In bright and beautiful color, see some of the most beautiful sights in and around Utah’s Salt Lake City in 1900 – including the Mormon Temple, the Tabernacle, the Salt Palace, and the impressive Victorian Saltair Pavilion!
Color scenes of Old Salt Lake City in 1900

The late Colonel John Cockerell, in the Cosmopolitan, said, “There are three unique cities in America, and one of these is Salt Lake City. It is not only unique in its temple, tabernacle and Mormon church institutions, but quaint in appearance, with its wide streets, immense blocks, and martial rows of shade trees.”

It has, perhaps, more attractions to the square yard than any city in the country, and its climate, while temperate all the year round, is particularly delightful in summer. The Great Salt Lake, with its magnificent Saltair resort, where the water is “deader and denser” than that in the Dead Sea in Palestine, an attraction in itself that people come when to see.

There are many cool mountain and lake resorts nearby, numerous very pretty canyon trips, parks, drive, hot and warm sulfur springs, and fishing and hunting in every direction.

The trip from Denver to Salt Lake City and Ogden by the Rio Grands Western railway, in connection with either the Colorado Midland or Denver & Rio Grande railroads, is one of unsurpassed pleasure. Here, nature is found in her sternest mood, and the whole line is a succession of rugged canyons, waterfalls and picturesque valleys.

No European trip can compare with it in grandeur of scenery.

Eagle Gate - Salt Lake City c1900


Beside the Temple, Salt Lake City

After a pleasant hour’s ride down a green valley, bordered on the east by a spur of the Wahsatch mountains, and on the west by the shoreline of the Great Salt Lake and the mountains beyond, we reached the Mecca of the Latter Day Saints — Salt Lake City.

As we approached the city, we could see, towering far above the buildings, a glittering golden angel — the Angel Moroni — with trumpet ready to sound the blast that shall call the faithful to their reward.

Under this beautiful image we knew was the celebrated Mormon Temple. Having only two hours stay in the city, we immediately took a car to the temple. In the middle of the main street approaching the temple stands a large statue of Brigham Young. The statue is much larger than life-size, and in bronze on a granite pedestal about twelve feet high. On each side at the base are historical scenes in Mormon history — all in bronze.

Passing this monument to the memory of the greatest Mormon leader, one sees on his left a high wall of stone, which encircles three sides of the temple. At the gate, one reads that visitors are not al owed to enter the temple, but may visit the tabernacle, which is located in the rear of the sacred building.

While the temple does not appear large at first glance, as you walk around it the immensity becomes apparent, and you begin to wonder at the industry of the people who built it. Just forty years were occupied in its construction. The interior of this building is open only to the members of the church of Latter Day Saints, so we did not enter.

Beside the Temple, Salt Lake City in 1900


Utah’s famous Salt Palace, Salt Lake City in 1900

One of the most popular places of summer amusement in the western country is the famous Utah Salt Palace located in Salt Lake City. It has been in existence but a few seasons. During that time, however, it has secured a strong hold upon the people.

Connected with its immense indoor bicycle track, which, during the semi-weekly meets, attracts tremendous crowds, and where numerous world’s words have been broken, not a few of them by Salt Lake wheelmen. The management also conducts regular theatrical and vaudeville performances. The surroundings are exceedingly picturesque and the grounds well-kept.

Salt Palace, Salt Lake City in 1900


The Tabernacle – Salt Lake City in 1900

We did enter the Tabernacle, and marveled at the wonderful acoustic properties of its auditorium. As we stood at one end of the massive room, a man two hundred feet away whispered to us and then dropped a common pin on the railing, both of which we heard distinctly.

As we passed out of this strange tortoise-shaped building we purchased a book printed by the church, the title of which is: “Pictures and Biographies of Brigham Young and his Wives” — and he had only twenty-six, by the way.

After strolling around and trying vainly to estimate the number of rooms in the “Lion House,” which was the home of Brigham Young, we ate lunch in the California restaurant and boarded the train for Saltair, which is eighteen miles from the city.

The Tabernacle, Salt Lake City in 1900


The Lion House, Salt Lake City

The Lion House, Salt Lake City in 1900


Brigham Street, Salt Lake City in 1900

Brigham Street, Salt Lake City in 1900


The Bee Hive House, Salt Lake City in 1900

The Bee Hive House, Salt Lake City in 1900


Mountain views: Wasatch Range from Liberty Park, Salt Lake City in 1900

Wasatch Range from Liberty Park, Salt Lake City in 1900


The Victorian Saltair Pavilion at the Great Salt Lake in Utah in 1900

Saltair Pavilion at the Great Salt Lake in Utah - 1900


About this story

Source publication: Top text from Weekly Interior Herald (Hutchinson, Kansas) October 20, 1900; Salt Palace info the Deseret Evening News (Salt Lake City, Utah) December 15, 1900; Visitor's notes from the Amador Ledger (Jackson, California) August 31, 1900

Notes: Photos created by Detroit Photographic Co.; via the US Library of Congress

Filed under: 1900s, Photos & photography, Places

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