The Legacy of Salt Lake City’s Pioneer Fort

Salt Lake West Side Stores: Post Sevenby Brad Westwood Above photo caption: Utah’s Hall of Relics, built as a small Parthenon replica. Note above the pediment is a smaller relica of Ralph Ramsey’s flying eagle sculpture (the original atop Brigham Young’s Eagle Gate). The hall, constructed of plaster and jute fiber over a wooden frame, was built for the 1897 …

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 drawing including log and adobe cabins, gateways, hundreds of wagons used for cooking and sleeping (inside, under and around), the …

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

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

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

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

Proposed Uses of the Park and Urban Renewal

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

Economic Immigrant Communities’ Impact on Salt Lake City

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

Salt Lake City’s LGBTQ+ Communities and the Pioneer Park Neighborhood

Salt Lake West Side Stories: Post Thirty-Twoby Brad Westwood Although the LGBTQ+ community had many prior informal political and social gathering spots elsewhere in Salt Lake City, a number of bars and taverns located in the Pioneer Park neighborhood served as gathering spaces for Salt Lake City’s emerging LGBTQ+ communities. In 1970, just one year after New York City’s Stonewall …

African Americans and Salt Lake’s West Side: Part One

Salt Lake West Side Stores: Post Twenty-FourBy Brad Westwood and Cassandra Clark The west side was the beginning place for Salt Lake City’s vibrant African American community. Besides the known pre-settlement travelers, African Americans entered the Salt Lake Valley in the mid-1800s as both enslaved and free individuals. African Americans settlers were some of the first inhabitants of Mormon settlements …

African Americans and Salt Lake City’s West Side: Part Two

Salt Lake West Side Stories: Post Twenty-fiveBy Brad Westwood and Cassandra Clark African Americans contributed to Utah’s religious, social, and cultural heritage. Despite the severe obstacles they faced, African Americans living in the West Side established churches, obtained employment, owned businesses, and served the citizens of their state and nation by serving in the armed forces. Many African American Utahns …

Introducing Salt Lake West Side Stories

Salt Lake West Side Stories: Post OneBy Brad Westwood Welcome to this serialized and illustrated history of the Salt Lake City’s old west side. This blog consists of over thirty posts and scores of images, all presented on-line to tell the story of a very unique area of downtown Salt Lake City. This series consists of short, quick-to-read segments. Expect …