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

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

Pre-European Settlement, Crossroads, and the Idea of Home

Salt Lake West Side Stories: Post Fourby Brad Westwood American Indians lived in what is now Salt Lake’s west side. After Europeans began to colonize North, South, and Central America, the Great Basin became a site where many different people and nationalities claimed ownership. In this post, we will consider how the Native Americans of the Salt Lake Valley interacted …

The Old Pioneer Fort’s First and Second Years

Salt Lake West Side Stories: Post Sixby Brad Westwood Above photo caption: Kirk Henrichsen’s birds’ eye sketch of the Fort on the Great Salt Lake, circa 1849, extending from 300 to 400 West and 250 South to 600 South. Henrichsen’s drawings included log and adobe cabins, gateways, hundreds of wagons used for cooking and sleeping (inside, under and around), the …

Salt Lake City loses its “Dirtiest City” status, the West Side, Public Health, and the City’s Only Surviving Pioneer Square

Salt Lake West Side Stories: Post Fourteenby Brad Westwood It is no surprise that in terms of public health, sanitary reform, and civic improvements, local and state leaders neglected Salt Lake’s ethnically diverse and industrial west side. The west side sits along the floodplain of the Jordan River and the southern end of City Creek’s alluvial deposit. At the same …

Twentieth-Century Changes to Salt Lake City’s Original West Side.

Salt Lake West Side Stories: Post Thirty-Oneby Brad Westwood Top photograph: The Crossroads Cafe, Hotel Utah Motor Lodge, 45 No. West Temple, circa 1962. Courtesy of the University of Utah, Special Collections. Over the years, the Pioneer Park neighborhood has undergone significant changes as people and industries moved in and out of the area. In the twentieth century the changes …

Latino/as and the West Side: Part Two

Salt Lake West Side Stories: Post Twenty-NineBy Brad Westwood, Cassandra Clark and Catherine Aviles The image above is of four Mexican railroad workers, circa 1915-1920, presumably somewhere in Utah. Courtesy of the Helen Z. Papanikolas People of Utah (1976) Collection, Utah State Historical Society. Latino/as who lived in twentieth-century Utah faced discrimination and unstable employment options that negatively affected their …

Brokers of Human Capital

Salt Lake Westside Stories: Post Nineteenby Brad Westwood Many early American immigrants first heard about Utah and the American West from steamship and labor agents whose work was similar to modern-day employment recruiters. The steamship and labor agents attracted laborers by offering to pay for their transportation costs. In return, laborers signed a contract that required that they pay a …

The Progressive Era, the Making of a Proper Park, and the “Stockades”

Salt Lake West Side Stories: Post Fifteenby Brad Westwood and Cassandra Clark The Progressive Era spanned from 1890 to roughly 1920 and was a time of reform and social activism.  Progressives were mainly white, Protestant, and members of a growing “new” middle class, who earned their wealth as a result of America’s rapid post Civil War industrialization. By the end …

Continued Transformations: Industrialization and Salt Lake City’s West Side

Salt Lake West Side Stories: Post Thirteenby Brad Westwood Salt Lake City’s west side underwent massive and constant changes during the last quarter of the nineteenth century.  What began as a fort where Mormon pioneers sought shelter, transformed into a transportation, industrial and manufacturing hub, and by the late nineteenth century experienced dramatic social and environmental consequences as a result. …

Late Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Developments

Salt Lake West Side Stories: Post Twelveby Brad Westwood Salt Lake City’s west side was the location of businesses, homes, tenement houses, hotels, transportation hubs, government buildings, schools, and early non-Mormon religious communities. The Salt Lake County Courthouse was built a block north of the park on 156 West and Second South. The county constructed the jail right next to …

The Pioneer Park Neighborhood’s Warehouse District and a Visit From the Liberty Bell

Salt Lake West Side Stories: Post Elevenby Brad Westwood The Pioneer Park neighborhood underwent several changes related to post-Civil War industrialization. In the late nineteenth century, the Pioneer Park neighborhood became Salt Lake City’s first warehouse district. Today there are several warehouses that date back to the 1890s. For example, the W.S. Henderson Block that spans from 379 West and …

Salt Lake as an Early Industrial City and the Beginning of the Relief Society Halls

Salt Lake West Side Stories: Post Tenby Brad Westwood Not long after the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints entered the Salt Lake Valley, Brigham Young and members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles instructed Henry G. Sherwood and Orson Pratt, to design an ideal agrarian-based city. Young’s ultimate goal was to create a city …