National Register of Historic Places

Brigham Young Oil Well

Near Evanston

Date Added to Register

Thursday, April 25, 1985

Smithsonian Number


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The Brigham Young Oil Well is a site that serves as a reminder of the thousands of Mormons who made the trek from the east to their new home in the Great Salt Lake Valley of Utah between 1847-1869. This oil seep was discovered by the initial party of Mormon migrants who, under the leadership of Brigham Young, reached this spot in 1847 and used the petroleum they found here to lubricate their worn-out wagons, polish gunstocks, and even heal sores on livestock. After reaching Salt Lake, a party of Mormons returned to this site to dig a well at the oil seep so that later travelers would also be able to use the oil. In addition, the well operated as a source of petroleum for the Salt Lake City community until 1869 when the newly completed Union Pacific Railroad began to bring in a higher quality oil. The Brigham Young Oil Well thus played a vital role in the Mormon migration to the West and in the early settlement of Salt Lake City.

Department of State Parks & Cultural Resources