On the east side of the city library is approximately where the old city wall was located in 1860. Built from mud, the wall was begun as a way to protect the city from local tribes. It fortified the city. According to the Pioneer Museum, the settlers ended up feeding their Native American neighbors instead and the wall was never finished.
The story of the wall helps us understand the fraught dynamic faced by early settlers and the tribes that had used the land for centuries before the pioneers arrived. Can you imagine what both sides must have felt?
The situation where a large group new people moved to the city to settle has repeated itself several times in Tooele’s history. The newcomers have wanted a place to live and exist. The older residents often wanted to continue to use the land and resources as they had always done. Both sides want their cultures and traditions to survive. One example is when the hundreds of families moved to the city to work at the smelter in the 1910s. A few decades later, it happened again when the Tooele Army Depot opened. Each time, the city has gone through growing pains. Also, each time Tooelans learned to take the best of the situation to make the city stronger and more resilient.
At the entrance of the library is a memorial to the early pioneers. Visit the memorial and see if you recognize any of the names.