Lake Cricket

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2018-12-03 07.01.00

Lake Cricket

Elevation 4,742

Late in the Autumn of 1897, a lone seagull flew south from the shores of Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake.  It landed on this shoreline.  The majestic white feathered bird carried in it’s mouth a large cricket.  A wondering fisherman by the name of William James Camp spotted the lonely fowl and named his favorite fishing hole Lake Cricket.  Although not identified on any known map, this secret fishery remained a pioneer favorite for many years.

This beautiful lake was nearly wiped out during the industrial revolution.  Richard Jay Bona, a committed conservationist, discovered the forgotten lake and dedicated his life to it’s preservation.  Saved and restored nearly 100 years ago to the day when a lonely seagull was seen regurgitating the last known cricket to die from the now famous Mormon cricket infestation.

Temple Square Hotel

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2016-07-02 13.21.19

Temple Square Hotel

The Temple Square Hotel, once located on this corner, opened to much fanfare in 1930. Designed by the firm of Ashton and Evans, the hotel was one of the finest in the city, featuring a private bath and built in radio in every room. A more intimate setting than the grand Hotel Utah up the street, it marked the city’s growth as a regional business center.

For decades, the Temple Square Hotel was a particularly popular venue for wedding celebrations. The hotel was renovated and renamed the Inn at Temple Square in 1990 and then demolished in 2006 to make way for the Promontory on South Temple.

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Murray Laundry

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Murray Laundry

Murray Laundry was a large-scale industrial laundry located at 4200 South State Street. It opened in 1910, and at its height employed hundreds of workers. It operated until 1977, at which point it fell into disuse. The site had nine artesian wells on location, and they built a tall water tower to store 240,000 gallons of water. The laundry served both commercial customers and families, and had both delivery routes and drive-in locations. The water tower still stands, as part of an apartment complex.

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The Fremont Indians

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2016-07-02 12.43.36

2016-07-02 12.43.19

The Fremont Indians

The Fremont culture, so named because the first site attributed to these people was discovered by archaeologists along the Fremont River in central Utah, was found throughout most of present day Utah, as well as in parts of Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada, and Colorado.  representing a shift in the economic strategies of native groups, the Fremont used farming, a new technology at the time, for some of their subsistence.  For thousands of years, the Native Americans living in the Utah area were hunter-gatherers, moving from place to place, extracting resources from the environment as they moved along.  Around 200 BC to 1 AD however, farming was introduced from the south.  It is not known whether the first Fremont were local groups who learned how to farm from their southern neighbors or actually southern residents who moved northward.

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A Remarkable Discovery

When TRAX light rail construction along South Temple Street near Third West uncovered bones in a backhoe trench on June 8th, 1998, archaeologists from the State Antiquities Section investigated and determined that an archaeological site had been encountered.  Excavation of the site by the Antiquities Section and the Office of Public Archaeology  at Brigham Young University revealed houses, storage areas, work areas and artifacts related to the ancient Fremont culture.  Occupied approximately 700 years ago, the site may represent the edge of a large village  where people fished, hunted, gathered wild plants, and farmed corn, beans and squash.  The archaeological endeavors at this and other sites have taught archaeologists much about the architecture, tools, and food of the Fremont people.  Their language, religion, stories or myths however, remain a mystery.  Perhaps taking a moment to learn a little about this ancient culture and reflect on the lives of those who dwelt on this land before will help us gain a greater understanding of ourselves and our own relationship to this land.

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The South Temple Site

As farmers, the Fremont left much different archaeological remains than the hunter-gatherers before them.  They moved around, but also built more permanent architecture such as pit houses and other features associated with longer-term occupation.

The South Temple discovery is one of the few Fremont sites in the Salt Lake area that has been excavated.  Development such as farming and construction have destroyed many sites.  Evidence gathered from other sites located near the shores of the Great Salt Lake shows that this area was heavily populated 1000 years ago.  The Fremont probably used this area for extracting important resources such as waterfowl and other marsh animals, gathering wild plants and fruit, and processing those resources for use.  There is evidence at the site of trade with Fremont groups in the Southern San Rafael area and possibly with groups in what is now southern Idaho and southwestern Utah.

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Archaeological Significance

The Fremont lived throughout this region for over one thousand years.  After around 1300 or 1350 AD, however, all archaeological evidence of the Fremont disappears.  The Numic groups, ancestors of the Ute, Goshute, and other modern tribes, began to appear at this time.

With the exception of a similar site approximately three blocks south of the South Temple site that was dug several years ago, no other major Fremont villages have ever been excavated in the Salt Lake Valley.  This is primarily due to the early and intensive land development by pioneers which covered, destroyed, or otherwise masked the Fremont site locations.   The South Temple discovery promises to be a major piece of the Fremont puzzle, adding to our limited knowledge of this ancient culture.

 

East Millcreek, Utah

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East Millcreek, Utah

The historic name of the area is “East Mill Creek”, as three distinct words. Although the variant “East Millcreek” currently is widely used, the community council and several other local entities retain the original usage.

East Mill Creek was settled in 1848. Its name derives because it was along the more eastern creek in the valley with a mill.