SALT LAKE COUNTY
Salt Lake County is bordered on the east and west by 2 of the largest mountains ranges which create a valley.. Part of the Great Salt Lake is included in the northern part of the county. When looking at Salt Lake County today, you might forget that only a couple hundred years ago the valley was empty of human structures and many trees. A few Shoshone and Ute Indians used the area for hunting. William H. Ashley trappers, around 1824, were the first white men to see the area. The area changed forever when in 1847 the Mormon pioneers came into the valley led by Brigham Young. Within days after their arrival these pioneers set up a city that they called the Great Salt Lake City that later became known as Salt Lake City, the county seat and State Capitol of Utah. In the 1930’s some smaller towns, like Alta, changed from being mining communities into ski areas. These ski areas helped bring the 2002 Winter Olympics to Salt Lake City.
There is much to see and do in Salt Lake City and the surrounding areas. While many visitors come to the area to see Temple Square and other historical sites, nearby canyons are well-known for skiing, camping, and enjoyable hikes. Salt Lake City is also home to the Utah Symphony, the Utah Jazz, and one of the leading research hospitals, the University of Utah .
The State Capitol Building is a great place to visit to see the branches of state government at work and see the Renaissance Revival style architecture. If you’d like to step back in time, try visiting the Old Deseret Village or the Utah Museum of Natural History. If space is your destination, you can visit the Clark Planetarium. Looking for something more down to earth? Check out Red Butte Garden with memorable gardens for everyone or Hogle Zoo with the family. Finally, there are many parks that give residents a quiet place to relax and enjoy time with family.
For current statistics in real estate trends for Salt Lake County and other areas of Utah, please visit;
LOCAL SKI RESORTS 15 MINUTES FROM DOWNTOWN SALT LAKE:
With only 630 square miles, Davis County is the smallest Utah county in land area. Most of the county is made up of water that is part of the Great Salt Lake, leaving only about 36% of the county as land that can be used for farming and housing. Antelope Island, an island in the Great Salt Lake, is part of Davis County and is a home for Buffalo. Davis County now makes up for its lack in land size by having the third largest county population.
While early history in the Davis County area includes visits from the early Paleo-Indians and Jim Bridger, the first permanent residents were the Mormon pioneers who found the area perfect for farming and raising livestock. In the early twentieth century, Davis County prospered due to its numerous farms and many factories producing everything from canned goods to sugar. Today, Davis County is the home of the Freeport Center, the largest distribution center in the United States. Davis County is probably best known for Utah’s largest amusement park, Lagoon. Davis County also contributes to the Nation’s Defense at Hill Air Force Base, the county’s largest employer. One of the worldest largest Aerospance Museums is in this county too. The museum was founded in 1981 as a part of the United States Air Force Heritage Program and first opened in 1986. It moved to its current facility in 1991. We hosted our 1 millionth visitor in the spring of 1996 and we annually have around 180,000 visitors, coming from every state and from many foreign countries..
Utah County has always been a fertile land for agriculture and fishing. The early residents of Utah County, the Ute indians, camped along the East shore of Utah Lake. It wasn’t until1849 that Mormon settlers came to live in the area and choose the same fertile ground as the earlier Utes. In 1875 Brigham Young Academy was established as a High School academy but later grew into Brigham Young University (BYU). http://home.byu.edu/home/ The most striking geographical features of Utah County are the Wasatch Mountains along the eastern boundary and Utah Lake, the state’s largest fresh-water lake, to the west. The high mountains, rising over 11,000 feet, receive heavy snowfall, which feeds the rivers and creeks that flow into the lake. Utah Lake is a remnant of the huge, prehistoric Lake Bonneville. Though large in size, Utah Lake is very shallow–18 feet at its deepest point.
Every year Provo (the county seat) holds the annual “America’s Freedom Festival”, which is described as the “largest 4th of July celebration in the United States.” For something a little quieter one can find, tucked up in the Provo Canyon, the Sundance Resort, which provides year-round entertainment and recreation. The county helped host the 2002 Winter Olympics in Provo at the Peaks Ice Arena. Another memorable site in Utah County is Timpanogas Cave, a National Park that is a well-paved, 2-hour hike up the Timpanogas Mountain. A visit to Utah County wouldn’t be complete without a reflective visit to the Springville Museum of Art or a newer development in the area would be Thanksgiving Point with its movie theaters, enormous dinosaur museum, and so much more. A person won’t soon forget Utah County!
When locals in Utah hear someone say “Summit County”, their first thought is of Park City. Though mining fizzled in 1950’s in Park City, the mountains around the town held other opportunities. One mine company opened a ski resort, golf course, and condominiums in the 1960s. Since then, skiing and recreation have become the basis for the economy of western Summit County.
Many people have moved to Summit County, drawn by its beauty and recreation, and the meadows of the Snyderville Basin are now filled with homes and condos. Farming and ranching are still important in the rest of the county. During the 1930s, Ecker Hill was renowned for its ski jump competitions. Ski jumping returned to Summit County during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, when it hosted the Nordic jumping and other
events, including the bobsled, luge, skeleton, aerials, and snowboarding. Each January the streets of Park City are filled with movie stars, directors, producers and more during the annual Sundance Film Festival.
The history of Weber County goes as far back as 10,000 years. When Lake Bonneville dried up, sediments were left in the soils that are perfect for farming. Prehistoric Indians, Shoshone Indians, and Ute Indians populated the area for many years before the trappers, such as Peter Skeen Ogden, came into the area in 1826. In 1845 Miles Goodyear set up Fort Buenaventura and became Utah’s first permanent white resident. The fort was eventually sold to James Brown for $1,950 and years later became known as Ogden City. Charilla Abbott set up the first school in the Utah area shortly after Brown began running the fort. After the railroad was completed in 1869, Ogden became known as “Junction City” because of the city’s importance on the railroad line. Over a hundred trains traveled through Union Station in a week.
Today, Ogden City, Weber’s County Seat, is home to over 200,000 people. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which collects and manages taxes for the United States, has offices in Ogden. Also in Ogden, Weber State University serves over 18,000 students a year. The city provides many historical and recreation sites for residents and visitors. For example, Union Station provides 5 different museums, including a museum for firearms, one for cars, and also the State Railroad Museum. Another popular attraction is the Dinosaur Park with life-sized dinosaur sculptures. For a peaceful walk through nature visit the Ogden Nature Center, Utah’s first nature center since 1975. There are many moreattractions that can be found within 30 miles of Ogden that are well worth seeing. During 2002 the Winter Olympics, worldwide attention was brought to Weber county. The Ice Sheet was home to Olympic Curling, and Snowbasin was the ski venue for Downhill, Combined and the Super G events.
BOX ELDER COUNTY
Box Elder was founded in 1856. Shoshoni Indians and the settlers fought occasionally until 1863 when a treaty was eventually negotiated by the Territorial Governor. Box Elder is probably best known as the home of Promontory Point, the site of the driving of the Golden Spike on May 10,1869. This spike was important both to Utah and the Nation since it represented the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. This county also has archaeological sites that date as far back as 12,000 years ago.
Today the Morton-Thiokol Company, started in 1957, helped build NASA’s space shuttle booster rockets as well as the Minuteman missiles. Agriculture is also important to Box Elder County’s economy with the usual crops of hay, grain, and alfalfa as well as many fruit orchards. Box Elder is also home to Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and huge amont of the Great Salt Lake.
When I think of Cache County I think of 3 things
First, cheese which comes from local farmers and dairies.
Second the Multiple Sclerosis MS150 bike tour. This may be the greatest fully supported bike tour a person could ask for As well as a great way to raise money for research and help for people suffering from MS. Every year thousands of people arrive to support this scenic and worthwhile cause.All of this is located near the city of Logan, the county seat, which has about half of the county’s population as well as the third item on our list the Utah State University (USU).
The founding of Utah State University (USU) in 1888 has provided farmers across the state with the latest scientific research in farming. The university has grown to be the largest employer in the county offering almost all academic subjects and has become a cultural resource for the community.
Cache County was formed in 1856 and was named after a cache, a place the early trappers (such as Jim Bridger and Peter Skene Ogden) to hid their pelts and supplies for safe-keeping. Early prehistoric hunters and gatherers may have been in the area as much as 10,000 years ago. The settlement of Cache Valley began in 1855, but the first permanent settlement was set-up by Peter Maughan in 1856 called Maughan’s Fort in the present town of Wellsville. The completion of the Utah Northern Railroad from Brigham City to Logan, in 1873, this opened new markets for the county’s grain and dairy products.
Cache county is still the state’s agricultural leader in dairy products and other farm products such as grains, hay, and alfalfa.
Going to or through Rich County a person is obligated to stop and get a Rasberry Milkshake or any number of Rasberry products from the local merchants. These raspberries from Bear Lake are known around the state as the very best.
Bear Lake is also the county’s largest natural lake and is a great outdoor recreational place.
In 1827 and 1828 the early trappers held a Rendezvous, a large gathering to trade furs for supplies, on the south shore. The Bannock and Shoshone Indians lived throughout the area when in 1864 Charles C. Rich was sent by Brigham Young to begin a settlement. It is possible that the name of the county came from Mr. Rich. Also the name could have come from the rich soil in the area. It became known as Richland County and was later shortened to Rich County in 1868.
While there are many campsites in the area, Rendezvous Beach provides camping at or near the spot where the early trappers held their own Rendezvous mentioned above. If you’re going to camp you might want to avoid wintertime since the town of Woodruff is known state wide for its very cold winters (with the state record for coldest temperature at –50F). While Bear Lake is important to the county, even more valuable are the productive farms and livestock that can be seen throughout the county while driving the highways.
The city of Morgan was settled in 1855, and the county was created in 1862. During the Utah War (1857-58), settlers in Milton supplied feed for the horses of Mormon troops stationed in canyon passes watching for Johnston’s Army. Lot Smith of Stoddard blocked Echo Canyon, buried U.S. Army supply trains, and stampeded government horses and cattle. Despite such incidents, the “war” was settled peacefully.
Located in a high valley of the Wasatch Mountains, Morgan County is divided by the Weber River. The many streams that feed into the Weber made the valley attractive to fur trappers in the 1820s and to prehistoric Plains Indians and historic Shoshone and Ute Indians. In 1825, near present Mountain Green, trappers of the British Hudson’s Bay Company under Peter Skene Ogden and competing American trappers came dangerously close to fighting, but Ogden kept the situation from becoming a major international incident.
Tooele County is the second largest county in the state. While most of the western part of the county is now owned by the federal government, there are several cities in the eastern part of the county that have roots as far back as the late 1800′s. Before towns were established, the Goshute Indians considered this area to be their ancestral homeland. In the late 1850′s the U.S. government sent 3,500 troops to Fairfield, Utah to build Camp Floyd which began a year-long struggle known as the Utah War. In the 1860′s the Pony Express trail had many stops in what is now Tooele County, including Simpson Springs. Towns were established during the county’s history for mining, many of which are nowghost towns. Gristmills were also built which helped the county economically. Later, in the 1940′s, the Wendover Airfield Base and the Dugway Proving Ground were built to help with preparations for World War II. Dugway is still in use today. Wendover sits just over the boarder into Nevada and is only about an hour west outside of Salt Lake City. Wendow isa thriving entertainment town with casinos, gambling, live concerts, and shows type community
Today, Tooele County has many thriving communities including Tooele City and Stansbury Park. Each city has residents who commute to Salt Lake City every day for work. One of the largest employers in the area is the Tooele Army Depot that has been involved in incinerating weapons since 1943 when the base was established. In the northern part of the county, the Bonneville Salt Flats, remnants of ancient Lake Bonneville, are famous for the amount of flat land and the speeds vehicles are able to reach at the Bonneville Speedway. With all the variety of things to do and see in Tooele County a person can see why the county is so important to Utah.
Daggett County is found in the Northeast corner of Utah and is part of the Uintah mountains, the only major mountain range that runs east and west.
It was once thought that there were diamonds in the Uintahs, attracting many wealthy landowners. It wasn’t until the 1890′s, when Ellsworth Daggett and others developed irrigation in the area, that people were able to live and farm here. With around 900 people in 2001 living here, the area still is not well populated and the land is still mostly used for raising livestock and for farming. Manila is the county seat, yet still a very small rural town. Some of Daggett County’s landmarks include Flaming Gorge Reservoir which provides boating, fishing, camping, and power production at the Flaming Gorge Dam. One can even take a free tour of the dam and feed eager fish at the bottom of it. The town of Dutch John was built to house workers for the dam. The Red Canyon Overlook gives the visitor a spectacular view of the reservoir. Sheep Creek Canyon on the west side of the reservoir, is another memorable place that has tall rock formations and many fish.
The history of Uintah County goes back to the Dinosaur age. Evidences of Dinosaurs, such as bones and fossilized footprints, have been left in the region. Much later, the Freemont Indians and, more recently, the Ute Indians have inhabited this area. Rock art can be seen on many of the canyon walls even today. In 1776 the Dominguez and Escalante expedition stopped here. The Ashley valley was named after Willaim Henry Ashley, one of the early trappers, who traveled many times through the area. In 1861 a group sent by Brigham Young to explore the area declared it a “waste and valueless.” Then in 1873 a group of people entered the Ashley valley to raise livestock an industry that has become very important to the area. Vernal, the county seat, was set up around 1880 when the residents of the area were protecting themselves from a group of hostile Indians.
Today, many visitors visit the area to see the Dinosaur National Monument, a national monument established to protect a major quarry and the surrounding area. In the city of Vernal visitors can see the remarkable Utah Field House of Natural History State Park with indoor and outdoor exhibits. Uintah County provides many scenic drives, such as the Red Cloud/Dry Fork Scenic Backway that provides beautiful vistas, early rock art, and forest views. Nearby Fantasy Canyon provides the visitor a look at rock formations that you’re sure you’ve seen before in storybooks. Two state parks in the county, Red Fleet and Steinaker State Park, help provide water and recreation throughout the year.
In 1914 the legislature created Duchesne County from part of Wasatch County. The county became official with the coming of the new year-1915.
The state’s highest mountain, Kings Peak (13,528 feet), is located in the county’s Uinta Mountains. Major streams running through the county include the Strawberry, Duchesne, Lake Fork, and Yellowstone rivers.
The settlement of Duchesne County is unique in Utah history, for unlike much of the state, it did not occur under the direction of Brigham Young. Rather, it was settled by individuals who obtained 160 acres under the federal Homestead Act. Homesteaders were required to prove that they intended to farm the land.
After five years of living on the land, making improvements, and paying $1.25 per acre, homesteaders were given title to their homesteads.
With many high mountains and valleys, Wasatch County is never hurting for water. There are many forests, rivers, and natural hot springs dotting the area.
Wasatch County was a hunting ground for the Timpanogos Ute Indians who lived at Utah Lake. Fathers Escalante and Domingues came through the areain 1776 and went down what is known now as Spanish Fork Canyon. Fur trappers used the county for trapping in the 1820′s. The first settlers were sent here in 1859. Many of the families sent here were from Swiss backgrounds. One family had so much difficulty farming with the hot water springs that they eventually set up a resort now known as the Homestead. The railroad came to the valley in the 1900′s to transport the county’s sheep and also ore from the nearby Park City mines. Strawberry Reservoir was formed following the building of the Strawberry Dam in 1906. The dam helped irrigate Utah valley and helped pave the way for larger projects such as the Glen Canyon dam.
Recently, Wasatch county was visited by people from around the world. During the 2002 Winter Olympics Soldier Hollow hosted more than 15 events.
Heber City, the county seat, has become known for Swiss days and for The Heber Valley Historic Railroad (or “Heber Creeper”). The railroad provides many rides for visitors to get a feel for riding the rails. There are also many places to fish, hike, boat, and camp. Places such as Wasatch Mountain State Park, Jordanelle State Park, and Deer Creek State Park all provide water activities for people who want to go only a short drive from the big city.
Juab County’s name comes from the Ute word “yoab” meaning “thirsty plain” or “level plain.” This describes much of the County’s landscape, except for the Rocky Mountains found on the Eastern border of the county. While farming brought the early pioneers in 1851, precious metals found in 1869 made the area profitable (over $35 million) for mining through the 1950’s. The city of Nephi, originally named Salt Creek, became known as “Little Chicago” in the late 1900’s because of its many businesses on main street.
Today, visitors pass through Nephi while traveling on Interstate 15. Visitors can still see the farming areas to the west of the freeway and Salt Creek Canyon to the east. South of Nephi, you can find water recreation activities at Yuba Lake State Park. This reservoir was created by a dam which was named the U.B. Dam by the farmers who were forced to build it and later changed to Yuba. If visiting during the month of July be sure to catch the Ute Stampede Rodeo, one of “Utah’s largest celebrations.”
Sanpete County is in center of Utah. Mountains separate the county from Interstate-15, the state’s major North/South highway, which has distanced the county from major developments over the years. While early Freemont Indians and later the San Pitch Indians populated the area in peace, things changed in 1849 when Ute Chief Wakara invited the Mormon settlers to live in the Sanpete basin. In 1853 and 1854 Chief Wakara changed his mind about having the settlers in his area causing many of the settlers to move into neighboring forts for protection during the Walker War with Wakara’s people. The Black Hawk war of 1865-68 brought more conflicts between the Native Americans and the Mormon settlers.
Many of the Scandinavian immigrants were sent to Sanpete County. They built their homes similar to those found in Europe and set up small communities within specific language backgrounds like Spring Creek that became known as little Denmark. Sanpete’s location at Utah’s geographical heart or center masks its isolation. Much of the interstate and recreational traffic bypass it. None of the small, scattered towns has developed as a center of economic development.
Today, the Moroni Feed Company makes Sanpete County one of the top ten turkey-producing counties in the nation and probably helped provide your last turkey dinner. The Scandinavian influence is still felt each year in the county’s many festivals celebrating their European heritage.
In addition to the festivals, Spring City Historic district has many Scandinavian homes that are on the state and national historic registers.
The LDS temple, in Manti, can be seen from miles around. In June each year the annual Mormon Miracle Pageant, held on the side of temple hill, brings in over 100,000 visitors (almost 5 times the population of the whole county). The county has many areas for recreation such as fishing and hiking along with areas for off-road vehicles and snowmobiles. Palisade State Park which has camping, a golf course, and a reservoir,
also helps provide water for neighboring areas. Also in the area is Snow College, a two-year state college, which brings many students from the neighboring cities to Ephraim. One of the biggest off road, ATV trails is in this county called the Piute Trail. It is the most exciting ATV trail ride I have taken my family to in Utah! Also home to the famous High Unita Mountain range with some of the highest peaks in Northern America
Carbon County may be best known for coal mining and for dinosaur fossils. While there are examples of the early Fremont cultures, the area wasn’t very populated until the1880s. During this time the railroad companies, looking for a way to connect Denver and Salt Lake City, stumbled across the coal in the hills of Carbon County. Many coal companies set-up rail towns, mostly ghost towns today, and brought in workers from around the globe to mine and build railroad tracks. Price became the largest city in the county because of its proximity to the main roads and the rail lines. Today, Carbon County continues to mine coal. Also, a large Utah Power and Light power plant is located in the county, burning coal to produce steam which eventually produces power. Price, the county seat, has a large collection of dinosaur bones found in the Prehistoric Museum at the College of Eastern Utah.
Many of these bones were actually found in this county at the working Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry. Finally, another memorable archeological site in Carbon County is Nine Mile Canyon. Here a traveler can see more examples of early Native Americans with beautiful rock art as well as early settlers to the area.
Millard County is named after U.S. President Millard Fillmore as is the county seat, Fillmore. This county has had its place in Utah history as the intendedCapitol of the state. Visitors can still visit one wing of what was going to be the capitol. The Territorial Statehouse is the oldest government building in Utah.
It was used only twice by the territorial legislatures in 1855 and 1856. The legislature decided to move the capitol back to Salt Lake City when the legislature couldn’t find enough places to stay in Fillmore during the 1856 session.
During World War II the federal government forced 110,000 Japanese Americans to leave their homes on the West Coast and move to special camps. Crews threw up flimsy barracks on a dry, windy spot outside Delta, strung a tall barbed wire fence around it, and built guard towers around the edge. During the war 8,700 of these Japanese Americans were imprisoned here. During these years, Topaz, as the place was called, was by far the largest “city” in Millard. After the war, people in the county moved many of the barracks onto their farms to use for outbuildings and dwellings. Today only cement foundations remain on the site.
While driving in Millard County be sure to look for the many volcanoes. Since these cone shaped volcanoes are not active, visitors can go up close to them, climb on them, and see many hardened lava flows that came directly from them. Also, one can visit Cove Fort, built out of lava rocks, in the area. It has been
restored to represent what a fort on the early frontier may have looked like.
Sevier County has a harsh name and a history to go with it. The county has many evidences of early Fremont and Anasazi Indians living the area as much as 7,000 years ago. Escalante and Domingues visited the area in 1776 on their journey looking for a salt lake in the north. When the Mormon settlers came to the valley in 1864, they set up many cities that had to be abandoned during the Black Hawk War in 1867. After 1870 (and even today) the area began to find success in agriculture, for example farming and raising cattle. With the addition of the telegraph in 1872 and the railroad in 1896, the county was finally able to connect with the world as well as share the many products it produces. Sevier County lies in the High Plateau country of central Utah. Most of the towns lie near the Sevier River in an arid valley, which has been made fertile through irrigation. Mountain ranges border the valley: the Pahvant Range and Tushars on the
west and Wasatch and Fish Lake plateaus on the east. National forests cover almost half of the land.
The beautiful Fish Lake, high in the Fishlake Plateau, is the source of the Fremont River. A visit to Sevier
County wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Fish Lake. After a quiet and restful visit to Fish Lake you will leave the county wondering why they called the county Sevier. (Of course it was named after the Sevier River, a large and important river in the county.) One of Sevier County’s lesser known treasures is the Gooseberry ATV Trail system. The system is located just north and east of the Paiute Trail System and east of Salina, Utah and can be easily accessed off of exit 63 along Interstate 70.
Emery County can be found in the middle of the state of Utah and is about as square as they come, meaning the shape of the county of course. While visitors can see the evidences of dinosaurs at the Cleveland Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry, one of the largest dinosaur quarries in the world, the earliest human occupants of this land were the Desert Archaic People as well as the Fremont People. It was officially formed in 1894 and named for the former territorial Governor, George W. Emery. If you go there, it will be to see the goblins. Goblin Valley has many goblin shaped sandstone formations that are unique to this state park.
Also, if traveling through during the watermelon harvest season, you’ll want to stop in Green River and pick up a world famous watermelon.
Finally, the San Rafael Swell also has amazing land formations that are too often missed.
Arches National Park, found in the lower part of Grand county, is one of Utah’s most recognizable national parks, and includes Delicate Arch. Evidence, such as cliff houses and rock art, were left by the early Anasazi who may have lived in the area as early as 0 A.D. and left the region in the 1300′s either to get away from contentions with the nearby Navajo or to find more water during a drought. The town of Cisco, once a booming town for ranchers and mining, eventually became a ghost town when interstate I-70 come through the county without diverting 5 miles to connect to Cisco.
In 1855 the first Mormon settlement of Moab was a failure. Today Moab, Grand County’s most well known city, has grown in popularity for its nearby access to outdoor recreation such as mountain biking, hiking, four-wheeling, and a wet favorite–river adventures. While most people who live in Grand county live in
small farming communities, the county has thrived on tourism bringing people from all over the world to see some of Utah’s most awe inspiring sites.
When visiting Beaver County you will find another example of typical basin and range territory. Early Archaic Indians as well as the Dominguez – Escalante expedition (1776) and even early trappers Jedediah S. Smith (1826) and John C. Fremont (1844) all came through this area before
the county was created in 1856. Though a mining boom in the 1870’s put Beaver on the map, farming has sustained the area and is still the area’s major resource. People can still visit the old mining town of Frisco, now a ghost town. One unique feature of the area is the county’s geothermal power plant which uses natural steam from the ground and modern equipment to produce power.
Beaver County is probably best known for two famous people who originated here. One person more infamous than famous would be Robert Leroy Parker (a.k.a. Butch Cassidy) born in 1866. He is credited as having the longest run of successful bank and train robberies in the history of the American West. Someone probably more known today would be Philo T. Farnsworth who was born in 1906 in this county.
He contributed to the invention now known as television. After his death in 1971, he was honored in 1990 by placing Utah’s second statue in the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall entitled “Father of Television.”
Piute County was once home to both the Fremont Indians and, much later, the Piute Indians–the county’s name sake. Later, in 1864, the towns of Circleville and Junction were settled by Mormon pioneers. The area became a mining area in 1868 and was labeled the Gold Mountain district. Towns, such as Marysvale, were built during this time. Several mining products have come from this area including gold, zinc, alunite, and uranium. These products were very important during World Wars I and II and may be important in the future, since there still remains areas that could be mined.
Today the area provides many agricultural resources such as livestock and dairy cows. As in most areas, agriculture is limited by the amount of water available. Piute and Otter Creek reservoirs are available for water recreation. A couple of the famous sites in the area include the city ofKingston and the Parker Home – boyhood home of Butch Cassidy in the southern most part of the county.
Wayne County’s early residents were a diverse group of mammals. The sloth, horse, mammoth, and bison all have left evidence of their lives here within the county borders. There also is evidence of the Archaic and Fremont Native American cultures living here with sites that date as far back as 6300 B.C. and up to A.D. 450. The pioneer settlers didn’t make it into this remote area until the 1880’s. When the U.S. government had work programs to build roads and campgrounds, the area grew both in the number of residents and towns. The county courthouse in Loawas built with funds earned by residents of the county during the depression-era. Ranchers have also used the area for raising cattle. Today the total number of square miles (2,486) exceeds the number of people living in Wayne County (2,454 as of 2003). The state and federal governments run over 97% of the land. The county’s main attraction and income is tourism at Capitol Reef National Park. The park gives the visitor a chance to drive, hike, and camp among the large and unique rock formations found in the area.
Iron County was named for the mining of iron ore. The earliest pioneers to establish a city (Parowan) came in 1851. Yet, there are evidences, such as pithouses, of prehistoric Anasazi and Sevier people dating back to 750 A.D. The Dominguez-Escalante expedition also passed through in 1776, while looking for a route to California.
Today, the county is known nation wide for the Utah Shakespearean Festival which has won several national theater awards including a Tony award in the year 2000. For those who love nature’s wonders don’t miss Cedar Breaks National Monument and those interested in history can learn more at the Frontier Homestead State Park Museum. During the winter months, skiers will enjoy a visit to Brian Head Resort. Also in the area is
Southern Utah University (SUU) which began as a small teacher’s college but has grown into a large regional university with over 5,000 students.
Garfield County was named after the assassinated U.S. President James A. Garfield in 1882, but the history of this county goes back much further. Evidence of the prehistoric Anasazi Indian culture can be found in the Anasazi State Museum near the city of Boulder. The area has many natural resources (such vast rangelands and forests) that have provided a major industry since the time of the pioneers.
Now one of the county’s dominant industries is tourism, with Ruby’s Inn, Inc. as one of the county’s largest employers. Although there is an oilfield currently producing, most of the county’s energy making resources–including coal, tar sands, and uranium—have not been developed. There are many things to see in this
county with two National Parks including Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, and much more. Be sure to see the Hoodoos before leaving this area. Garfield County is a land of colorful variety: high mountain plateaus, steep mesas, cliffs, slickrock, rock formations, gorges, natural bridges and arches, canyons, dry foothills and desert expanses. The county stretches from the eastern edge of the Great Basin to the Colorado River.
SAN JUAN COUNTY
San Juan County is in the southern part of the Colorado Plateau region of Utah. The county was first home to the early Anasazi Basket Makersin 1300 A.D. and much later the DINE’ (Navajo) people who are still living in the area today. When the white man came to the area they made the“Hole in the Rock” trail on the way. As a means of income, the people in the area have tried farming, ranching, mining, and tourism with tourism as the most promising.
Lake Powell, on San Juan’s western border, has brought many visitors and is one of my favorite places in Utah. When people see pictures of San Juan County they might think, “I’ve seen this before.” Chances are they have. Places like Monument Valley are famous for their unique vistas and pinnacles of rock that have been filmed several times as parts of movies. Also in the area you can find Four Corners National Monument where a person can stand in four states at once, Rainbow Bridge boasting the largest natural arch in the world, and Canyonlands which provides beautiful canyon vistas without having to drive all the way to the Grand Canyon. The San Juan river has created many tall mesas such as Goosenecks State Park that leave the visitor wondering how many years it took to create it. Dinosaur enthusiasts will want to check out the Dinosaur Museum in Blanding, Utah. A visit to San Juan will not be forgotten.
Washington County’s characteristic red canyons and plateaus, along with warm winters have helped define the county. The area was originally inhabited by the early Archaic and Anasazi Indians and later by the Southern Paiutes. In 1854 Jacob Hamblin was sent by Brigham Young to work with the Native Americans
in the area and help establish a peaceful relationship between the Mormons and the Indians. In 1861 about 300 families, who were originally from America’s southern states, were sent by Brigham Young to the St. George area to grow products that work well in warm climates such as cotton, silk, and pecans. This is
when the area became known as “ Utah’s Dixie.” In the late 1860’s silver was found and the mining town of Silver Reef was established. The mine produced over 25 million dollars worth of ore before it was closed in 1901. Dixie College had its beginnings in the early 1910’s with only 42 students. The college has grown to over 7000 students in the year 2000.
Zion National Park was first established 1909 by a Presidential Executive order and was given the name Mukuntuweap National Monument. The name was changed to its current name in 1919 by Congress. Many tourists come to the area each year to see Zion National Park and similar surrounding areas, such as
Snow Canyon State Park. Tuacahn Center for the Arts provides a unique theatrical experience in a huge outdoor theater framed by the red rock canyons.
St. George has become home the World Senior Games held each October. Many residents of Washington County live here during the traditionally cold months of the year and return to their other homes during the hottest times of the year. A visit to St. George’s historic district gives the visitor a chance to see many restored homes and museums that help tell the history of the area.
There are several evidences that the Anasazi Indiama were in Kane county back in the 1200’s. While much of this evidence is tools, a home named the Defiance House still is found in the area. An early pioneer group, trying to find a shorter route from Iron County to San Juan County, created a site now know as “Hole in the Rock” by blasting rock to move people, cattle, and wagons from the top of a ridge way to the bottom of the Colorado River.
Both of these sites are found in the Glen Canyon.
Most of the county is covered by the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. When visiting Kane County you may recognize the area from the several movies that were filmed here, with some of the sets still standing. Today you find many visitors in Kanab, the county seat, probably on their way to Lake Powell, or the several other National Parks in the area.