… that the real and physical obstacles to occupying a region that was so unpromising appeared more than sufficient to discourage even the most sanguine of imaginations and to really appall the stoutest of hearts…
… our minds are filled with wonder when we witness the enormous results that have been accomplished within such a short period of time, and from a beginning that appeared so insignificant…
Clara Decker Young (wife of Brigham Young) said:
…. When my husband Brigham told me ‘This is the place’, I started to cry, for this place seemed to be one of the most desolate places in the entire world…
The region that we now know as Utah got settled just because nobody else wanted it. The region started to blossom soon after an unusual people, the Mormons, dedicated their attention to it. Utah is a typical ‘desert’ land where seagulls and pelicans swarm, and where faithful people were erecting a monument to honor a bird.
Its broad expansive landscape provides some of America’s most spectacular and unique natural rock formations. The state’s capital, Salt Lake City, is the nation’s smallest city to boast one of the best-ranked symphonic orchestras, phenomenal opera houses, and a top-rated dance company.
The fascinating land of Utah is described as “outrageous, wonderful, mysterious, and strange.
Quick Facts about Utah
– Bear River is North America’s longest river to not reach the sea.
– Great Salt Lake is America’s largest salt lake.
– Utah’s Unitas is America’s only major mountain range to run east-west.
– Rainbow Ridge is the world’s largest and highest natural Arch.
– Utah boasts over 210 useful minerals.
– The state is the world’s biggest center of genealogical research.
Utah brief history
In 1776 Francisco Atanasio Dominguez and Silvestre Velez de Escalante, two Catholic priests passed through this region, and until then, hardly anything was known about the area. They were searching for a route to get to California, and they left the region at Utah’s Padre Creek to be followed by many Spanish expeditions on the padres’ route to the California region.
During the winter of 1824-25, Jim Bridger, the first explorer from Europe, arrived in the area at Great Salt Lake’s shores, and he reported about the most terrible winter that was ‘freezing’ all buffalo around.
During the next year, in 1826, Sublette and Jackson set up their fur business in the area, and Jebediah Strong Smith, a famed frontiersman, started to explore the region more profoundly.
A sort of ‘rendezvous’ of trappers and fur traders was set up in 1826 at a site close to present-day Ogden, and as this became an annual event, the gatherings in the wildland turned in to carnival-like happenings in a great atmosphere, with lots of singing, games, storytelling, races, and many other contests.
John C. Fremont and his group then made the area much better-known thanks to their exploring expeditions in 1843, 44, 45, and later one in 1854. Fremont ventured to cross Utah’s central Salt Desert in 1845 when he was guided by Kit Carson.
The first European settlement in the region of Utah was actually Fort Buenaventura, built by Miles Goodyear in 1844-45, which was to become the city of Ogden.
In 1847, on July 24th, the first men and women of the ‘Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints’, the Mormons, had reached their ‘Promised Land’ after they had been driven from their prosperous settlements in the eastern portions of the nation.
The leader of the Mormons, Brigham Young, was looking out from a hilltop over the region that is now Salt Lake City, and he said ‘This is our place’ as it was a region so remote and forlorn that he expected to never again be driven out.