Lehi is getting ready to mark 36 of its most famous locationswith large historic markers that will be hard to miss.
“It’s just almost too good to be true,” said Lara Bangerter, director of the Lehi Historical Society and Archives and founder of the Lehi, Utah, Historical Marker Program. “Thanks to a very generous donation from the John Hadfield family of HADCO Construction, a large grant from the PARC Program and the cooperation and support of the city, we are going to install 36 historical markers that will stand 10 feet tall in the sidewalks of Lehi.”
Each aluminum-cast sign will look the same and offer approximately three sentences about the place, event or person it honors. Each should help tell the story of Lehi and the things that have happened here to make it such a wonderful place to live today.
Additionally, the historical society will be taking nominations for sign ideas and locations at lehihistory.com. “We hope people will take a few minutes to tell us where they think these signs should go and why,” said Bangerter. “We have some ideas, but these signs will mean more if we’ve had lots of public input to make sure we are considering all of the places that deserve to be highlighted.”
Bangerter said some of the obvious locations she would like to honor include the Lehi Hospital, the Rodeo Grounds, the Lehi Tabernacle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saintsand Lehi Roller Mills, as well as a location to mark the floods of 1983-1984 and the home of George Goates, whom the men of Lehi rescued from economic disaster in 1918.
The purpose of the historical marker program is presented in the historical society’s PARC grant application. It reads, “As Lehi grows, the Lehi Historical Marker Program will play an important role in preserving Lehi’s history and helping our community stay connected to its roots.
“It should not be forgotten that we are a people who have always known each other and come together for parades, rodeos, dedications, ball games, cattle drives, funerals, graduations, floods and so forth. We are hardworking people who stick to our values and take pride in our people, places and events.
“The hope is everyone who reads the signs will not only learn some interesting Lehi history, but they will be inspired by what Lehi once was, catch the spirit and strive to carry it on.”
The idea for the project came while Bangerter was on a trip to Philadelphia in March. There were navy blue signs with yellow lettering everywhere she went. After reading just a few, shediscovered that each offered interesting historic information. “That’s when I started looking for them because I was excited to read what they said.”
Some of the signs were in places where there were remnants of the past, while others had none. At an ugly parking lot in downtown, Bangerter found a historical marker for Sigma Sound Studios. The sign noted that David Bowie and Stevie Wonder had recorded there.
“I realized then I didn’t need a building or landmark for the information to be interesting,” said Bangerter. “That’s when I knew Lehi needed these signs. A lot of things no longer exist in Lehi, but I think the spirit of those places and the things peopledid there can live on through these markers.”
Locals and visitors will appreciate signs and the events or locations they represent. Marker locations, and the history behind them, will be tracked at lehihistory.com. The installation of signs is expected to take place over the next two to three years and the project will begin in 2023. Each marker will have a public unveiling to which all will be invited. Nominations will be taken throughout the project.
The historical society is extremely grateful for the program’s sponsors, including HADCO Construction and the Hadfield family, Lehi City and the PARC Program, which is funded by the PARC tax which was passed last November.
For more information, see lehihistory.com or stop by the historical society at 99 W. Main STE 100, Tuesday through Thursday from noon to 5 p.m.