Away from the Smoke and Dust

We went on an historical dig July 1st with former TKE bookseller Laurie Bryant. Her presentation, Away from the Smoke and Dust: A Century on Salt Lake’s East Bench, is a fascinating look back at how the population of our fair city began moving up the foothills as technology began to develop. As things always have in the West, it all began with water. This presentation was such a hit that we plan to host Laurie again soon. In the meantime, if you live in the ‘hood and have pictures or info that you think Laurie might be interested in please shoot an email to books at kingsenglish dot com and we’ll make sure she gets it. Here is Laurie’s list of great local resources so you can further your own research:

Where To Do Your Own Research

Utah and the City and County of Salt Lake preserve millions of public records for you to use and enjoy. Here are a few places to get started on your own project.

  1. Utah State History Research Center and Archives, 300 S. Rio Grande Street (in the Rio Grande Depot). 801-533-3500 Hours: 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Mon – Thurs (closed Friday). Holdings include photos, books, manuscripts, government records, cemetery records, early building permits, Sanborn Fire Insurance maps, and much more. Online at:
  2. Salt Lake County Recorder, Archives, 4505 S 5600 W – by appointment only. 801-963-7330. Early tax records and photos of homes and businesses, business licenses, etc. Land title certificates and a finding aid online at:
  3. Marriott Library, University of Utah. Special Collections include photos, manuscripts, books, newspaper clippings and other materials in the Western Americana collection. Online at:
  4. Utah Digital Newspapers. Search old newspapers online at this site. Look for names, words and phrases in the news dating back to 1850.
  5. Salt Lake City Planning and Zoning Department, City/County Building, 4th South and State Street. Historic preservation. Online at:
  6. Salt Lake City Engineering Division. 349 South 200 East, Suite 100. Maps, plats, subdivision names and boundaries. Online at:

All these agencies have specialists on staff. They can help you get started using the collections, finding materials, and obtaining copies for your research.

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