Granger Gardens

When we first moved into our home we had seven children. We planted a huge garden with several rows of corn, 200 tomato plants, beans, peas, onions, peppers, cucumbers, etc. We did that for several years, as did most of our neighbors. Now that all our children are married, we are using small raised bed garden plots. We planted cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, carrots and squash. We love the taste of fresh picked produce and we love that many of those who live here in WVC have gardens, whether they be pots on the apartment balcony, or mixed in with flowers, or commercial ventures like Rushton farms, or a plot on the side of their homes. Such a great place to live! Such a great time of year!

Vote for Don Christensen as Councilmember-at-large
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Your Vote Matters!

Today’s news reported that only 15% of registered voters had cast their votes and turned them in for the municipal election. As I have personally called and visited with voters, I have been surprised to hear such things as, “I only have one race to vote for. It is not worth my time to vote,” or “This election is only for my city. What difference does it make to me who is elected?” 
YOUR VOTE MATTERS! NON PARTISAN city leaders have the greatest affect on your daily life. They provide police and fire protection, planning and zoning for your neighborhoods, local road repairs, parks and recreation, and garbage pick up. We are your neighbors who live in our city, shop our stores, eat in our restaurants, fight our traffic and bump along our state roads. We know what it means to have a beloved neighbor move away, a child struggle with friendships, and find joy learning to swim in our fitness center. 
You have your ballot and it must be postmarked by Monday the 12th or you may vote in person at West Valley City Hall on Tuesday the 13th.

Vote for Don Christensen as Councilmember-at-large!
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West Valley History

Although Joseph Harker crossed the Jordan River in 1849, Chesterfield was the first area settled. According to “The History of West Valley City, 1848-1990,” The move west across the river was hardly a rush. Although Granger began to be settled first, it was not until 1875 that the westward expansion began into Hunter. Because there was not a reliable supply of water, settlement was limited to only a handful of families.

A dam was built at Jordan Narrows, and several canals were hand dug to bring water to the Salt Lake Valley. The Utah and Salt Lake Canal provided water to the south part of Granger (Winder Dairy area) and snaked out to Hunter. Farmers dug the canals to and through their land. The canals were expected to be the blessing that dry farming was not. Dry farms, depending only on rain for irrigation, did not provide much in the way of income, so farmers were very excited to have irrigation water for their fields.

The famers thought if a little water was good, lots was spectacular, but it “caused the salts and minerals in the soil to rise to the surface, forming an alkali crust deadly to the crops.” Trees died and the farmers figured out the importance of draining the water off their fields instead of letting it stand in them. Decker, Porter, Moon, Big, and Haynes Lakes were all created to collect the water from the four canals dug from the Jordan Narrows.

In 1880 Hunter became a separate Precinct from Pleasant Green (Magna) and had a judge, Joseph Morris. Other offices of the day included a constable, a fence keeper, and a poundkeeper. The jobs could be quite dangerous as folks were sure they owned land exactly where their fences were, and they should not have to pay damages their cattle, pigs or horses caused. The passage of the Edmunds Tucker Act caused fear for polygamous families, and in fact Rasmus Nielson was arrested and served 6 months in prison and paid $300 in fines.

Recreation and religion were strong in the area and ball diamonds were part of the building of each ward chapel Not every ward west of the Jordan had a great team, but Hunter and Granger did, and it was not at all uncommon for harsh words to be a part be a part of games that included those particular teams. But each ward also had a brass band, and when the ball games were over dinner and dancing finished out the day.

Deep wells had to be dug, and not all provided good water. Privies were the bathrooms of the early Hunter residents, and catalogues provided the reading material at the “end of the path.”

Hunter was slow to grow and the 1900 census showed just 354 residents. Weevils killed crops and bounties were paid for sparrows, ground squirrels and rats, not encouraging for families to start their homes and farms in Hunter. Even as late as 1951, 90% of Salt Lake County had inadequate culinary water supplies. Deer Creek Reservoir was built and a water board consisting of Williard Jones of Hunter and Lynn Packard and George Harmon of Granger and others from across Jordan, were included and water was procured so that in 1953 a bond was passed and water lines were built to bring water to 350 homes in the Granger-Hunter area. County Zoning soon followed and the post war housing boom finally made it to Hunter in the mid 1950s.

Today’s Hunter is as bustling as Granger and lots of cities and towns across the valley and is still a vital part of West Valley City.


My heart goes out to all those families affected in both Dayton and El Paso. We are working diligently with our police department to be prepared and to prevent anything similar in West Valley City. 

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Fox Shadow’s Night Against Crime

Recently, I visited the Fox Shadow’s neighborhood for their “Night Out Against Crime” event. This delightful neighborhood was built as a homeowner’s association governed development. It has parks and cared for homes. Like most West Valley areas, people there care about each other and what happens to make things better.

Elect Don Christensen as Councilmember-at-large
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We love West Valley

West Valley City was created in 1980 by a vote of the residents of Granger, Hunter, and Redwood/Chesterfield. Each community brought their own unique characteristics and qualities to form a large city. Chesterfield has stayed closest to maintaining itself in the way it was when the city was created. It continues to be mostly agricultural, with a broad variety of animals being raised in the area: horses, goats, cattle, sheep, chickens, turkeys and even a peacock. It has five churches, a chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Khadeesa Islamic Center and Mosque, a Kingdom Hall of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Tongan United Methodist Church and First Apostolic Church, a couple of charter schools, Roots and American Preparatory Academy, and a large business area. It’s residents continue to be resilient and honor the past settlement and struggles associated with the community. 

Chesterfield was initially, built as a housing development around the “Interurban” railway flag stop between Granger and Magna. However, a recession in the early 1920s, prompted many to move away, and “in some instances taking their homes with them on wheels.” The area was resettled during the Great Depression when the poverty was rampant and the county welfare department felt that it would be wiser to help people purchase land and build their own homes. Lots sold for about $10 and homes were built from the meager materials that families could get. 

As the years have passed, Chesterfield has stayed much the same, a tight knit community where everyone takes care of each other. New homes have been built, a county park, Redwood Recreation Center, the Utah Cultural Celebration center, and many businesses surround the homes. 

A drive through the area brings sights of farms, horseback riders, the Jordan River Trail, and reminds old-timers of what the original West Valley City area once looked like.

Elect Don Christensen for Councilmember-at-large
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