The History of Trolley Square

The Old West

Trolley Square has been part of Utah’s heritage since 1847, when Mormon leader Brigham Young designated the area as the Tenth Ward. The ten-acre block later served as fairgrounds, until Union Pacific magnate E. H. Harriman chose the site for his state-of-the-art trolley car system. He invested $3.5 million to construct the unusual mission-style carbarn complex in 1908. Within six years, more than 144 trolleys served the valley from the site until the transit line was discontinued in 1945.

The old and decaying carbarns were saved from demolition in 1972 when they were transformed into Utah’s only festival marketplace. Relics from the turn-of-the-century were rescued and used in constructing its unique stores.

Trolley Square was registered as a historic site by the state of Utah in 1973. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1996. The Square quickly became and remains one of the state’s most popular attractions, offering unique shopping, dining and entertainment in a charming, historic atmosphere.

Take a moment and relive the “Old West” by strolling through the historic highlights of Trolley Square.