The Canyon Rim Citizens Association (CCRA) meets on the first Wednesday of each month at the Christ United Methodist Church, 2375 East 3300 So., 7:00 p.m.
Canyon Rim Citizens Association
P.O. Box 9104
Salt Lake City, Utah 84109-0104
Jeff Waters, President, Chair
Canyon Rim is primarily a residential community bordered by freeways and arterial streets. The stability of the residential neighborhoods is enhanced by the high quality housing and commitment of community residents to neighborhood preservation and improvement.
Settlement of Canyon Rim
Indians came down “Obekokechee” (The Big Canyon) before the pioneers arrived. Many tribes came for the treasured salt, and probably walked and camped in this area.
In 1848, Parley P. Pratt began construction of a toll road down The Big Canyon believing rightly that Parleys Canyon would become a major route for the pioneers. This toll road was called the “Golden Road” and tolls were “50 cents per conveyance drawn by one animal; 75 cents per conveyance drawn by two animals; 10 cents for each additional animal; 5 cents per head for loose cows, horses or pigs; and 1 cent per head of sheep”.
Opening the canyon also made it possible to haul lumber down from the mountains. Coal was discovered in the Coalville area and that too was brought down the canyon. The Pony Express and the Overland Stage used the canyon with a stop at Dudler’s Inn and Saloon. By 1888 a narrow gauge railroad ran through the area to Park City and Coalville transporting coal and passengers.
As the pioneers settled in the Salt Lake Valley, irrigation became an essential. Parleys Stream became part of a system which included irrigation as well as many mills. A remnant of this irrigation system, the stone aqueduct, can be seen in Parleys Historic Nature Park. The aqueduct carried water from the reservoir which was built near Suicide Rock. Many mills sprang up in the area. One of the first was a flour mill established in 1848. Other enterprises included lumber mills, tanneries and grist mills. Pioneer families settling in the area included the Fishers and Osguthorpes.
Around that same time, a successful farmer from Acron, NY, arrived in the valley and brought with him shoots from his peach and apple trees. He planted the first orchard in Salt Lake and brought to market the first peaches ever grown in Utah. Many orchards were developed in the Canyon Rim area.
This area also was attractive to soldiers returning from World War II. In 1947, 118 veterans formed an association to buy land in the area. They subdivided it into 118 lots and build homes on the self-help, community-help plan. The veteran settlers not only improved the area, but stabilized it—and many remain as residents today. This was the beginning of the conversion from an agricultural community to a residential suburban community. Locals dubbed the area “Veteran Heights”. The name Canyon Rim came into use in the 1950’s as homes were built along or near the rim of Parley’s Hollow.
With additional growth, several churches, schools and parks were built to serve the community. Commercial areas were built along the north side of 3300 South. Original small businesses included an outdoor theatre, grocery stores and a hardware store.
Canyon Rim Association Established
The Canyon Rim Citizens Association (CRCA) was established in September 1977 by a group of residents who joined forces to save the land which is now Tanner Park. Salt Lake City had sold a large area of land east of Sugarhouse along I-80 to the Country Club. The land extending to the east that wasn’t being used for the golf course was designated in the City Master Plan to be used for public recreation. Many times through the ensuing years, the Club tried to sell the land to developers. They were thwarted by mass meetings and citizen protests. Sometime in 1976, a developer did purchase 9 acres and planned to build 33 duplexes where Tanner Park is now located. Citizens of the Canyon Rim area were enraged. Protest meetings were held and citizens appeared before the then Salt Lake City Commission. The development was prevented, but the authorities warned that something had to be done. The land could not remain in limbo.
The first priority was to save the land from developers. Block captains were designated throughout the area and necessary seed money was raised to match government money and grants. Enough money was raised in two phases to purchase the land and Tanner Park was dedicated on July 5, 1982. It was named in honor of Obert C. Tanner’s son, Gordon, who used to play in the area before his untimely death in an auto accident. Mr. Tanner was impressed by the citizens’ efforts to save the land and contributed large sums of money to help accomplish the goal. Tanner Park is currently maintained by Salt Lake County.
During those years the CRCA had been working at a slower pace to acquire the area known as Hansen Hollow. With donations of land and money and the efforts of many dedicated individuals, the 88 acres of land was dedicated as Parleys Historic Nature Park in April of 1987. Thus, it was mostly County residents who fought and worked to create the park, even though it is now held and maintained by Salt Lake City. The Hollow contains the remains of the aqueduct as well as the foundation of Dudler’s Inn and Saloon, including the stone cellar which was used for a brewery.