Reports of the valley of the Great Salt Lake reaching Mormon leaders in Nauvoo, Illinois, prompted them to select it as a destination by 1845, and the first Mormon pioneer party reached the Great Salt Lake Valley on 22-24 July 1847. On 27 July Brigham Young and other leaders of the group visited the lake, and by August the lake was supplying salt to the settlers.
The high salt content of the lake has restricted its use, but several resorts have existed on its shores from time to time, the most famous being Saltair. From 1893 until it burned in 1925, and again after its reconstruction until drought isolated it in the 1930s, it was a major recreation facility. More recently sailing has been a popular activity at the lake. The lake has also been associated with mining its salt and collecting its brine shrimp for fish food. From the earliest Indians who obtained common salt to modern industries extracting a variety of minerals from its waters, from the tourists visiting the lake to experience the buoyancy provided by its waters to locals sailing its waters, the Great Salt Lake has remained a valuable and unique part of America's geography.
See: "Great Salt Lake," Utah Historical Quarterly 56 (1989); Dale L. Morgan, The Great Salt Lake (1947); John C. Frémont, Report of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains in the Year 1842 and to Oregon and Northern California in the Years 1843-44 (1845); Howard Stansbury, An Expedition to the Valley of the Great Salt Lake of Utah (1855).
Richard H. Jackson