Bird’s eye view from hill top looking down into town along lake. Mountain ranges all along background. Three men standing on hill top to left in image looking out over town.
For over 150 years, the Great Salt Lake has been one of the most popular tourist destinations in Utah. The largest lake between the Great Lakes and the Pacific Ocean and the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere, the lake was formed from the remnant of a massive ancient lake that covered over 20,000 square miles. The water became landlocked and remained salty. In 1847, Salt Lake City, to the east of the lake, was founded by the Mormons. The Civil War and the California Gold Rush brought thousands of additional people to the area. In 1869, the transcontinental railroad was completed by driving the Golden Spike at Promontory Summit (80 miles northwest of Salt Lake City), thus connecting the East Coast with the West Coast. Currier & Ives presented the beauty of the Utah landscape by showing three men standing on an outcropping admiring the huge lake. As shown in many of their prints, the buildings of the city, representing civilization, peacefully co-exist with the nature surrounding the settlement.