The Crosby Memorial Presbyterian Church and School of Salina
Erected in 1884 as a memorial to Helen Rutgers Crosby of New York City, this church and school was one of several Presbyterian Churches built in central Utah’s Sanpete and Sevier valleys under the direction of Reverend Duncan McMillan, Presbyterian Mission Superintendent in Utah from 1875 to 1917. The chapel has been renovated by Mr. and Mrs. Thomas W. Carter, in memory of Mrs. Carter’s mother, Mrs. Florence Mathew Gordon.
Located at 204 South 100 East in Salina, Utah
The first settler in the Venice area was Francis George Wall, an early resident of Glenwood. In 1875, Wall bought an 80-acre tract of land, then called the Cove River Ranch, on the south side of the Sevier River. He built a cabin and moved his family from Manti. As other settlers moved in, the settlement was named “Wallsville”.
One of the most important structures in town was the bridge across the Sevier River. The first such bridge was built as early as 1885. A log meetinghouse was built in Wallsville in 1887, and used for both school and church meetings. A post office was established in the local general store in 1894, and in 1900, a ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized. Residents voted to rename their community “Venice”.
In 1900, a white brick schoolhouse was built. This school operated until 1924, when the school district built a new building in Venice, and the old building was sold to the LDS Church. This building, with numerous additions over the years, served as the ward meetinghouse until it was torn down in 1984. The school was closed in 1950, but still stands as a Venice landmark.
The Marysvale Branch of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad was formerly the most important transportation corridor in the area. It ran through the northwestern corner of Venice, transporting farm products as well as passengers. The railroad line was closed down after the 1983 landslide at Thistle.
- CCC Camp
- Crosby Memorial Presbyterian Church and School
- Mom’s Cafe
- NS on the hill
- Old Rock Church
- Outbreak of Black Hawk War
- Salina Fort and Tithing Office
- Salina Henry George Sign
- Salina Indian Chief Statue
- Salina posts sorted by address
The first permanent settlers (about 30 families) moved into the area in 1864 at the direction of leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They found abundant salt deposits nearby so they named the area “Salina”.
In 1866 troubles with Indians who used the area as their hunting ground the Black Hawk War forced the white settlers to retreat to the Manti area. They returned to Salina in 1871, organized a militia, and constructed a fort and buildings for a school and a church. At that time they discovered coal deposits in “almost inexhaustible quantities” in the canyon east of the settlement.
A creek north of the settlement was tapped to provide water for irrigation, domestic purposes, and to power various enterprises such as sawmills, grist mills, salt refineries and generation of electricity. The Sevier River was tapped in 1874, and by 1908 the area west of the settlement was being fully cultivated.
In June 1891 the settlement was connected to the state’s railroad system, and that year the central area was incorporated as a town. It soon became the shipping terminal between the area settlements and the rest of the state. In 1913 the town was re-incorporated as a city.
During World War II, Salina contained a POW camp, housing 250 German prisoners both of the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS. On the night of July 8, 1945, Private Clarence Bertucci climbed one of the guard towers and took aim at the tents where the prisoners were sleeping. He fired 250 rounds from a light machine gun and managed to hit some thirty tents in his fifteen-second rampage. By the time a corporal managed to disarm Bertucci, six prisoners were dead and an additional twenty-two were wounded (three would later die of their wounds).
This incident was called the Salina Massacre. Bertucci, who was from New Orleans, was declared insane and spent the remainder of his life in an institution.
During the winter of 1864 a small band of Indians near Gunnison contracted smallpox and blamed the settlers. In April 1865 the Utes and Whites met at Manti to solve the difficulties but failed. Elijah B. Ward and James P. Anderson were killed by Indians in this canyon while hunting for lost cattle. A pursuing party under Col. Allred outnumbered by the Utes was driven back. Next day the Indians raided Salina and took most of the cattle. Settlers were driven out. War fare (sic) under Chief Black Hawk continued spreading over Southern Utah, until 1871, when peace was restored and the settlers returned to Salina.
Erection of the first L.D.S. Church in Salina was commenced in 1864 when rocks were hauled from a quarry two miles away. Soren Neilson, a stonecutter, supervised the work. When the structure was built to the square, the people used it as a fort. Because of the Black Hawk War the building was not completed until 1871. One large room, 64 x 32 feet was later divided. It served the community for church, school and other gatherings. This bell atop the monument called the people together on every occasion.
Salina Fort & Tithing Office
Work on the Fort began in 1865. The Fort was 214 feet square, on ground purchased from Christian Sorenson. The walls were 10 feet high, and two feet thick with bastions 10 feet square at the four corners with port holes in walls and bastions. Inside of the Fort a one room brick building erected by Jens Jensen, was used for many years as tithing office, and is now the Relic Hall of Old Fort Camp. The enclosure was large enough to shelter all families. Stone used was taken from the old quarry northeast of Salina.
I like Aurora, I have only stopped there a few times and many others I have seen it as a welcome sight that I was almost to Richfield or Salina. Wikipedia says there are 947 people there.
Following is the text of a DUP Marker I found there:
While riding through the Aurora valley, George T. Holdaway, J. Alma Holdaway and Elliott Newell of Provo, Utah, noticed fertile soil and an abundance of water and decided to begin a settlement here. They traveled home and encouraged others to join them. On March 25, 1875, they returned with Franklin Hill, Ezra H. Curtis, his sons, and wife, Julia. Julia, the only woman in the area for six months, lived in a wagon box until a log cabin was built for her. Soon others came to build homes and farm the land. They named their community “Willow Bend.”
In 1879 the settlers bought a small canal that had been dug by Dr. Coons and Sons. It was enlarged, providing more water for their crops. Later, two more canals were dug. The gave the valley a good water supply and fulfilled a prophecy that the valley would be farmed from mountain to mountain. Drinking water from the river and canals caused many to develop typhoid fever, so all water was boiled until wells could be dug.
In 1879 a one-room log schoolhouse was built and used for both church and community activities. Maggie Keller was the first school teacher. Ernest Shepherd opened the first store in one room of his house. He played his violin for dances. Sidney Curtis and Andrew Anderson often played their accordions. A co-op was built in 1884. Another store, owned by John Larsen, was bought by C.C. Christensen and moved into town; it later became the post office.
When the community applied to the government for a post office the name “Willow Bend” was changed, Numan Van Louvan, the first postmaster, suggested the name Aurora, after the Northern Lights.