Preserve America Community:
Brigham City, Utah
Brigham City, Utah (population 18,400) is located at the western terminus of Box Elder Canyon north of Salt Lake City. Mormon pioneer William Davis first explored the area in 1850, returning with his family and others a year later to create permanent homes. Brigham Young directed Lorenzo Snow to create a self-sufficient city there in 1853, which became known as Box Elder. Brigham Young gave his last public sermon there in 1877 and the town was renamed in his memory. The cooperative movement began in earnest with the creation of a mercantile co-op store here in 1864, with other industries following. The Brigham City Co-op is widely recognized as the most successful of the Mormon Co-op ventures, lasting until 1895.
During World War II the Federal government created Bushnell General Hospital to treat wounded soldiers, bringing an economic boom to the area. After the war and through 1984, the hospital's buildings housed the Intermountain Indian School. Some remaining hospital buildings have been converted into businesses and housing.
An annual Heritage Arts Festival in historic downtown Brigham City features a different period each year. It includes demonstrations of skilled handiwork necessary to the early success of the community, display of the Compton photography collection documenting three generations of early community history, period games for children, music, dance, and lectures. The city also hosts “Peach Days,” the longest continuous harvest festival in Utah and the second oldest in the United States.
Brigham City is the gateway to the Golden Spike National Historic Site, and participates in the Bear River Heritage Area, which promotes heritage tourism in three Utah and four Idaho counties. Visitors can use a Heritage Area Guide or the Brigham City Historic Tour Guide, which describes many interesting landmarks, including historic mills, public buildings, and businesses.
For more information
Brigham City: www.brighamcity.utah.gov
Posted May 14, 2009