About one hundred
yards to the Southwest of the flour mill, stands the first non-log chapel
in Salt Lake Valley outside Salt Lake City. It took years of construction
(1861-1867) before completion and dedication by Brigham Young. This
building was known as the Rock Meeting House. It served most of settlements
in the south end of the valley on both sides of the river and was used
for many activities besides church. In fact to help finance the roof,
a grand ball was held and officers from Fort Douglas were invited to
participate. Dancing was a favorite pastime of the pioneers. In addition
the building was used for school and other community activities and
social events. Today the structure remains basically unchanged from
the way the pioneers built it. Although the city of West Jordan now
owns the property, it is operated by The Daughters of the Utah Pioneers,
who make it available through rental to the public. Over the past three
decades, its has also been used by other religions coming into the area.
The building, now known as Pioneer Hall, adjoins the West Jordan Cemetery,
which is one of two in the community with pioneer origins. The second
is the small Wight's Forts cemetery located on 9000 South at 3449 West.
In 1872 a major
multicommunity cooperative effort was launched to build canals throughout
the valley to provide water. This in turn provided the initial means
for further growth in farming, settlement and other related development.
West Jordan was
also the site of some of the very earliest airplane flights in the west,
which commenced in 1909 and continued through 14 March 1910. These experimental
flights were made by L. R. Culver about six years after the Wright brothers
flew their airplane at Kitty Hawk in 1903. Culver, a farmhand, built
the aircraft in a farm equipment shed near 1700 West and 9000 South.
At first a glider was constructed, then a motor was added to power the
craft. His most successful flight was about fifty feet off the ground
and lasted for about fifteen to twenty minutes.