Cottonwood Heights' unique historical heritage is one of its most important assets. In order to identify, preserve, protect and enhance historic buildings, structures, sites, objects and districts lying within the city limits and to compile a history of our city, Cottonwood Heights has established a historic committee.
The Cottonwood Heights Historic Committee has five to nine regular members and meets monthly. Members serve staggered three-year terms and must have a demonstrated interest, competence or knowledge in history or historic preservation. To the extent possible, at least two of the members are professionals from the disciplines of history, archaeology, planning, architecture or architectural history.
You can view the committee's agendas and minutes by visiting the public records page, or you can apply to serve on the historic committee.
MARCH HISTORICAL QUESTION
Just as wild fires are a threat today to those living adjacent to our national forests and undeveloped lands, the early settlers in our area were also faced with the threat of wild fires. What were some of the results of these fires?
Wild fires were common in the early days of our community, and just like today were caused by humans and nature. Farmers burning ditch banks and weeds were the causes of many fires that got out of control. It was common for farmers in the area, when seeing smoke from a fire, to grab a shovel and gunny sacks and head in the direction of the smoke.
On one occasion, a resident of Danish Town was burning a patch of June grass when a gust of wind quickly spread the flames. There were no telephones to call for help, but neighbors and strangers showed up with shovels and gunny sacks and extinguished the fire before it reached any of the buildings on the property.
The Alvin and Annie Green House on Danish Road, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, shows the result of a wild fire that was started by sparks from a train on its way to Granite. Lumber for the floor joists of the house was stacked in the yard. The fire was whipped by the south wind and burned rapidly northward, burning over the pile of lumber and charring the edges. Since there wasn’t money to replace the burned lumber, it was used in the construction of the house and is visible from cellar of the home.
In 1921, three brush fires broke out at the same time: one in Big Cottonwood Canyon, one in Little Cottonwood Canyon and one in Emigration Canyon. One of the fires burned more than 1,300 acres between Butlerville and Granite and required starting a back fire to protect Granite before it was brought under control. With the number of men necessary to fight this fire, the fire in Emigration Canyon had to be fought by sheriff’s deputies. That fire burned three miles up the canyon before being extinguished.
In 1942, boys playing with matches started a fire that required 200 men from the Sandy and Murray fire departments and crews from the Wasatch National Forest to bring it under control. The fire raged along the entire area fronting Big Cottonwood Canyon from Butlerville to 6200 South, destroying over 800 acres of thick brush and a summer cottage and threatening many other homes. One firefighter was injured. During the time crews were fighting this fire, several other grass and brush fires were reported. Thanks to volunteers, they were all extinguished without any appreciable damage.