Salt Lake City Panorama Showing the Salt Lake Temple and Wasatch Mountain Range


This panoramic bird’s-eye photograph from 1910 shows the Salt Lake Temple and a portion of Temple Square in the foreground, surrounded by a wall, and other parts of Salt Lake City and the Wasatch Range of the Rocky Mountains in the background. The Salt Lake Temple was built on a site identified by Brigham Young (1801‒77), an early Mormon leader, who led the group’s migration westward to land in present-day Utah that he called Deseret. In 1851 Young became the first governor of the territory of Utah. The temple was consecrated in 1893, after 40 years of construction. The famous Salt Lake Tabernacle, completed in 1867, is the oblong-domed structure that can be seen just beyond the temple. The Gothic-style Assembly Hall, built by 1882, can be seen to the upper left. The Brigham Young Monument, built for the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893 and thereafter relocated to Salt Lake City, can be seen in the lower-left foreground of the photograph. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as the Mormons) was established in 1830 in New York by Joseph Smith, Junior (1805‒44), based on a revelation that Smith claimed to have received from God and Christ. With his followers, Smith fled angry opponents, first to Ohio, then to Missouri, and finally to Illinois, where in 1844 mobs killed Smith and his brother. To escape this persecution, the Mormons decided to move again, this time to the Far West. When the Mormons arrived in Salt Lake Valley in 1847, they became the first permanent white settlers in the Great Basin. Relations with other colonists and the federal government remained volatile for decades, but the Mormons quickly built model colonies based on productive farms and self-reliant communities. These colonies attracted a continual flow of migrants, and Salt Lake City became the Mormon capital and an important freighting and transportation hub of the West.

Last updated: January 27, 2016