In the fall of 1851, a few families left Salt Lake Valley and headed to Tooele to make a home. By 1853, the settlers had enough success that their community was officially incorporated as a town, one of the first in Utah. Pioneer Tooelans encountered a number of trials and difficulties trying to create a settlement. The winds were harsh, crickets ate their crops, and the tribes that originally used the land were not happy about the pioneers’ choice to settle in the valley.
The Old City Hall building (the building with the bell) was built in 1867 from red sandstone. It served as the Tooele County Courthouse because Tooele had recently been voted as the county seat. The building is a great example of the architectural style “Greek Revival inspired temple form stone building.” It is the oldest and best-preserved standing example of this style in Utah.
The building has been used consistently throughout Tooele’s history. Originally, it was a two-room building and basement, which contained cells for criminals. In 1871, it was enlarged and used as Tooele City Hall as well. The first Tooele Fire Department was housed next door.
A new, bigger county courthouse was built in 1899, and Tooele City used the building as City Hall until 1941. In 1942, Tooele City leased the building to the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers to use as a museum. In the 1970s, an annex was built attaching it to the Carnegie Library. Over the years, the Daughters of Utah Pioneers have had pioneer cabins moved to the site to help retain the structures and better tell the story of Tooele’s pioneers.