The Mormon “Halfway House”

“Year by year the number and variety of available goods and services [in Salt Lake City] increased. . . .By 1852 . . . travelers could patronize several eating houses and hotels. In 1853 yjr United States Hotel owners advertised the only bar in the city . . . By 1856 clothiers, weavers, druggists, sign painters, saddlers, and operators of vegetable markets were also actively engaged in trade . . .

The total effect of all this was significant. To be able to interrupt the once-formidable overland journey for an extended sojourn in a large city where an emigrant could feast on memorable cuisine, board in a bona fide hotel, have a likeness made to send back to relatives, have his hair cut, his watch repaired, and even eyeglasses prescribed must have altered the atitudes with which travelers faced the overland journey.”