Agriculture (HM2BL5)

Location: Cottonwood Heights, UT 84121 Salt Lake County
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Country: United States of America
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N 40° 37.839', W 111° 48.298'

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Big Cottonwood Canyon Trail

During their first 20-plus years in the Salt Lake Valley, people who settled this area did so at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon. They depended on the sawmills and later the mines as a means of support. Following the joining of the Transcontinental Railroad in 1869, people in the area were able to obtain land grants through the "Homestead Act." Andrew Hansen Sr. obtained a land grant for 160 acres in the area that would become known as "Danish Town." Several African Americans obtained land grants in the western section of our city. Others obtained grants on the Butler Bench. Without water, farming was difficult as the soil was very sandy and gravelly and had to be cleared of sagebrush and scrub oak. Many of the first farmers did not stay long and sold their property to others. The first crops were dry-farm crops of grains, hay, and alfalfa.

Water was needed to make farming viable, so irrigation companies were formed and ditches were dug. The McGhie Ditch was among those taking water from Big Cottonwood Creek and provided water for people living along 2300 East. Butler Ditch supplied water to those living north of Bengal Boulevard along 3500 East. The Brown and Sanford Irrigation Company supplied water to the majority of people in the Butlerville area. The Big Willow Irrigation Company, incorporated

in 1900, took its water from Little Willow Creek. The Big Willow Irrigation Company is still in operation today, providing water to the residents along Wasatch Boulevard, Danish Road, and the Memorial Estates Cemetery. Those taking water out of Little Cottonwood Creek were the Union and East Jordan Irrigation Company and the Van Valkenberg Ditch. The former is still in operation today.

With access to irrigation water, farmers were able to grow truck-garden crops. Peas were a big crop and, for a time, the area had two pea viners, though one of them closed during the depression. During the 1930s, farmers began replacing their truck-garden crops with fruit orchards, and the area became known for its fine fruit. People came from all over the valley to buy fruit from this area. About 1934, Alma Farnsworth moved into the area and established a large fox farm. In the early 1940s, the Erekson brothers established a large fur farm across from Butler Middle School and employed several of the young men in the area who, in turn, started their own fur farms. Fur farming soon became the main source of second income for people in the area, replacing fruit farming. A large egg business and a large turkey farm were also started in the area. About 1953, development of the community and building of subdivisions began, bringing agriculture and fur farming to an end.
HM NumberHM2BL5
Placed By 2013 by Cottonwood Heights Historic Committee
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, September 22nd, 2018 at 11:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)12T E 431924 N 4498068
Decimal Degrees40.63065000, -111.80496667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 37.839', W 111° 48.298'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 37' 50.34" N, 111° 48' 17.88" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)801, 435
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 3148 Old Mill Cir, Cottonwood Heights UT 84121, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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