The exploration of Utah Valley and the history of Fort Utah is the story of the conquest and colonization of the American frontier. Discovered in the days of Western expansion, the Valley was identified with the principal factors in the development of the Intermountain West. It heard the chant of the gray robed Franciscan priests, became a favorite haunt of the trail blazing fur trapper and trader, was the site of the ancient rendezvous of the Indian, saw the gold seekers trudge wearily on to California, and with the founding of Fort Utah served as the springboard of Southern Utah Mormon colonization. Today this Fort is the foundation of the modern and beautiful city of Provo, Utah.

During its heyday, Fort Utah was identified with the redman as well as the white; it was the guardian and outpost to the south of Salt Lake of Brigham Young's colonization plan; it was the scene of extensive bartering with the Indian; it was the setting of major peace councils, and it was a base of military operations in protecting those courageous Mormon pioneers as they built an empire from the heart of the American desert.

In narrating the story of the exploration of this Valley and the establishment of this pioneer outpost, it is intended not to portray an isolated fragment of history, although the main setting will be centered here, but to build another link in the development and colonization of the Intermountain West, one of America's last frontiers.



College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; History



Date Submitted


Document Type





Utah County, Utah, History, Provo, Discovery, exploration