supplied current lists of their girls. Each month, the girls paid a ten-dollar fine which supplied much of the city's revenues.

Starting in 1903, calls to purge Commercial Street of its sordid establishments began, citing that it soiled the main business district and decreased property value. Salt Lake City mayor John Bransford along withthe city council adopted a "stockade" policy in 1908, planning to build a sort of compound where the denizens could practice their inevitable trade freely, but discretely. Bransford said, "I propose to take these women from the business section of the city and put them in a district which will be one of the best, if not the very best, regulated districts in the country."

Dora B. Topham "Belle London" Madame of the Stockade

Dora B. Topham "Belle London" Madame of the Stockade

These men asked Mrs. Dora B. Topham, Utah's notorious "Belle London" of Ogden's "Electric Alley," to form a corporation, buy a block of land on Salt Lake's westside and establish a stockade. During the summer of 1908, she created the Citizen's Investment Company and purchased land where it would have, "as little negative effect as possible." They chose the area between 500 and 600 West and 100 and 200 South because the were railroads on three sides of it, it divided two school districts (so children wouldn't have to walk past it), and because, "the 'foreign element,' (Greek and Italian workers) had so destroyed the area that establishing prostitution there would not harm it any further and could even be rationalized as catering to the immoral foreigners.'"

The community reacted in many different ways. The West Side Citizen's League was formed to abolish it, but many also found it a very practical way to deal with prostitution. Soon after completion, on the evening of December 18 city police told prostitutes that they had until 4:00 a.m. the next morning to vacate the area. They basically were given three choices: leave town, go to jail, or reside in the stockade.

Stockade Crib rows, September 21, 1908

Stockade Crib rows, September 21, 1908

The stockade consisted of nearly 100 small brick "cribs" which were ten feet square with a door and window, and built in rows. A curtain divided the crib in two, with a washstand and chair in the front part and a white enameled bed in the back with the girls paying one to four dollars a day for their "residence." Within the stockade there were also larger parlor houses and storehouses for liquor--an essential component of the stockade operation. The stockade had three entrances, each guarded to both keep children and "undesirable" guests from entering as well as to warn of the periodic police raids. The installation of an elaborate alarm system proved to be very effective for whenever the police ventured out, they found the stockade dark and deserted.

The stockade operated for three years until on September 28, 1911, Belle London unexpectedly announced, "The stockade will be closed on Thursday and the same will not be reopened again." Although many theories exist, it is still questioned what her exact motivation for the closure was. Again some people expressed great relief while others felt very upset to "have the streets flooded with the scarlet ladies." Some of the former occupants accepted the offer of the Women's League, going to the Women's Rescue Station and leaving their lives of sin. While, others returned to Commercial Street which continued to be a red-light district until the 1930s, or remained near West 200 South, an area for prostitution until the 1970s.

Sources: John S. McCormick, "Red Lights in Zion: Salt Lake City's Stockade, 1908-1911," Utah Historical Quarterly; Linda Sillitoe, History of Salt Lake County; Noel A. Carmack, "Before the  Flapper: The Utah Beginnings of John Held, Jr.," Utah Historical Quarterly LXVI

History of the Delta Center

Jami Balls

Around the turn of the 20th Century, Utah experienced a tremendous influx of immigrants to work in the booming mining and railroading industries. Thousands of the immigrants were Mediterranean and experienced intense discrimination. Greeks specifically were paid less, segregated in railroad gangs, assigned the more dangerous work, and prohibited from living in certain areas. Therefore, they usually concentrated in small ethnic neighborhoods near the railroad tracks where they fostered benevolent and fraternal societies, bakeries, restaurants, hotels, newspapers, coffee houses, boarding houses, and grocery stores that sold imported cheese, olive oil, salted fish, and sweets.

At its height, Greektown consisted of over sixty businesses along 200 South between 400 and 600 West Streets. In 1905, the Church of the Holy Trinity was dedicated, becoming a center for the Eastern Orthodox community. The families lived in the neighborhood as if in a Greek village. Women baked bread in outdoor earthen ovens, planted large vegetable gardens, and helped one another with births and illnesses, while raising families of usually seven to eight children.

In 1908, city officials purchased the block between 500 and 600 West and 100 and 200 South Streets to build a prostitution stockade. As pressure mounted to move Salt Lake City’s red light district away from the downtown businesses, this area of Greektown seemed suitable, according to Councilman Mulvey, because they were looking for an area where it would have as little negative effect as possible. He said, “…Most of the better class of residents were leaving the area anyway, because of the influx of Italians and Greeks who live in that neighborhood,” therefore concluding that the “foreign element” had already destroyed the area. The stockade operated near Greektown for three years, facilitating the city’s “necessary” evil. Following its closure and over the next several years, the area became a contaminated “brown field” full of abandoned buildings.

Decades later, the area served a new purpose. The Salt Palace arena was built in the late 1960s to become a center for entertainment and conventions. The arena eventually became the home of a professional basketball team, the Utah Jazz. In 1985 and 1984, the Jazz organization drafted Karl Malone and John Stockton, respectively. Tickets quickly became a hot commodity and sellouts were taken for granted since it was the smallest arena in the NBA at a capacity of 12,666. The Jazz’s owner, Larry H. Miller, initiated conceptual design meetings and negotiations to construct a larger arena. Sumitomo Trust and the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City agreed to help fund a new multi-purpose arena that would also house the Utah Jazz.

Construction of the Delta Center began on June 11, 1990 with only about sixteen months available for its completion before the Utah Jazz 1991/92 season opener. Hundreds of individual subcontractors and suppliers along with literally thousands of workers cooperated in the “fast-track design/build” construction necessary to complete the structure on time. By this method, design is completed as construction goes on. So, as the twenty-four hour excavation of 170,000 cubic yards of soil began, engineers worked vigorously to complete the design for the footings and foundation. This method continued until its completion in October of 1991, building a 20,500-seat arena with a 3,000,000-pound roof structure and exterior skin of 2,692 individual panes of insulating glass.

Today, the Delta Center houses not only Jazz games but major touring concerts, rodeos, ice shows, family shows, circuses, motor sports, and other events. The Delta Center has also been selected to house the short track speed skating and figure skating events of the 2002 Winter Olympics. Constructed in an area of Salt Lake City with such a rich history, the Olympic events will significantly add to its already colorful past.

Sources: John S. McCormick, “Red Lights in Zion: Salt Lake City’s Stockade, 1908-1911”, Utah Historical Quarterly L; Helen Zeese Papanikolas, “Greeks in Utah” Utah History Encyclopedia; Dave Blackwell, “Utah Jazz” Utah History Encyclopedia; Linda Sillitoe, History of Salt Lake County; The Delta Center website www.deltacenter.com