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History and Archaeology of the Old Saltair Resort on the Great Salt Lake
March 11 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Join the Dixie Archaeological Society for their March meeting, featuring Dr. Chris Merritt!
Our March 2020 meeting presentation will be “History and Archaeology of the Old Saltair Resort on the Great Salt Lake” by Dr. Christopher Merritt.
In hopes of making Utah Territory seem more metropolitan and ‘normal’, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints embarked on the construction of one of the most unique resorts in all of the United States. The Saltair Resort, opened in 1893, was located deep into the briny reaches of the Great Salt Lake. Advertised for both recreation (swimming, bathing, eating, etc.) and restorative opportunities from the salty waters, the Saltair Resort’s moorish architecture ushered in a unique part of Utah history. Completely destroyed twice by conflagrations, the 1893-1970 story of the Saltair Resort is uniquely Utah, and has left a remarkable archaeological legacy. Conflicts between treasure hunters and archaeologists has also recently hit the mainstream media, and this once-forgotten resort is now again at the forefront of Utah dialogue.
Chris is the State Historic Preservation Officer for Utah, and has worked for the State for over 7 years. Before that he received a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Montana studying the Overseas Chinese experience in the state, and a Master’s degree in Industrial Archaeology from Michigan Technological University. He has worked throughout the American West for a private consulting firm and the United States Forest Service. Finally, he teaches evening courses in Historical Archaeology and Cultural Resource Management at Salt Lake Community College.