City of South Salt Lake

Residential Services

Add To My Quick Links

A Look Back at South Salt Lake

On Thursday, September 29, 1938 a meeting was called to order at 8:30 Robert R. Fitts. Also in attendance at this meeting were Alma Kasteler, A.S. Dykman, Clyde H. Peck, and Ariel A. Jensen. The official resolution as passed by Salt  Lake County creating the Town of South Salt Lake and appointing the first town board was read. Board members took their oath before Justice Herman Gygi. And so it began, The Town of South Salt Lake with Mr. Fitts as the first town History Photopresident. Not the most glamorous beginning, the town was created because of a need for a sewer system. Salt Lake City was going to annex the area in 1936 but couldn’t get a sewer system to the area for several years. According to Mr. Fitts the community needed other things as well, like a bank, post office and fire department. After a close vote, residents approved incorporation. The sewer system was a Works Project Administration project. The deadline to file the sewer system plans was two days after the city was incorporated. The project began in 1939 at a cost of $462,000.

The original boundary of our town was from 500 East to 300 West and 2100 South to the center of Millcreek stream. Over the years the population grew, businesses came, and schools were built. In 1950 the population was such that the Town of South Salt Lake became the City of South Salt Lake and declared a third class city by the county. This changed the form of government to a mayor and city council. During his administration Marlow Callahan was the first mayor of The City of South Salt Lake. GraniteSchool District was formed in 1904. Their first office building can still be seen on State Street and just north of 3300 South. They soon began organizing their first high school, Granite High, in 1906. One of the first businesses in the city, U.S. Novelty, is still doing business here. Like our grocery store Reams, Buehner Block, Miller Honey, and many others, they have remained and succeeded here.

A lot has happened in the 80 years since incorporation. In 2010 the city's first female mayor, Cherie Wood, was elected. Generations of families as well as new comers now call our city home, and the city welcomes hundreds of newcomers each year from other countries, too. With access to major freeways, light rail, and walk-able neighborhoods, South Salt Lake has attracted a wide range of businessess, large and small, and now a significant amount of new residential development attracted to the transit network and trails. From our small beginnings to a City on the Move we continue toward progress. 

The photos here are from the Utah State Historic Archives and include, from top to bottom and left to right:
3300 South State Street
Granite High flagpole dedication in 1923
Prudential Federal Savings on State Street in the 1950s
Blaine School at 3300 S Main Street
The water tower under construction in 1949




Any residents who would like to share stories of what life was like growing up in South Salt Lake or share old photos of the city can contact our City at 801.464.6757 or We will include your stories and photos in our records and history posts in the furture. We can return the originals of anything provided and require you sign a waiver giving the city permission to use your materials for non-commerical uses.