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South Valley Riverton Journal

Self-led tour offers insight into Riverton’s history

Apr 09, 2024 02:03PM ● By Peri Kinder

The Riverton Veterans Monument (1540 W. 13200 South) is a stop on the city’s self-led historic tour. The monument has names of veterans dating back to 1986. (Photo courtesy Riverton City)

Ben Behrmann believes history is the backbone of a community, offering a roadmap from the past to the present. As chair of the Riverton Historic Preservation Commission, Behrmann feels lessons from the past can instill pride, shape identity and create a path for future generations. 

“I think that learning about and understanding the history of our city develops a sense of community and that’s important because a lot of the people that live in Riverton, and love living here, often say it’s because of the sense of community,” he said. “I feel that when you learn about the history of the city and appreciate it, that sense of community grows.”

The historic commission has made it easy for residents to learn about the past by identifying nine locations of historical significance in Riverton. A map, available on the city’s website, leads people through a self-guided tour of the landmarks. Each site has a marker to share information about its historical importance. 

Granite stone benches found by Jim’s Restaurant (1728 Park Ave.) were made from the original foundation stones at Riverton’s Dome Church, with each bench weighing more than 2,000 pounds. 

The Old Town Riverton Historic Marker at 12722 S. 1700 West represents the place where the Page-Hansen Company Store stood for 110 years. At one time, it was considered the largest department store in the valley, outside of Salt Lake City.

A marker at 1926 W. 12600 South memorializes the Riverton Train Station, which was in operation from 1913 until 1946, the year before the city was incorporated. 

Behrmann’s personal favorite site is the Tithing Hill Granary Historic Marker (1175 W. 12400 South) where members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints brought produce, livestock, poultry and other products as a tithing donation to the church from 1886 to 1913. 

“I moved here when I was a teenager, so I was familiar with the Tithing Hill area. In fact, when we moved here the Tithing Hill barn was still up,” he said. “The granary is actually part of a Relief Society project where, for about 100 years, they would gather wheat and store it for emergency purposes to help each other out and to give people in time of need.”

The Jordan River Bridge Historic Marker (12400 River Vista Drive) is a reminder of the bridges that crossed the Jordan River, connecting communities at the south end of the valley. Built in 1865, the first bridge joined Draperville and Fort Herriman through Gardnersville (later named Riverton).

Other sites include the Dome Church Historic Marker (1452 W. 12600 South), the Richards Farm Monument at Centennial Park (13000 S. 2700 West), Riverton City Hall Historic Marker (12830 S. Redwood Road) and the Riverton Veterans Monument (1540 W. 13200 South). 

Riverton City Historic Preservation Commission commemorative coins are available for those who visit and take a picture at each site. Take the photos to Riverton City Hall to receive the coin. Visit Riverton.Gov/Tour for the marker map and more information. 

“One thing we’re working on is to create more historical markers. We have several that we’re working on right now to add to it,” Behrmann said. “We’re more than happy to entertain any suggestion that anyone might have.”

The commission is also creating a historic display for the Sandra N. Lloyd Community Center (12830 S. Redwood Road) which is being remodeled and scheduled to reopen within the next few months. 

Anyone interested in joining the Riverton Historic Preservation Commission can reach out to the city recorder at [email protected]. λ