A Gauge of the Times : Ensign Peak in the Twentieth Century
Utah Historical Quarterly
Beginning with the celebration of the fifty-year Pioneer Jubilee in 1897, the debate over how to use or develop Ensign Peak as a piece of real estate or as a cultural symbol is reviewed. Throughout the years, there has been a vocal historical debate about an alleged patriotic flag raising by Brigham Young on Ensign Peak when the pioneers first entered the valley. Although B.H. Roberts and Andrew Jenson both argued that such an event never occurred, the flag-raising legend has persisted. Starting in 1916, Boy Scouts and Church groups regularly hiked to the summit on Pioneer Day and other holidays to honor the historic site. Public discussions regularly arose about ways and plans to develop the property. Various flag poles were sited and a memorial was built. Real estate developers laid out grandiose plans and eventually encroached around the base of the peak with housing developments. Parks and various ways to ascend the peak were proposed and considered.