Mormon Landscape Elements in Utah

Distribution of Mormons by county in the United States and in the Utah only.
The Mormons of Utah created a distinctive cultural landscape, related to their religion and
particularly when and where they settled in the West to avoid persecution in New York and later in the Midwest.
Read about the historical evolution of the Mormons. Salt Lake City is the center of the Church of Latter-day Saints of Jesus Christ.

The following landscape elements were characteristic of Mormon settlements; and many features are still very evident.

  1. cardinally-oriented grid-patterned farm villages -- still very evident
  2. large square blocks in villages (ideally 4 farms per block) -- still very evident
  3. wide streets in settlements, whether in Salt Lake City, small towns, or rural villages -- still very evident
  4. irrigation ditches in the fields and along village streets, shown in this village block -- still very evident
  5. unpainted, weathered, wooden fences ( "Mormon fence" ) -- almost completely gone
  6. adobe or brick I-style farmhouses  (or Nauvoo house) -- largely relic; replaced by white conventional styles
  7. large grid-patterned fields outside villages (in the 1870s, 5-10 acre plots)  -- increased over time as agriculture increased in scale
  8. Lombardy poplars along village roads and ditches in the open fields -- largely relic
  9. Mormon ward chapels, whether a modest 1904 chapel or an affluent 2001 chapel, and temples -- still very evident
  10. Bishop's storehouses in villages or Welfare Square in Salt Lake City -- still very evident
  11. Hay derricks -- almost completely gone
  12. Inside-out granaries -- still very evident
  13. Unpainted farm buildings -- almost completely gone
  14. Mormon-inspired names for businesses and place names
  15. Brigham Young University

Examine a map of the first ten features.

Utah also has peculiar liquor laws.

 

Created by Ingolf Vogeler on 1 February 1996: last revised on February 19, 2013.