|Western USA — S.W. Darke & Co. - Salt Lake City, 1887|
|S.W. Darke & Co. - Salt Lake City, 1887
S.W. Darke & Co.
Published: Washington D.C. 1887
Dimensions: 21 1/4 x 33 1/4
This gorgeous bird's eye view of Salt Lake City, Utah, was created just forty years after the Salt Lake Valley was first settled, most likely as an advertisement to draw more settlers to the region. The city was founded in 1847 at the height of Westward Expansion, in the northeast corner of the Salt Lake Valley, surrounded by the Great Salt Lake to the northwest and the steep Wasatch and Oquirrh mountain ranges on the eastern and western borders.
The city, as well as the county, is laid out on a grid plan, with most major streets running very nearly north-south and east-west. The grid is shown in exquisite detail in this view, with carefully rendered official buildings and the city's first homes dotting the land below the towering Wasatch Mountains. Two post-card size details depicting the city's notable architecture are inset near the bottom of the view.
Before Mormon settlement of the Salt Lake Valley, the Shoshone, Ute, and Paiute had dwelt in the region for thousands of years. However, their occupation was seasonal, near streams emptying from Canyons into the Salt Lake Valley. The first US explorer in the Salt Lake area is believed to be Jim Bridger in 1825. U.S. Army officer John C. Frémont surveyed the Great Salt Lake and the Salt Lake Valley in 1843 and 1845.