Backstory and Context
Echo Canyon is the last canyon that the Mormons passed through on their way to Salt Lake City. The canyon was also used by the pony express and where the Union Pacific railroad and the first telegraph line went through. It was named simply because it has immaculate echoing capabilities. Later a city was developed near the canyon. Echo canyon is one of the most important canyons to the westward expansion.
Echo canyon is both useful and scenic. Its high rock walls and narrow passage make it unique, and frequently noted, it was nicknamed the echo chamber. William Clayton remarked about how the “the rattling of wagons resembled carpenters hammering. . . a rifle resembled a sharp crack of thunder and echoes from rock to rock for some time” (Clayton). The canyon is a long stretch going from Wyoming to Utah.
Echo Canyon was not only used to travel by man but also by beast. Such as the buffalo to cross from the grass of Wyoming to the salt of Utah. The canyon was used by wagon trains, Mormon pioneers, overland stage, pony express, gold prospectors and silver minors. Later was also used for development of the Union Pacific Railroad, transcontinental telegraph line, Lincoln highway and I-80.
A city was developed near and named after Echo canyon. The town was settled in 1854, by James Bromley, and began because of the transcontinental railroad. When the workers built saloons, brothels and set up tents. Many years later a church was built and was also used a few years later as a public school from 1880-1913. After which it was used as an LDS church for fifty years, and today it is a museum.
Without Echo Canyon the Mormon pioneers would have been forced to climb the mountain range to enter Utah. Because of this natural cut out of the mountain, the pioneers were able to gain easier access to Salt Lake, which ended their long and hard journey from the east to the west. The Mormon pioneers describe the canyon as both amazing and interesting, due to the sound of the canyon produced. Because of the Mormon pioneers it made it easier for the pony express, railroad and telegraph to travel to the western states.