By Councilmember Tish Buroker
What do you know of Riverton? When was it first settled and by whom? Where did the original settlers live and why? When I travel, I love to read the historic signs and markers and learn about the places I am visiting. These signs enhance the sense of community, pride and belonging that is important to residents, and to a city. However, in Riverton we have not had any historical signs that tell the Riverton story. Now we finally have our first historic sign. It is located at the pedestrian bridge in Roi Hardy Park, located at 12400 River Vista Drive, and it tells the story of the original bridge that crossed the Jordan River from Draper to Riverton.
This sign was built and installed at no cost to Riverton residents. Riverton City obtained a grant from the Jordan River Commission for the materials and installation of the sign. With the design help of Riverton City’s graphic designer, Brook Bowen, and the input and review of Scott Crump to ensure historical accuracy, we now have our first historical sign.
During the process, Draper City was contacted about the project and they were so enthused with the idea that they paid for a duplicate sign to be placed on the Draper side of the river. These signs tell the story of the original wooden bridge built in 1865 that crossed at this location and the steel bridge that replaced it in 1909. This original steel bridge was deemed unsafe and closed to all traffic in 1981. There is a great picture on the sign from 1910 that features an early motorized car followed by two wagons crossing the bridge. In 2001, an exact replica of the steel bridge was installed and is currently a walking bridge on the Jordan River Trail, allowing the river to be crossed once again at its original location.
Riverton has many more stories to tell. Over time I hope that with the aid of the Riverton Historical Preservation Commission, Riverton residents, and the support of the Riverton City Council and Mayor, more signs may be placed which tell the story of this wonderful community we call home.