City of South Salt Lake

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History of South Salt Lake


On Thursday, September 29, 1938 a meeting was called to order at 8:30 Robert R. Fitts. Also in attendance at this meeting were Alma Kasteler, A.S. Dykman, Clyde H. Peck, and Ariel A. Jensen. The official resolution as passed by Salt  Lake County creating the Town of South Salt Lake and appointing the first town board was read. Board members took their oath before Justice Herman Gygi. And so it began, The Town of South Salt Lake with Mr. Fitts as the first town History Photopresident. Not the most glamorous beginning, the town was created because of a need for a sewer system. Salt Lake City was going to annex the area in 1936 but couldn’t get a sewer system to the area for several years. According to Mr. Fitts the community needed other things as well, like a bank, post office and fire department. After a close vote, residents approved incorporation. The sewer system was a Works Project Administration project. The deadline to file the sewer system plans was two days after the city was incorporated. The project began in 1939 at a cost of $462,000.

The original boundary of our town was from 5th East to 3rd West and 2100 South to the center of Millcreek stream. Over the years the population grew, businesses came, and schools were built. In 1950 the population was such that the Town of South Salt Lake became the City of South Salt Lake and declared a third class city by the county. This changed the form of government to a mayor and city council. During his administration Marlow Callahan was the first mayor of The City of South Salt Lake. GraniteSchool District was formed in 1904. Their first office building can still be seen on State Street and just north of 3300 South. They soon began organizing their first high school, Granite High, in 1906. One of the first businesses in the city, U.S. Novelty, is still doing business here. Like our grocery store Reams, Buehner Block, Miller Honey, and many others, they have remained and succeeded here.

A lot has happened in the 74 years since incorporation. In 2010 we elected our first women mayor. Generations of families as well as new comers now call our city home. With access to major freeways, light rail, and walk-able neighborhoods, we attract a diverse community, and keep long time residents. From our perhaps odd but small beginnings to a City on the Move we continue toward progress.

The photo above from the Utah State Historic Archives and is 3300 South State Street in what is now a part of South Salt Lake City, UT.
Any long time residents who would like to share what life was like growing up in South Salt Lake can contact our City Historian at the numbers and e-mail to the right. The city will type up your interview, and make three copies, one for the city, one for the state archives, and one for the interviewee.
Any residents that have old pictures of the city and would like to share them can contact her as well. Originals are not required. We will scan your copy and file it as part of the city's historic record. There is a waiver that must be signed giving the city permission to use the photo.