County of Salt Lake City Utah
Area: 764 square miles
County Seat: Salt Lake City (also the state capital)
Where it got its name: named for the Great Salt Lake
Main cities and towns: Salt Lake City, West Valley City, Sandy, West Jordan, Murray
Economy: government, trade, manufacturing, services, transportation and communications, finance, mining, construction, tourism, agriculture
Interesting places: State Capitol, Temple Square, Beehive House, This is the Place Heritage Park, Cathedral of the Madeleine, Utah Museum of Natural History, Fort Douglas, Hogle Zoo, Liberty Park, Wheeler Historic Farm, Kennecott Copper Mine, LDS Church Museum of History and Art, Salt Lake Art Center, Rio Grande Depot, University of Utah, and canyons and ski resorts
Salt Lake City and County building in 2002. Photo by Chris Lewis.
- Pollution in Salt Lake City was so bad in the early 20th century that the city created a Smoke Department to strictly control polluters.
- People loved to have fun at Saltair Resort, on the Great Salt Lake. They went out on a train and danced, swam, and picnicked there.
- A huge copper pit mine “ate” the town of Bingham in the early 1970s.
- In 1983 City Creek flooded and State Street became a temporary “river.”
- SLC hosted the Winter Olympic Games in 2002.
What the land is like
The fertile Salt Lake Valley lies between the Wasatch Mountains on the east, with their steep mountains and deep canyons, and the Oquirrh Mountains on the west. When the settlers first arrived, grass grew luxuriantly in the valley, and streams from the canyons flowed through the valley to the Jordan River. The Jordan flows north into the Great Salt Lake.
The Wasatch Fault runs along the mountains to the east. Geologists say that the fault will shift sometime, and when it does it will cause a major earthquake.
A bit of prehistory
A kid sledding on a hill in Salt Lake City (date unknown).
For centuries, prehistoric Indians and the historic Northern Shoshone and Ute Indians used the area for hunting, fishing, and gathering seasonal foods.
Near the state prison, groups of Archaic people camped along the Jordan River. Archaeologists investigating that campsite have learned more about the lives of these people.
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