Part of the American History and Genealogy Project

Progressive and Beautiful Salt Lake City

By C. C. Goodwin

Progress is in the very air of Salt Lake. Solomon's Temple arose without the sound of axe or hammer in its immediate vicinity, but it was seven years in building and a longer time in preparation. Salt Lake can beat Solomon's Temple now, and were it planted here in all its pristine splendor, it would be voted a squatty affair. And where now there are unsightly structures, in a year's time there will be palaces, which by comparison would make that temple of Solomon's look like a bungalow.

We are speaking, thus far, only of the grand edifices, those of marble and onyx and woven steel, but they are not the strength or promise of Salt Lake's future greatness, they are but evidences of a greatness already here, for such structures can only exist where the hosts outside are working for the wealth that makes the work of the few possible.

Go outside; on every street there will be heard the ring of hammers, the rhythm of saw and trowel; the hurry, hurry to prepare for those here, and for those who are coming.

And why not! Commerce and trade have made this a central station.

Education has made this a central seat.

Music has reserved this place for her divine harmonies.

This is the spot to which the sullen mountains send their treasures to have them transfigured. Here is where the sunlight and the pure air make a natural sanitarium.

Here is where all creeds meet to wrestle and decide which is serving best men below and Omnipotent above.

Here is where nature fixed her perfect bathing resorts, and the city cannot keep up with the demand for homes and business places.

Then, after all, the city does not compare as yet with its surroundings. In the long ago some vagrant artists from summerland strayed away, bringing with them some of the dyes which they use above and which are immortal: Being dusty through travel when they found Great Salt Lake they determined upon a bath.

They laid down their paints and brushes, folded their wings and dove into the clear waters. At first the salt got in their eyes and throats, but they took in the situation quickly, and it was close upon sunset when they came out radiant, their wings once more as white as when they left Paradise, and their appetites were renewed. They had brought along a few pint bottles, but it was then as it is now, they could not get a cracker or a piece of cheese on Sunday in any "public place" in Zion and that time the places were all public.

But their bottles helped them out.

Just then the setting sun hung over the desert to the west and its refracted rays turned the snow on the Wasatch to purple and gold, even after the sun had disappeared. And these visitors, enchanted, seized their brushes and dipping them in the immortal dyes painted the mountains, the lake, the valley; and the picture they made lingers still and makes this a place of enchantment, and when it shall be a little more seen the whole world will want to come and make a home here.  


Source: Sketches of the Inter-Mountain States, Utah, Idaho and Nevada, Published by The Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1909 



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