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Before Mormon settlement, the Shoshone, Ute, and Paiute had dwelt in the Salt Lake Valley for thousands of years. seeking a secluded area to safely practice their religion, far away from the violence and the persecution they experienced in the East.
At the time of the founding of Salt Lake City, the valley was within the territory of the Northwestern Shoshone; however, occupation was seasonal, near streams emptying from Canyons into the Salt Lake Valley. explorer in the Salt Lake area is believed to be Jim Bridger in 1825, although others had been in Utah earlier, some as far north as the nearby Utah Valley (the Dominguez-Escalante expedition of 1776 were undoubtedly aware of Salt Lake Valley's existence). Upon arrival at the Salt Lake Valley, president of the church Brigham Young is recorded as stating, "This is the right place, drive on." Brigham Young claimed to have seen the area in a vision prior to the wagon train's arrival.
This region is a corridor of contiguous urban and suburban development stretched along an approximately 120-mile (190 km) segment of the Wasatch Front, comprising a total population of 2,423,912 as of 2014 It is one of only two major urban areas in the Great Basin (the other is Reno, Nevada), and the largest in the Intermountain West.
The city was founded in 1847 by Brigham Young, Isaac Morley, George Washington Bradley and numerous other Mormon followers, who extensively irrigated and cultivated the arid valley.
Due to its proximity to the Great Salt Lake, the city was originally named "Great Salt Lake City"—the word "great" was dropped from the official name in 1868 by the 17th Utah Territorial Legislature.
Home to the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and Temple Square, Salt Lake City was historically considered a holy city by members of the LDS church; Brigham Young called it a "Kingdom of Heaven on Earth".