Early years: the Mormons lay the foundations

While the Utes and other native peoples passed through the Salt Lake area, early white travelers found no one living in the Salt Lake Valley in the 19th century. This made it a perfect place for Brigham Young’s Mormon settlers who arrived in July of 1847, seeking a refuge from the hostility they experienced in the Midwest. The pioneers were holding worship services almost immediately upon their arrival, and Young identified the site of a future Temple on July 28, just four days after his arrival. As the city grew, it was divided into various “wards,” or areas for individual LDS congregations, and each would have a meeting house. The Temple itself was dedicated in 1893. Today, only a few 19th century meeting houses are still standing, most being replaced by newer structures.

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