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Holladay Journal

Historic Cottonwood Area to get three new historical marker signs

May 09, 2024 12:42PM ● By Rebecca Olds

Historic Cottonwood Area will get three new historical markers at main entry and exit points of the area, at 4781 S. Highland Drive, 6059 S. Highland Drive and 2715 E. 6200 South in Holladay. (Courtesy Holladay City)

The Historic Cottonwood Area will be getting three new historical marker signs in the coming months to commemorate more than 177 years of history in the area. 

The area was first deemed a historical district in 2007 and includes several historical homes and buildings and offers a historical walking tour.

The project to put historical marker signs has been years in the making and been championed by the city’s Historical Commission, said Holly Smith, Holladay’s assistant city manager. The commission is made up of Chair Sandy Meadows, Vice Chair Kim Duffy and several commission and subcommittee members, like Ron Hilton who said the signs will impact how people view Holladay. 

“I think it creates a more positive impression of the city,” said Hilton, subcommittee member of the Holladay Historical Commission. “It’s something that the residents can take pride in and visitors can be intrigued by.”

Signs will be placed at major entry and exit points of the city at 4781 S. Highland Drive, 6059 S. Highland Drive and 2715 E. 6200 South so that residents and visitors alike can learn about the area’s history.

“They’re very, very expensive so we could only have three,” Meadows said. “We had to be careful where they went because we had to prove that the ground was ours. There was a lot of research done by the commission.”

Meadows noted that while she’s happy with the three sturdy signs in “good locations” that will allow people to easily see them, she still hopes more funding will be available to place more in the future. 

Newly appointed Holladay Arts and Culture Manager Megan Attermann called the new signs a special mark of the city’s history.

“This is a really historic area and these signs sort of mark that history and let people know that… we’ve been building this community for a long time before the city was incorporated,” Attermann said. “It’s a nice way to celebrate our history.”

Designed after the historical markers placed in the Yalecrest neighborhood located on the East Bench of Salt Lake City, the signs will be a black color with white trim and read “City of Holladay, Historic Cottonwood Area, established 1849.” 

The signs are anticipated to be finished by late May or early June and put into place shortly after, Smith told the City Journals. 

The date on the sign is still up for debate amongst the Holladay Historical Commission. While official settlement is recorded in 1849, some, like Hilton and Meadows, agree that people first started living in the area as early as 1847.

 “I’ve read a lot of history,” Meadows said. “When Brigham Young sent John Holladay and the group, they actually came in 1847 in this area.” 

She said that the group was given permission to continue on to the nearby creek, Spring Creek near Kentucky Avenue, but left three people in Holladay during the winter in dugouts until they returned in the spring of 1848 to begin settlement.

While the signs will most likely still say “est. 1849,” it will spark a good conversation amongst history buffs for years to come. 

“Our Historical Commission is very passionate about highlighting the Historic Cottonwood Area, and the City Council supports the installation of the signs to celebrate the area’s legacy,” Mayor Robert Dahle said. “We are grateful to the volunteers who serve on the Commission. They work tirelessly to preserve the community's history, which serves as the foundation of what makes Holladay the wonderful community that it is today.”

To tell more stories on Holladay’s history, the Historical Commission will celebrate Historical Preservation Month in May with events and less-permanent signs around town. λ