in the heart of Utah Valley between the east shore of
Utah Lake and the towering Wasatch Mountains is the city
of Provo. Mount Timpanogos (elevation 11,957 feet) dominates
the northern view from the city. Other rugged mountains
east of the city provide one of the most picturesque backdrops
for a Utah city.
Utah Valley was the traditional home of Ute Indians, who
settled in villages close to the lake both for protection
from bellicose tribes to the northeast and to be close
to their primary source of food--fish from the lake. The
first white visitors to the Provo area were Fray Francisco
Atanasio Dominguez and Fray Silvestre Velez de Escalante,
who visited Utah Valley in 1776. Only a retrenchment in
Spanish New World colonization and missionary efforts
prevented establishment of settlements promised by these
Fur trappers and traders frequented the area in the early
decades of the nineteenth century, and it is from one
of these trappers, Etienne Provost, that Provo takes its
Provo was settled by Mormons in 1849, and was the first
Mormon colony in Utah outside of Salt Lake Valley. Troubles
with Indians gave rise to a popular saying in early Utah:
"Provo or hell!" When President James Buchanan
sent United States troops to Salt Lake City to put down
the "Mormon insurrection" in 1858, thousands
of Mormons, including leader Brigham Young, moved to Provo.
"The Move South" came to a quick end as the
Mormons were "pardoned" and new governor Alfred
Cumming made peace with the Saints.
Provo remained the second largest city in Utah until Ogden
became Utah's primary railroad terminus in 1869. Provo
lost in its bid as a transcontinental railroad stopping
place, but thereby retained its distinctly Mormon flavor.
It soon came to be known as the "Garden City"
because of its extensive fruit orchards, trees, and gardens.
In 1875 Brigham Young Academy was founded. From humble
beginnings, this institution has grown into Brigham Young
University, the largest church-affiliated university in
the United States today. The city and the university have
enjoyed a symbiotic relationship and have grown together.
Today, the university has helped generate a fledgling
high-technology industry in the Provo area and sometimes
attracts national attention through its academic and sports