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B&K Tannery

SUP Marker #4-B, located at the S.U.P. Building – see other S.U.P. Markers here.

The B & K Tannery, also known as the Big Kanyon Tannery, was established in 1852 near this site by Brigham Young, Feramorz Little and John Winder. The area was first called Canyon Creek; then Big Kanyon, and later Parley’s Canyon. By 1862, the Tannery was producing good quality leather, using agents such as oak bark and coal oil in the process.

A small settlement was built nearby to accommodate the tannery workers, which included a school for the children of the manager and the workmen.

The use of coal oil created a softness in the leather that brought exhibitors three out of five of the first prizes in the Territorial Fair of 1862. Leather from this Tannery was used in the shoe shop Brigham Young established on his own premises.

Two things led to the demise of the tannery; the scarcity of the native bark needed for tanning, and the fact that the newly installed railroad brought in leather which was cheaper than could be manufactured here.

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