This rural "billboard" in northern Utah was originally painted in the late 1920s. It was maintained by the Dr. Pierce company and repainted every three or four years until the 1940s.
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For decades after it was constructed in 1891, this depot and the railway it served, functioned as northern utah's main link to the outside world, or at least south to the entertainments and attractions found in Ogden and Salt Lake. Eventually, with the construction of major highways, car travel became the transportation mode of choice. Recently, the depot has been renovated and now houses a restaurant.
Photo: Historic Railroad Depot in Logan
In the early 1900s Utah's population was primarily rural. "Industry" meant farming and ranching. It was a time when distances often made medical assistance impossible and simple maladies sometimes claimed lives. For many rural communities "health care" was folk remedies mingled with a bit of superstition and a hearty dose of common sense. Patent medicines, many of which were little more than opium derivatives or alcohol blended with herbal extracts, were popular cures and tonics. They were widely sold in stores and occasionally by traveling peddlers. Companies paid farmers for the privilege of advertising on their barns. This rural "billboard" in northern Utah was originally painted in the late 1920s. It was maintained by the Dr. Pierce company and repainted every three or four years until World War II.
Photo: Rural Billboard in Cache Valley
Brigham City sits on a fan-shaped alluvial delta beneath the 9,000 foot peaks of the Wasatch Mountain range. The beautiful Brigham City Tabernacle is a Northern Utah icon built on a site personally chosen by Mormon leader Brigham Young, for whom the town was named. The tabernacle was originally constructed between 1876 and 1890. Its exterior is marked by Gothic arched doors and windows, and a massive white tower accented by sixteen spires topping brick buttresses. In 1896 the community was stunned when their beautiful meeting place was gutted by fire. Determined to rebuild, they completed the duplicate interior in less than a year.
Photo: Historic Mormon Tabernacle
Ogden was one of the country's most important railroad hubs. Since it was in direct proximity to the depot, bustling 25th Street provided travelers, and locals alike, with goods and services of all kinds. Purveyors of food and drink were plentiful, including an ice cream parlor run by the town's most celebrated madam. Ogden's railroad boom lasted from the 1870s into the early 1900s. For decades thereafter, 25th Street experienced gradual decline, but in Ogden today the street once again draws traffic as a restored (and respectable) shopping and dining district.
Photo: Ogden's Historic 25th Street
Antelope Island is the largest of the Great Salt Lake's ten major islands. The Fielding Garr Ranch House was built on the island in 1848 and occupied until 1981, making it the oldest continuously occupied residence in Utah. The island has served as a herding ground for horses, cattle, and sheep at various times since the mid 1800s. In 1893 newspaper publisher William Glassman had twelve bison placed on the island. In 1911 one hundred bison were counted on the island, one of the largest herds in the United States. Antelope Island State Park, as it is now known, is home to antelope, elk, deer, and many other species of wildlife and birds. The seven hundred Great Plains Bison which now roam Antelope Island are descended from Glassman's original herd.
Photo: Great Plains Bison / Antelope Island State Park
The Utah State Capitol Building in Salt Lake City was completed in 1915, nineteen years after statehood was granted in Renaissance Revival design was the result of a nation-wide architectural competition.
Acoss the street from the State Capitol is Council Hall. Built in the 1860s, Salt Lake City's Council Hall was the meeting place of the Utah Territorial Legislature for nearly thirty years. The building was moved to its present Capitol Hill location in the early 1960s.
Photo: Utah State Capitol, Salt Lake City
The City and County Building at Washington Square in Salt Lake City was built in 1894 on the site of one of the first camps established when Mormon settlers came to the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. The massive building's architecture is in the Richardson Romanesque-style. After statehood was granted in 1896, this served as Utah's State Capitol Building until the current on was completed in 1915. The grounds often host various festival and events.
Photo: City and County Building, Salt Lake City
Since settlement days, Temple Square has been the spiritual heart of the
LDS (Mormon) Church. In the early years of Utah's statehood, it was also the landmark center of the growing capital city. A 10-acre block was set apart by a 1.5-foot-thick wall with wrought iron gates. Inside, at great sacrifice, early Utahns built several church buildings including the oval-shaped Tabernacle, now home to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The gothic Salt Lake Temple was completed in 1893, forty years after its construction began and three years before statehood. Salt Lake City's streets were built with Temple Square as their origin, and the Square functioned as the center of their numbering grid — a pattern still in use today.
Photo: Iron Gate Framing entrance to Historic Temple Square
This Byzantine Revival-styled Church was completed in 1924. Its elaborate exterior includes numerous towering columns supporting two gold-crowned bell towers. Blue and gold tiles decorate the arcade like entry. The patterns and colors are repeated on the tiled rooftop. This beautiful building serves as a reminder that early in the 20th century the vibrant Greek community, employed primarily in the state's railroad and mining industries, comprised Utah's largest immigrant group.
Photo: Salt Lake City's Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church
At 7,000 feet on the eastern edge of the Wasatch Mountains, the Park City area was once the province of a few hardy farmers and some small scale cattle ranches. That changed dramatically in the 1880–90s when silver mining in the area create a "boom town" with a huge, and sometimes rowdy, population. The dawn of the 1900s brought a sharp decline in mining fortunes. Park City returned to its rural roots until the second half of this century when the area's ski industry was born. The sport of snow skiing which was probably first enjoyed by Scandinavian miner's decades before, allowed the city to become northern Utah's premier resort town. Today, Park City bustles with three ski resorts. It is the U.S. Ski team's permanent headquarters and was the site of several venues during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.
Photo: Historic Dairy farm near Park City
In the early decades of the 1900s following statehood, remote ranches and homesteads in northeastern Utah still operated mainly by horse and manpower. Because of their isolation, families learned to balance their needs with the demands of the environment in order to survive. Food, building materials, and many other necessities had to be produced on the ranch or taken from the surrounding forests. For many homesteaders a trip to Vernal, the closest city, could take two days. Sometimes it was a lonely life with a harsh winters and fierce struggles over water rights. Everyone, children included, had to work hard. But it was also a life punctuated by moments of freedom, with beautiful mountain meadows to roam and plenty of forest trails to explore.
Photo: Oscar Swett Ranch Historic Site / Ashley NF
Northeastern Utah was once the swampy home of dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures. Later, the geologic mayhem that created the Uinta Mountains further altered the landscape. Situated in the Uinta Basin on the south slope of the High Uintas Wilderness lie the sovereign lands of the Uinta and Ouray Indian Reservation. On Reservation lands, this small house of worship continues to serve a congregation of residents scattered across the area, as it has since it was founded in 1896.
Photo: Holy Spirit Episcopal Church in Randlett, Northeast Utah
Named after a Ute Indian Chief, the Peteetneet Academy was constructed in the Central Utah city of Payson in 1901. It now functions as a cultural arts center including an art gallery, an academy for the arts, and a large collection of historic photographs. The building's striking Richardson Romanesque exterior has been lovingly preserved.
Photo: Peteetneet Academy, Payson
The east-central portion of Utah has rich heritage linked to the mining industry. Kenilworth was built in the early 1900's as the company town for employees of Independent Coal and Coke Company. The company primarily employed miners of Greek descent, and was the first mining operation to challenge the monopoly of the areas major mining interests. The homes and buildings in Kenilworth were simple and utilitarian. The Company Store carried an eclectic variety of merchandise, striving to meet all the needs of miners and their families. The residents of Kenilworth and the Independent Coal and Coke Company are all long gone now, but the company store and their scattered buildings still stand.
Photo: Kenilworth Company Store, near Helper
In the Central Utah town of Fillmore, Territorial Statehouse State Park marks the location of Utah's first Territorial Government in the mid 1850s.
Photo: Territorial Statehouse State Park
The desert country of the San Rafael Swell in the eastern part of central Utah is a wildly beautiful and unforgiving landscape. In Utah's early days, cowboys and outlaws alike galloped across its vast, open stretches, and camped in its twisting stone canyons. But even with its many hideouts and wide tracts of grazing land, nobody stayed around too long until the Swasey brothers came in the late 1800s Sid, Joe, Charlie and Jack Swasey were sturdy fellows with a penchant for working and playing hard. Local lore says Sid had "a wild streak a mile wide" and once leaped his horse eleven feet across a gorge of the San Rafael River 100 feet below, and lived to tell the tale. The Swasey's built a cabin and hidden corral where they freely welcomed lonely cowboys and outlaws on the run.
Photo: Swasey's Cabin / San Rafael Swell
Built between 1876 and 1882, the Beaver County Courthouse is one of Utah's oldest government buildings. Its tall foundation is made of local black basalt stone. The building has two stories and a roomy attic with gabled windows. The red brick exterior is lavished with white Victorian-style trim and arched keystone windows. A clock tower with timepieces on each of its four sides can be seen from all over town. Currently it is used as a visitor and community center.
Photo - Beaver County Courthouse
In 1896, a one-room schoolhouse was built in the central Utah community of Fruita, named for the hundreds of fruit trees residents planted in a valley edged by Sulphur Creek and the Fremont River. The tiny school educated farm children in first through eighth grades for nearly eighty years. It was also used for Mormon church services, town meetings, dances, elections and other gatherings. In 1941, the school was closed because it had too few students. This region remained one of Utah's most isolated until well after World War II. Fruita and the surrounding area are now part of Capitol Reef National Park. The orchards lovingly tended by early residents are now maintained by the National Park Service, and park visitors can pick several varieties of fruit in season.
Photo: Fruita School House, Capitol Reef NP
The mournful ghost town of Grafton is located on the southern bank of the Virgin River in a valley edged with ruddy cliffs. For early residents, the Virgin River was both a blessing and curse. It allowed them to irrigate crops and raise livestock in their desert environment making their southwestern Utah home surprisingly verdant. But over and over, the river raged and flooded the town destroying homes, crops and common buildings. Residents rebuilt more than once and the moods of the river became an uneasy part of their existence. During one flood, as a family fled for their lives, an infant was born in the family wagon. The child was promptly named "Marvelous Flood". When Utah became a state in 1896, little more than 100 people remained in Grafton. By 1921, the town was populated only by memories.
Photo: Remnants of Grafton
The southwestern Utah town of Washington was settled in 1857. In a patriotic mood, residents named their community for George Washington. In 1865 the Mormon Church built a three-story stone cotton mill in town as part of an effort to develop a cotton and silk textile industry. The moderate climate of the area was favorable for growing cotton, though efforts to raise silkworms did not fare well. Under church ownership, the Washington mill began production in 1867. It was later sold, but continued operating as a public co-op through the years of statehood. Generations of Washington residents worked at the mill making batting, blankets, clothing and textiles. Around 1910, shortages of necessary materials and transportation costs made it unprofitable for the town to remain in the textile business. The machinery was sold and the Washington mill was closed. It was restored in 1986 and is now a community gathering place.
Photo: Washington Cotton Mill
The San Juan River slices across southeastern Utah. Ages ago, ancient Puebloan cultures tucked their stacked stone houses under overhangs carved by the rivers meanders and lived their lives near its sandy shores. Rock art, and worn habitation sites like River House Ruins provide intriguing clues to what remains a mysterious period in time.
Photo: River House Ruins, San Juan River
In Utah's early years, the far-flung population faced a variety of challenges. Away from the comforts of any major city, Bluff, in extreme southeastern Utah, was populated by Anglo families transplanted from more developed area. By trial and error, and with the help of their Navajo neighbors, Bluff's residents learned to successfully farm the desert soil of the San Juan River valley. But their efforts were often confounded by relentless winds and floods. By mastering their farming methods and bringing cattle to the area, they eventually found success. Bluff was once the richest town per capita in the state. But prosperity could only soften the difficulties of carving a home out of the windswept desert.
Photo: Historic Bluff Cemetery
In 1880, the party of Mormon settlers known as the "Hole in the Rock Pioneers" made a harrowing journey to this remote section of Southeastern Utah. Among them was twenty-four year old Lemuel Redd, who brought energy and a zest for life to his new desert home. Until he died in 1923, Redd was a revered rancher, politician and Mormon Church leader. He built his home of ruddy blocks of native sandstone and embellished it with the wide porches and gingerbread trim also found during the era on the houses in more populated parts of the country.
Photo: Lemuel Redd House in Bluff
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