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Hallowed Ground Sacred Journeys

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City Creek Park

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In this historic view from the mid-1800s, looking southwest toward Temple Square, 
City Creek flows past walled Whitney properties (center right) toward Brigham Young’s properties (upper center left). The dome of the Tabernacle and walls of the unfinished Salt Lake Temple are seen in the upper center right.
C. R. Savage courtesy of Richard K. Winters



This stone commemorates the 1995 groundbreaking for City Creek Park designed to complement the Brigham Young Park immediately across the street to the south.
David M. Whitchurch

This landscaped acre in downtown salt lake city sat north of Brigham Young’s farm. In the 1990s, the park was developed by Church and city leaders to honor the nineteenth-century pioneer settlers of the Salt Lake Valley. It was also designed to complement the Brigham Young Historic Park across the street. “We’re happy to be participating with Salt Lake City in this undertaking [and develop it into] what will be a beautiful facility and a great attraction for this community,” President Gordon B. Hinckley said at the ground-breaking ceremony held on June 12, 1995.


City Creek Park serves as a gathering place where local citizens may eat their lunch and relax.
David M. Whitchurch


President Hinckley noted that the park projects were undertaken as Utah approached its centennial in 1996 and preparatory for the sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) celebrations of the pioneers in 1997.

A beautiful bridge spans City Creek as it passes through the park area.
David M. Whitchurch

City Creek is significant to the history of the city and the Church. The advance party entering the Salt Lake Valley dammed up City Creek and flooded the area to the south to water the ground for the potatoes that had been planted. The water was channeled to the area of Second South and State Street, where it was used to irrigate the first crops of potatoes, beans, corn, buckwheat, and turnips. More than twenty thousand acres were under cultivation within six months of the pioneers’ arrival.

Beautiful trees and flowers have been planted in and around City Creek Park to make it cool and inviting.
Kathie and W. Jeffrey Marsh



Crossing Creeks and Ditches

Several ditches diverted water from City Creek. 
Elder James E. Talmage (1862–1933), a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, 
had an interesting incident while serving as president of the University of Utah in the 1890s.
He had obtained a bicycle, which was then the new wave in transportation.

A photograph of the young James E. Talmage.
Daughters of Utah Pioneers

James acquired one of the new machines, not as a hobby or physical conditioner but as a practical means of transportation. . . .

Some time after James had achieved reasonable proficiency in handling his machine on standard roads, he showed up at the front door one evening a full hour late for dinner and scarcely recognizable.

May [his wife] nearly went into shock, for her husband was a frightening sight. Battered, bruised, and bleeding profusely, clothes torn in a dozen places and covered with dust and mud, James looked as though he had been caught in a riot, or at least a fight of unusual violence. Neither, it
developed, had been the case.

Half a block from the Talmage home a single-plank footbridge crossed the ditch of running water that separated the street from the footpath. Until now, Jamesnhad dismounted when he reached this point in a homeward journey, and crossed the narrow bridge on foot. Today, he had decided that he had reached the point in his development as a cyclist where he should no longer resort to this prudent maneuver, but rather ride over the bridge in the manner of an accomplished veteran of the two-wheeler.

Having so decided, James approached the bridge resolutely, confident that he would negotiate the tricky passage in a manner to be proud of and to impress neighbors, if any should chance to be watching, with his skill and casual daring. He turned sharply from the road toward the bridge with scarcely any diminution of speed. The result was spectacular and observers, if any there were, must indeed have been impressed, but in a very different way from that intended. The professor’s bicycle went onto the plank at an oblique angle and quickly slid off the side, throwing its rider heavily into the ditch bank.

Dazed, bruised, bleeding and humiliated, Dr. Talmage was not convinced that the difficult maneuver was beyond his skill. Rather, he was stubbornly determined to prove that he could and would master the difficulty. For the next hour, the president of the University of Utah might have been observed trundling his bicycle fifty yards or so down the road from the bridge, mounting and riding furiously toward the plank crossing, turning onto it with grim-lipped determination— and plunging off it in a spectacular and bone-shaking crash into the rough ditchbank. Uncounted times this startling performance was repeated, but in the end mind triumphed over matter, will
power over faltering reflexes, and the crossing was successfully made. Not just once, but enough times in succession to convince James that he was capable of performing the feat without mishap at any time he might desire to do so. From then on, he never again dismounted to cross the bridge, albeit he never made the crossing without experiencing deep-seated qualms which he kept carefully concealed from any who might be watching.



The waterwheel of Crismon Mill was powered by water from City Creek.
Courtesy of Richard K. Winters


Crismon Mill Site and Veteran Volunteer Fireman’s Hall

One block north of City Creek Park, following Canyon Road, is a monument honoring the site of the Crismon Mill, the first gristmill built in the territory of Utah. The mill was built by Charles Crismon in the fall of 1847, just months after the pioneers entered the valley. This mill ground the wheat brought across the plains by the pioneers. Brigham Young’s sawmill originally stood nearby. Much timber came from a toll, or assessment, of those using City Creek Canyon to harvest timber. The tollhouse was located on the west side of City Creek.

Ottinger Hall, located in City Creek Canyon, was named after George M. Ottinger, 
who worked as an artist with pioneer photographer Charles R. Savage. 
Many of Savage’s prints were hand-tinted by Ottinger. 
Ottinger later played a prominent role in Salt Lake City’s first fire department.
Kathie and W. Jeffrey Marsh


Another block north on Canyon Road is Ottinger Hall. This social hall for firemen formerly housed the first manually operated fire pump in the West (the pump is now at This Is the Place Heritage Park), and was named after Salt Lake City’s first full-time fire chief, George M. Ottinger.



Memory Grove

Just north of the Ottinger’s Hall is a secluded grove of trees planted in 1920 to honor war veterans. It was here that City Creek was diverted through the downtown area for irrigation purposes. Memory Grove is a beautifully landscaped park lying in City Creek Canyon containing a number of monuments dedicated to Utah’s soldiers who lost their lives in America’s wars.

The tree-lined road up the canyon above Memory Grove is popular with bicyclists, joggers, and hikers. A tornado which touched down in Salt Lake City on August 11, 1999, severely damaged many of the trees in this area, and efforts to repair the damage are still evident. Occasionally, moose and deer are spotted in the park. Located in the park is a full-scale replica of the Liberty Bell, one of only one hundred casts by the original maker.

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Brigham Young University Religious Education presents
Hallowed Ground Sacred Journeys
Featuring BYU Religious Educators teaching about sites significant in
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
For more information, or to visit our interactive web site with dozens of additional sites to explore,
please visit VirtualTours.BYU.edu
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Hallowed Ground Sacred Journeys
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This blog is a public service of The Watchmen Institute
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1 comments:

jeffery August 19, 2010 at 9:57 AM  

Thank you for inviting me to be a friend of BYU Virtual tours I enjoyed this sight very much. I found it to be very, very inspirational and would recommend it to every one.

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Brigham Young University Religious Education presents

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