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The settlement of the area later known as Sugar House began in 1848; the year after the Mormon (LDS or Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints) pioneers entered the Salt Lake valley in 1847. Sugar House is
four and a half miles southeast of the downtown area of Salt Lake City and located on land that was initially set apart for agricultural use in what was known as the “Big Field Survey.” Unlike most other early Utah Mormon
communities, Sugar House was not a planned town but a settlement that grew in response to industrial and later transportation needs and opportunities. It was initially known as Canyon (or Kanyon) Creek from the stream that came through the area from the canyon directly to the east. 10 The creek was important in the development of Sugar House as it provided water for early settlement and agriculture and later powered the early mill-related industries. Sugar House developed as an early industrial center based on the waterpower of Parley’s Creek that was used to power the machinery in the mills.

Transportation connections were important in the early growth of the Sugar House business district. Residential development followed the streetcar tracks, particularly in the southeast section in the 1890s. Streetcar access made it possible to live in the outlying areas and get rapidly to and from work in downtown Salt Lake City. Railroad connections helped the commercial center expand by directing passengers and freight through Sugar House. The Jordan and Salt Lake City Canal, begun in 1864 to use as a method of getting granite blocks from Little Cottonwood Canyon to the Salt Lake Temple, passes through Sugar House and crosses Parley’s Creek at
the end of the Sugar House Plaza at 1100 East and 2100 South. The commercial center grew up where it did because of natural and manmade features that are no longer visible. The railroad and streetcar tracks have been removed and the canal and the creek are below ground in the commercial center. The major street in Sugar House, 2100 South, was part of the nation-spanning Lincoln Highway and later interstate U.S. 40. It was a
major east-west road across the United States and routed traffic through the Sugar House business district.

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