History of Summit County

Summit County was created in 1854. The county is nestled in between the Uinta Mountains on the east and the Wasatch Mountains on the west.

During the 1820’s-1830’s Summit County was mostly inhabited by fur trappers and traders Shoshone Indians. It was not until 1847 when the Mormon pioneers arrived and began to settle the area on a grander scale.

In 1846 Lansford W. Hastings, a California promoter, announced a new cutoff on the California Trail that would eliminate several hundred miles and many days of travel. The cutoff turned southwest from Fort Bridger, Wyoming, and entered Utah and the northeastern corner of Summit County through Echo Canyon. It followed the Weber River to Salt Lake Valley, went around the south shore of the Great Salt Lake, and then west into Nevada. The first group to take this new cutoff was the Donner-Reed party in 1846. Blazing a road through the Wasatch Mountains cost them many days, and when they reached the Sierra they ran into early snow, with well-known tragic results. Many lost their lives. A year later, the pioneering Mormons adopted part of the Hastings Cutoff, but when they reached the Weber River they turned southwest to Emigration Canyon. This became the main trail for the immigration of the Mormons to Utah. In 1869 the Union Pacific Railroad, builder of the eastern portion of the transcontinental railroad, followed the Hastings Cutoff, and today part of Interstate 80 follows the Hastings and Mormon trails and the Union Pacific route through northern Summit County.

The first settlers arrived in Summit County in 1850. Wanship was settled in 1854, after which Coalville, Henefer Hoytsville and Coalville. In 1873 the Utah Eastern Railway built a line through Coalville Echo pulling coal. This line became part of Union Pacific Railroad.

The discovery of silver, lead and zinc in the Wasatch Mountains in 1870 became the main economic resource. Park City, a mining town founded in 1872. Many individuals made fortunes in the mines of Park City. Mining continued until 1950, until it was no longer profitable. For several decades Park City was on the verge of becoming a ghost town, but the area’s rugged terrain and snow have allowed it to become a resort town for winter sports. Skiing is currently a major economic activity in western Summit County, while the rest of the county is still known for its cultivation and breeding. Other recreational opportunities, including boating, fishing and tourism have given Summit County a diversified economy.

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Cities in Summit County

Jeremy Ranch
Park City
Silver Springs
Summit Park