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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Corinne in Box Elder County, Utah — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Corinne - Pioneer Railroad Town

 
 
Corinne Pioneer Railroad Town Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 17, 2013
1. Corinne Pioneer Railroad Town Marker
This large and beautifully made one-of-a-kind marker, is carved wood set in stone masonry pillars.
Inscription.
Looking toward the immediate completion of the first Transcontinental Railroad, Corinne Townsite was laid out in the Spring of 1869. Railroad Financiers, Real Estate Promoters, Businessmen & Gambling Sharks, launched a boom to make Corinne the shipping, trading & amusement center of the Rocky Mts.
Although Congress had planned the junction of the Union Pacific & Central Pacific Railroads at or near Ogden, the Union Pacific designated Corinne as the Freight Junction for the rich mines of Montana & the communities of Idaho & northern Utah. This decision was made after the Engineers declared that the town lay in the center of the Rocky Mountain Area & that the Bear River was navigable by Steamboat, making it possible for freight to be transported from Corinne via Bear River, the Great Salt Lake, & the Jordan River to Salt Lake City.
For a time the town flourished to the fullest expectation of its promoters, supporting a newspaper, many businesses & more than 100 saloons & Gambling Houses. In its prime, Corinne was one of Utah’s busiest cities, many times, over 500 freight wagons were congregated here.
 
Location. 41° 33′ N, 112° 6.452′ W. Marker is in Corinne, Utah, in Box Elder County. Marker is on Promontory Road (Utah Route 13)
Scrap Metal Muleskinner Wagon Sculpture image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 17, 2013
2. Scrap Metal Muleskinner Wagon Sculpture
This scrap metal sculpture is directly behind the marker, in the center of the small historical and memorial plaza. (Backside of marker is visible in the background.)
0.1 miles south of North 3900 West, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. The marker is featured in a small Corinne historical and memorial plaza located directly across Promontory Road from the Corinne "Short Stop" convenience store. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3870 North Highway 13, Corinne UT 84307, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Presbyterian Centennial (approx. 0.2 miles away); The First Weather Station in Utah (approx. ¼ mile away); Water Bell (approx. 0.3 miles away); Corinne Opera House (approx. 0.3 miles away); Corinne Methodist Episcopal Church (approx. 0.3 miles away); Brigham City Co-op Store (approx. 5.5 miles away); Brigham City Fire Station/City Hall (approx. 5.5 miles away); Restoration of the James G. Willie Home (approx. 12.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Corinne.
 
Also see . . .
1. History of Corinne, Utah. With some support from political leaders in the nation's capital and from eastern newspapers, the town fathers attempted to use their position as a Gentile city to break the political and economic monopoly held by the Mormons in Utah Territory. (Submitted on April 11, 2014, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. The Gentile Capital of Utah.
For almost ten years from 25 March 1869, the town of Corinne reigned as "The Gentile
Scrap Metal Muleskinner Wagon Sculpture image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 17, 2013
3. Scrap Metal Muleskinner Wagon Sculpture
Notice the rusted railroad rails used around the plaza.
Capital of Utah." As the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads approached their historic meeting place at Promontory Summit early in 1869, a group of former Union army officers and some determined non-Mormon merchants from Salt Lake City decided to located a Gentile town on the Union Pacific line, believing that the town could compete economically and politically with the Saints of Utah. They chose a location about six miles west of Brigham City on the west bank of the Bear River where the railroad crossed that stream. Named by one of the founders (General J.A. Williamson) for his fourteen-year-old daughter, Corinne was designed to be the freight-transfer point for the shipment of goods and supplies to the mining towns of western Montana along the Montana Trail.
(Submitted on April 11, 2014, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. The "City of Corinne".
With new mines in Tooele County digging hundreds of tons of gold and silver out of the ground each month, but with no railroad connection nearby, a boat like the City of Corinne stood to make a killing in the shipping business going between Lake Point, near present-day Stansbury Park, and the railhead in Corinne. On her first trip to the lake’s southern shore, the boat returned north with 45 tons of ore.
Fluctuating lake levels eventually made it difficult for the City of Corinne to continue anchoring in its
In Memory of the Muleskinners image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 17, 2013
4. In Memory of the Muleskinners
Stenciled rusted metal memorial placards decorate the plaza.
home port of Corrine and it began a new life as an excursion boat docking at Lake Point. When presidential candidate James A. Garfield rode the boat while on a visit to Utah, its new owner renamed it the General Garfield in his honor. In 1904, the vessel burned to the water line and was buried under I-80.
(Submitted on April 11, 2014, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceRailroads & StreetcarsSettlements & Settlers
 
In Memory of the Farmers image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 17, 2013
5. In Memory of the Farmers
Corinne: In its Hay Day image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 17, 2013
6. Corinne: In its Hay Day
Freighting was big business in Corinne. There could be seen many wagons waiting to be unloaded from the Montana gold fields.

The Gillet home is still in use today at the corner of 4000 West and 2600 North.

Presbyterian Church built in 8170; destroyed in 1896 by a wind storm.

Methodist Church – oldest in the state, built in 1870. It is also the oldest protestant church still standing in Utah.

The Japanese had a prominence in Corinne.

The LDS Church was organized in 1877 with H. J. Faust as Bishop, but because of so much oppression, closed down. Not until 1914 dis the LDS Church get established in Corinne.

Corinne Opera House

Central Hotel: torn down in 1943

Corinne had a number of hotels: The Western hotel, the Metropolitan Hotel, and the Uinta House. There were at least 7 different boarding places.
Corinne: The Burg on the Bear image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 17, 2013
7. Corinne: The Burg on the Bear
1849 - Wagon road to Montana established by Captain Stansbury – the greatest natural highway in the world

1868 - October 8: quote (SLC Reporter) “Everybody and his wife is bound for Bear River”

1869 – February 18: 15 houses and a hundred and fifty inhabitants

1869 – March 15: Town site selected – J. E. House was apparently given authority to choose the site. J. O’Neil was his construction engineer.

Corinne had many names (Bear River, Conner, Burg on the Bear, Little Chicago of the West) before General J. A. Williamson named it after his talented daughter. The city plat was 3 miles square, blocks 264’ X 280’. The first eight blocks were divided into 22’ X 132’ lots with alleyways.

1869 – April 7: The railroad pulled its first engine across the new bridge

1869: Union Pacific completed the freight depot as the line was coming through Corinne. The ticket depot was built a short time later.

1869 – March 24: The town flourished with buildings and tents being erected. Montana Street drew most of the bidding where prices ranged from $5 to $1000; three hundred lots sold the first day, by mid-summer, sales reached $700,000 with 1500 inhabitants wanting a piece of the pie.

As the business came, Montana Street flourished; tent buildings and permanent buildings, drug stores, cigar shops, saddle harness shops, wagon shops, millenaries, tin shops, newspapers, banks, lawyers, a winery, saw mill, flour mill, brick yard, lumber yard, smelter, opera house, and a number of hotels and boarding houses. Along the tracks were two depots and a number of warehouses.
Corinne: Its Declining Days image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 17, 2013
8. Corinne: Its Declining Days
Old Masonic Lodge (still in use today)

Old city truck in front of Foxley’s Grange

Corinne School: Built 1911

Baseball was a big sport in the early days of Corinne


The Steam Ship “The City of Corinne”

Corinne had many firsts in Utah: the first weather station, the first water system, the first and only house of ill repute (which did not last long) and the first steam ship, “The City of Corinne.”

The plans were to make the town an inland seaport on the Great Salt Lake. Fox Diefendorf, one of the leading settlers, undertook to construct the most magnificent ship to ever sail the Great Salt Lake. It was 150 feet long, weighed 950 tons, and cost $45,000. By Tuesday, May 23rd 1871, she was ready. There were persons from every community to see the grand ship go into the mighty Bear River for her first voyage.

With Captain Sam Howe in command, it was a vessel that would travel the Great Salt Lake – to Lakeside, Black Rock, Lake Point, and Monument Point, bringing back to Corinne supplies, passengers, and iron ore.

Because of mud bars at the mouth of the Bear River, “The City of Corinne” was sold in April 1872 to a mining company, renamed after General James A. Garfield (the Garfield) and served as an excursion ship. Docked at Salt Air in the ‘50’s, it caught fire and burnt to the water line.

There is not much evidence of Corinne’s early days left. The old Methodist Church is still standing and being restored, one of the original houses is looking like ti did when it was new, and from the latter period of the 1980s is the old Mercantile and the Masonic Lodge.

Corinne died out as fast as it grew; 1866 – 1880 were Corinne’s hay days, then farmers and ranchers moved in, made Corinne their home, and put in a canal for irrigation and a better water system. Most of the buildings were either torn down or moved to the farms and ranches west of town. The old Central Hotel was torn down and the brick was used to build a barn on 7600 West.
Jupiter (Central Pacific Railroad #60) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 17, 2013
9. Jupiter (Central Pacific Railroad #60)
This metal silhouette of the Jupiter locomotive, commemorating completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad in 1869, is on the southeast side of the marker.
Union Pacific No. 119 image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 17, 2013
10. Union Pacific No. 119
This metal silhouette of Union Pacific No. 119 locomotive, commemorating completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad in 1869, is on the northwest side of the marker.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 11, 2014, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 362 times since then and 53 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on April 11, 2014, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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