Salt Lake City’s oldest residential historic district is a neighborhood known as the Avenues. During the late nineteenth century this area was home to many of the most influential citizens of Salt Lake City. Built from 1860 until 1930, it contains a mix of middle and upper middle class homes of varying architectural styles. This architectural diversity makes the Avenues unique among Utah's historic districts. For the past thirty years, as citizens have rediscovered the value of living in historic properties near downtown and the University of Utah, preservation efforts have soared in the area.
In 1980, the Avenues was established as a historic district and the Utah Historical Society published The Avenues of Salt Lake City. That book’s authors, Karl T. Haglund and Philip F. Notarianni, gleaned much about the area’s history by using information found on the historic district applications. This newly revised edition of The Avenues of Salt Lake City by Cevan J. LeSieur updates the original with a greatly expanded section on the historic homes in the neighborhood, including more than 600 new photos, and additional material covering the history of the Avenues since 1980.
The book is designed so that readers can take it along as a guide when exploring the neighborhoods. All the pictures of Avenues homes are accompanied with architectural information and brief histories of the properties. This volume makes a valuable resource for those interested in the history of the Avenues and its diverse architecture, and for anyone interested in Utah history, Utah architecture, and historic preservation.
The life of I. J. 'Izzi' Wagner mirrors the development of Salt Lake City during the twentieth century—from poverty and obscurity to affluence and prominence. Wagner was born in poverty, but through hard work, wise management, and good luck, he built a fortune. He also changed the city for the better—leading the movement to eliminate overhead signs on Main Street, opening the southwest quadrant to controlled industrial development, ridding the city center of railroad tracks, funding the Rose Wagner Center for Performing Arts, and using his substantial influence to promote tolerance.
His sense of humor was legendary. His tenacity in pursuit of goals was unwavering. His grasp of past, present, and future opportunities was profound. Bags to Riches shows the personal side of an 'outsider' who became an 'insider' through congeniality, good humor, and integrity.
Mary Lois Walker Morris was a Mormon woman who challenged both American ideas about marriage and the U.S. legal system. Before the Manifesto provides a glimpse into her world as the polygamous wife of a prominent Salt Lake City businessman, during a time of great transition in Utah. This account of her life as a convert, milliner, active community member, mother, and wife begins in England, where her family joined the Mormon church, details her journey across the plains, and describes life in Utah in the 1880s. Her experiences were unusual as, following her first husband's deathbed request, she married his brother, as a plural wife, in the Old Testament tradition of levirate marriage.
Mary Morris's memoir frames her 1879 to 1887 diary with both reflections on earlier years and passages that parallel entries in the day book, giving readers a better understanding of how she retrospectively saw her life. The thoroughly annotated diary offers the daily experience of a woman who kept a largely self-sufficient household, had a wide social network, ran her own business, wrote poetry, and was intellectually curious. The years of "the Raid" (federal prosecution of polygamists) led Mary and Elias Morris to hide their marriage on "the underground," and her to perjury in court during Elias's trial for unlawful cohabitation. The book ends with Mary Lois's arrival at the Salt Lake Depot after three years in exile in Mexico with a polygamist colony.
This carefully researched and illuminating biography recounts a pivotal period in Utah’s history as revealed by the life of businessman, community activist, and statesman Joe Rosenblatt. After successfully building Eimco Corporation, his manufacturing and construction business, into an industry leader—and, by the 1950s, Utah’s largest privately owned company—Rosenblatt spent the better part of his time following his retirement in 1963 as a devoted public servant. He served as chairman of the “Little Hoover Commission,” charged by Utah governor Calvin Rampton in 1965 to investigate the operation of the executive branch of the state’s government. He would go on to serve on more than fifty boards and commissions.
The “Little Hoover Commission” was modeled after the 1947 initiative of President Harry Truman, who created the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of Government to recommend administrative changes and appointed former president Herbert Hoover to chair it. Rosenblatt, a perceptive and outspoken figure, brought a much-needed dose of urgency and pragmatism to the Utah process and formulated a number of far-reaching suggestions to the legislature—many of which were adopted and still exist to this day. His work with the commission coupled with his later role on the San Francisco Federal Reserve Board did much to modernize Utah. Rosenblatt’s legacy as a perpetual champion of the community is further exemplified by his role as cultural conduit between Salt Lake’s Jewish community and the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
This readable work will serve as an integral addition to Utah business and political history, enriching the library of anyone looking for an engaging story of a remarkable and transformative figure.
As I was coming up, it was painful to me not to have been given my own nickname. It made me feel different, or rather that I was being treated differently from other family members. I wondered why everybody else was spoken to in terms of their identity, their character, their behavior, and I was simply identified by the 'tag,' my given name. But then, when I read in a book that France meant free, I began to think of it as imbuing me with a sense of flight, of movement. Ultimately, I came to believe my name spoke for itself and that I did not need any other.'—from the book
Imbued with rich detail of family life in a rural community, as well as a system of values at a time of transition in American history, this is the life story of France Davis, the dynamic pastor of the Calvary Baptist Church in Salt Lake City. It is an engaging story of courage and vision that describes coming of age in the segregation-era South, of dreaming, enduring with honor, and living at the forefront of major issues within the United States.
Recorded and skillfully written by Nayra Atiya, France Davis: An American Story Told, is an oral history, ethnography, memoir, perhaps even a life-enhancing sermon delivered with the strong voice of a preacher. The gathered strands of a life lived with conviction and grace will appeal to a broad spectrum of readers from the curious to those seeking inspiration.
Gravity Hill: A Memoir
Maximilian Werner University of Utah Press, 2013 Library of Congress F834.S253W47 2013 | Dewey Decimal 979.2258033
“The sound of parenthood is the sigh.” So begins Gravity Hill, written from the perspective of a new father seeking hope, beauty, and meaning in an uncertain world. Many memoirs recount the author’s experiences of growing up and struggling with demons; Werner’s shows how old demons sometimes return on the heels of something as beautiful as children. Werner’s memoir is about growing up, getting older, looking back, and wondering what lies ahead—a process that becomes all the more complicated and intense when parenting is involved. Moving backward and forward between past, present, and future, Gravity Hill does not delineate time so much as collapse it.
Werner narrates his struggle growing up in suburban Utah as anon-Mormon and what it took for him, his siblings, and his friends to feel like they belonged. Bonding in separation, they indulged in each other, in natural and urban landscapes, and sometimes in the destructive behaviors that are the native resort of outsidersincluding promiscuous and occasionally violent sexual behavior—and for some, paths to death and suicide. Gravity Hill is the story of the author’s descent into and eventual emergence from his dysfunction and into a newfound life. Infused with humor, honesty, and reflection, this literary memoir will resonate with readers young and old.
Copublished with the Utah State Historical Society. Affiliated with the Utah Division of State History, Utah Department of Heritage & Arts.
Stories of the ordinary people who helped build Salt Lake City emerge from a study of their often humble adobe houses. Rather than focusing on men and women in positions of power and influence, the emphasis here is on the lives of people who built their sturdy, simple homes from mud. A Modest Homestead provides architectural descriptions of ninety-four extant adobe houses. These homes are for the most part unremarkable, except for their perhaps unexpected construction material. They are as basic as the people who built them—small tradesmen and farmers, laborers and domestics. Author Laurie Bryant discusses the neighborhoods in Salt Lake City where adobe houses have survived, often much renovated and disguised, and she showcases the houses not just as they appear today but as they were originally built. Almost all the houses now have additions and improvements, and without some dissection, they are not always recognizable. They now appear both comfortable and pleasant, which was not always the case in the nineteenth century. What emerges through closer examination and Bryant’s research is a fuller picture of the roughhewn life of many early Utahns.
Finalist for the Utah State Historical Society Best Book Award.
After the transcontinental railroad opened Utah to large-scale emigration and market capitalism, hundreds of women in Salt Lake City began to sell sex for a living, and a few earned small fortunes. Businessmen and politicians developed a financial stake in prostitution, which was regulated by both Mormon and gentile officials. In this book, Jeffrey Nichols examines how prostitution became a focal point in the moral contest between Mormons and gentiles and aided in the construction of gender systems, moral standards, and the city's physical and economic landscapes.
Ministerial training was an early goal of Mormonism. The priesthood-led institution called the School of the Prophets, established in Kirtland, Ohio, in 1833, was basically a divinity school for prospective missionaries. However, topics of study included, instead of prophecy and revelation, penmanship, English grammar, arithmetic, philosophy, literature, government, geography, and history. For seven weeks there was even a course in Hebrew, but it was discontinued. Still, it was in this setting that Joseph Smith received his revelation on diet and health and some of the spiritual manifestations associated with the Kirtland temple dedication. Brigham Young re-established the school in the Salt Lake Valley in 1867; his successor, John Taylor, resuscitated it for a while in 1883. Young’s emphasis was theology, first as an appendage to Deseret University, and then as a separate institution. Presented here for the first time are all available minutes for the Utah period.