In a delightful presentation on Thursday, Feb. 5, Jim Willis from Lake Point helped the Settlement Canyon Chapter of the Sons of Utah Pioneers understand why Lake Point is working to incorporate. Simply said, residents want to keep Lake Point Lake Point. They love the small town country feel, and want to keep it that way for their children, and children’s children. Being able to raise animals, gardens and orchards is what they are all about. They want to decide their own destiny.
Willis said that Lake Point, or ET City as it was first named, has a rich history that most people in Tooele County may not know about as they busily drive right past this community on their way to the Salt Lake Valley. Apostle Orson Pratt was the first Mormon pioneer to enter Tooele County. Brigham Young’s Vanguard Company had entered their new home in the Great Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847. Just three days later on July 27, Young, Pratt and others traveled to explore the Great Salt Lake, and made their stop at Black Rock. Always the explorer, Pratt rode to Adobe Rock on top of ET Hill and gazed into Tooele Valley. ET Hill and City were so named after Ezra Taft Benson who would later build and operate the Benson Gristmill.
The area was officially called ET City as early as 1852 when Peter Maughan and two others were called by Brigham Young to locate and settle ET City. It is said that Maughan obediently dissembled his house in Tooele and moved it lock, stock and barrel to ET. It has been known as the ET Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the greater part of its existence. In fact, the population of ET City in 1868 was written as 97 people and some gentiles. The settlers built the Old Rock Church that still exists on the eastern side of Lake Point today. It is said that church members honored the sacrament by drinking out of the same goblet that was simply passed around the congregation.
When the Great Salt Lake water level was a lot higher, Dr. Jeter Clinton built the Clinton Hotel and Beach as a place to stay while enjoying the healing waters of the lake. The dock was also an important port for different ships hauling cargo from north to south on the lake As many as 50,000 vistors came to experience the Salt Lake by rail on four or five different railways. A buffalo herd was even brought in as part of the venture. When that didn’t work out, they were barged over to Antelope Island and have remained to this day — though it is rumored that one of the herd left Antelope and swam home to Clinton two different times. The Tooele Pioneer Museum in Tooele has photographs of this time period for those who want to further get to know our neighbors at the gateway of this great county.
Home mail delivery didn’t come to Lake Point until 1920. Before that time, the lucky postmaster would hike to the railway stop east of town to pick up and deliver the mail. People would then come to his house to pick theirs up.
For these and many other reasons, Willis claims that Lake Point is undertaking the labor to incorporate so it can control its own future as it has its past.
If you have an interest in learning about our pioneer ancestors and keeping their history alive, come join us. The local Settlement Canyon Chapter of the Sons of Utah Pioneers meets for a potluck dinner and pioneer presentation the first Thursday of every month at 6:30 p.m. in our new home at the beautiful TATC building at 80 S. Tooele Blvd., which is the western end of 200 South in Tooele. Jerry Henson, (435) 882-4917, can answer your questions about SUP, and Tim Booth, (435) 882-1902, can give a guided tour of the Tooele Pioneer Museum.