Landmarks Re-purposed

Landmarks Re-purposed.

After reading the many fond remarks about memories centered around the Millpond from fellow residents of our fine valley, I find myself

Millpond Sunrise

Millpond Sunrise

returning again and again to that landmark and its significance to so many generations. When a picture was recently posted of the Millpond, the remarks brought a flood of remarks – which in turn prompted additional memories.

It also serves to reinforce my belief that nothing stirs up memories quite like a photograph.

History and photography – my two favorite subjects! The comments generated from the photograph went back to the early 60’s and continued through the 70’s. It was very enjoyable to read of the swimming, rafting, water-skiing, ice-skating, fishing and plain old frog catching.  Equally enjoyable to be reminded of my participation in those activities – except ice skating.

During the 70’s, significant changes began to take place around the Millpond – most notably is that a community sprung up with development on all sides. It had lost its private marina status. From a isolated playground to a central feature of the development of the north Tooele Valley, things certainly changed.

In my article Landmarks Re-Visited, I pointed out that previous generations had used this area as a day camp while waiting for their grain to be milled. It is certain that Native Americans used this landmark in similar ways – a place to stop and replenish on their journeys.

The logical campground would be the flats directly south of the mill and east of the Millpond itself. This area is where boats were launched in order to water-ski.

It might be easy to assume that this landmark has been lost altogether as a recreation area because of the development. Fortunately it doesn’t have to be that way. Current generations might find it impossible to launch a motorboat or shoot carp with a .22, but the Millpond still offers an abundance of new memories to be made by later generations.



The flats east of the Millpond now contains multiple ball fields where youth can now participate in league baseball. Also, there is a skateboard park and a picnic pavilion near the ballparks.

For quieter tastes, that area is well-suited to walking, with a pedestrian bridge for crossing over the Millpond (our options were limited to swim across or walk a considerable distance around).  SAM_0358



One of the crown jewels that should not be missed is the Stansbury Park Observatory complex. Placed years ago next to the Millpond to avoid light-pollution from larger metropolitan areas, it still hosts ‘star parties’ in the summertime. Seriously, this is something you should not miss. Take a liberal supply of mosquito repellent and enjoy our private, unique marvel.

The Benson Grist Mill itself has become an attraction in its retirement. Thanks to a dedicated group of people, the mill was restored and tours are given. In addition, many other pioneer buildings have been placed near the mill that allows us a glimpse of the past. A farmers market takes place regularly during summer months, supporting local producers and enhancing community spirit.

SAM_0357New generations creating their own memories based upon landmarks from the past.


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