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Tour through Time - Part 3

People Coming Through - And Staying

Jiim Bridger

Jim Bridger, a well-known mountain man.

Mountain men

From 1807 to 1840, mountain men explored vast areas of the American West, mostly in search of beaver pelts. In the 1820s trappers explored most of Utah's rivers, mountains, and valleys and some of the desert land. A few actually built trading posts and settled in for a while.

Some of the knowledge these explorers gained helped people who came later.

In the 1840s the mountain men came into the area less and less as the beaver pelt trade declined.

Government explorers

During the 1840s and later, the U.S. government sent explorers to map the land, make scientific studies, find good routes for the railroad, and describe the land and people. John C. Fremont made several expeditions to the West.


A few parties heading for California, like the Bartleson-Bidwell and Donner-Reed parties, came through Utah in the 1840s.

a line of covered wagons

Wagon train. Date unknown.

Mormons come to stay

All of the information provided by explorers and these early wagon parties helped the Mormon pioneers migrate to and settle in Utah. The first party arrived in July 1847, with 143 men (including three African American slaves), three women, and two children.

This group began irrigating and planting right away.

Though survival was difficult in the first years of settlement for the people in Utah, their vision of building Zion kept them going.

Part 4: Technological developments

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