Kanyon Creek Mill
1852 – 1900
Kanyon Creek Mill, also known as Brigham Young’s Upper Mill and as the Young-Little Mill, occupied a site where the Country Club Golf Course now is located. It was located almost a mile west of here in the gully below. It was the first, the biggest, and the most valuable of the two flour mills that Brigham Young partly owned and invested in during the first ten years that he and his people colonized the Salt Lake Valley.
Kanyon Creek Mill was a large mill for its time. It was two and one-half stories high and constructed of adobe. It was started in 1849 and completed in 1852. It was owned and built by Brigham Young and Feramorz Little, each of whom owned a one-half interest. Iron initials of each owner, B.Y. and F.L., were fastened to the wall braces that held the ends together.
It was powered by a large water wheel on the northeast corner. Water to power the wheel came through a mill race which began at Parley’s Creek one mile east of the Mill.
It was used as a flour mill for several years, then as a cotton mill, and later as a woolen mill. The woolen mill required an additional building to process the wool. The building was constructed of lumber and was used for sorting, cleaning and dying the wool. The wool was separated according to length and color and cleaned of burrs, sticks and other impurities. The wool was then dyed in large vats that were heated by a large brick furnace in the cellar. The factory had three sets of cards, twelve looms and used girls and women for labor. An expert could tend three looms and earn three dollars a week.
During the smallpox epidemic of 1900, the old Brigham Young Mill was used as a pest house. There were many protests because the creek which ran past it was a major source of culinary water for the city. No one moved the pest house, but one morning the old mill was found mysteriously burned to ruins.