The history of Bluffdale, Utah is very interesting. The Madsens were the first permanent settlers in this area. In 1862, they arrived and made a homestead on the east side of the Jordan River. During that same year, Chris Peterson arrived with his family. Shortly after Timothy Gilbert made his homestead on the west side of the river. In 1868, Robert and John Spencer also arrived.
An interesting character during those early days was a man name Orin Potter Rockwell. He arrived in 1858 and purchase 16 acres of land from Evan Green at Hot Springs. The road that went by Hot Springs was often traveled by troopers who were heading towards Great Salt ake City or Lehi. Mr. Rockwell had a vision whereby a visitor who was traveling could stop and stay overnight, stable his animals, and have a glass of homemade beer. His vision turned into a reality with the completion of the Hot Springs Brewery Hotel. The hotel had a stable, brewery, restaurant facilities, and a pony express station.
In 1883, the Bluffdale precinct was created by the Salt Lake County Court. The first justice of the peace was William Wallace Merrill. The post office was established in the autumn of 1888 with Mr. Merrill as its postmaster. The post office could not use the name Bluffdale because there was already a post office in Bluff, Utah. The Salt Lake County Court decided that the names were too similar.
As the town continued to grow there was a donation by Mr. Merrill and Mr. Spencer of land for a church. The church building was constructed at a cost of $1200, which was all donated. Children, women, and men help to construct the church by making adobe bricks from the Crystal Hot Lakes. The lumber required for this church came from the nearby Big Cottonwood Canyon. It took almost one week for a round-trip from the church to the Canyon.
The town also built a meeting house with a large, single room and a potbellied stove in the middle of the room. This meeting house was used as a location for the school and other social events. On the other side of the street from the meeting house was a tithing house. This house was a location where the townsfolk could pay whatever they had for tithing. Some of the items would include eggs, butter, or meat.
The first train entered Bluffdale in 1876 and unfortunately there was a tragic accident at one of its crossings in 1938. Bluffdale is an excellent example of an American town that grew from homesteaders who came into the area.