City Wall

To the Honorable Mayor and City Council of Great Salt Lake City:


We the undersigned Committee, appointed at your last sitting on the 23d inst. to determine the line for the contemplated wall around this city, respectfully present the following.


We recommend that the inner line of the wall commence at a point eight rods south of the south east corner of lot three, in block one, of plot B, thence due north 536 rods, including two blocks, and two streets north of the present survey, thence due west about 408 rods to the east line of 1st East Temple street, thence north westerly about 287 rods to a point near the north east corner of the block upon which the public bath house is located, thence due west about 472 rods to the river Jordan, thence up the east bank of said river to a point where said line would intersect the west prolongation of the north line of the five acre lots, thence due east, about 1028 rods to the point of beginning; making in all about 2731 rods, exclusive of the west, or Jordan river.

The soil on the south and east lines, and on the line west of the bath house, is very suitable for easy digging, and making into wall, though small portions are somewhat swampy.  From the N.E. corner of the proposed enclosure, to the N.E. corner of the bath house block, there will be more or less gravel, but your committee judged there would be sufficient soil for making mud, in the greater part of this portion of the line.

We also respectfully recommend that the inner edge of the wall be on the above described line, and the outer edge be from 20 to 36 inches from the breaking of the ground for the ditch, according to the condition of the soil and inclination of the surface; that the wall be made 12 feet high, and 6 feet thick at the bottom, carried up with an equal slope on each face so as to be 2 ½ feet thick at the height of 6 feet, then carried up the remaining 6 feet 2 ½ feet thick, and rounded on the top; that it be made of the earth taken from the ditch, which should be properly moistened, mixed with weeds, sage brush, small willows, grass, cane, bulrushes, or whatever or like vegetation is handiest to the portion under progress, and gravel where convenient, and placed on the ground for the wall at a depth suited to its consistency, and when the first layer is dry, repeat the operation until the wall is complete; that the ditch be dug large enough to furnish the earth for the wall, with proportionate width and depth, and properly sloped sides.

Of necessity there must be gates and bastions, and we recommend that there be one gate on the north line, to be on the street next west of the bath house; one gate at City Creek, one where the railroad crosses the line, one on the street that will best accommodate the travel to and from the east, and a sufficient number on the south line to reasonably accommodate the travel into the big field, and the country south; that half moon bastions be made in the wall, at distances as near 40 rods apart as the nature of the ground will admit, and at the gates and corners.

We would further recommend the following method for raising and applying the means to build the wall, to wit:  Let the Assessor charge ten dollars on every city lot now surveyed, or that may be surveyed within said wall, then rate each lot that is taken, or may be, at its fair cash market value, according to its location, and also the improvements thereon; then estimate, as near as may be, the cost of making the wall, deduct therefrom the amount arising from the ten dollars on each lot, and with the balance of the estimate, and the amount arising from the valuation of lots and improvements arrive at the percentage on said valuation; this to be done by wards as soon as practicable, and when complete for any ward, let it be handed to the Bishop of that ward, who will see the collection and application of his portion; the collection to be made in any mode that will answer the designed purpose.

All of which is respectfully submitted, by,

Albert Carrington
Parley P. Pratt
Franklin D. Richards

Great Salt Lake City, August 27th, 1853

[Deseret News, Oct. 1, 1853]
[Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Aug. 27, 1853, 1]

[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, July 2006]

Return to Parley P. Pratt in Utah Government