Have you ever wondered where cities get their names? Some cities are named after people, landscapes or other places in the world. For example, the city of Ogden, Utah, was named after the famous explorer Peter Skeen Ogden. Some are named after experiences or even emotions. Take the area of Death Valley, California. Its landscape is dry and barren, living up to its name. So where did the city of Syracuse, Utah get its name? Let’s step back in time to the late 1800s and find out.
The Homestead Act of 1862, which was signed by President Abraham Lincoln, made a lot of land available out west. This encouraged many people to relocate to the untamed west who wanted to make a better life. In 1880, twenty-five-year-old William Galbraith and his wife Phebe traveled across the plains and settled in a small area by the famous salty lake. Most settlers in the area were farmers, but William Galbraith had other dreams. The Great Salt Lake fascinated him so much that he decided to harvest salt from it and sell it. He printed the name Syracuse on his salt bags, which was the name of a salt company he knew of in Syracuse, New York. For many years he harvested salt from The Great Salt Lake and sold it to customers spanning from the West coast all the way to the Mississippi River.
Later in 1887 a bathing resort was built next to the lake and took on the name of The Syracuse Bathing Resort. The resort became a famous recreation place for locals and tourists to visit regularly. During this same year, the Union Pacific Railroad built the Ogden and Syracuse Railway. The railway linked the Syracuse Resort to the railways main line between Salt Lake City and Ogden. Due to the railway link to the resort and the salt company, the name of the small settlement became known as Syracuse. On September 3, 1935, Syracuse was officially incorporated as a city in the state of Utah.
(Syracuse, New York was named by Sicilian immigrants that settled in New York).
By Christy Frazier