The Isaac Chase Mill stands as monument to pioneer industry and innovation. It remains as a symbol of pioneer strength and their hopes for their future in the Salt Lake Valley. While not used for much more than a shed now, this monument, recognized by the state, stands as a reminder of Utah’s heritage.

The Isaac Chase Mill is the oldest commercial building still standing in Utah. The mill was built beginning in 1847 when the second group of Latter-day Saints arrived in the Salt Lake Valley and was finished in 1852. The mill was made by Isaac Chase who had been a successful miller in his home state of New York as well as in Nauvoo after he had been baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Isaac took the trek west in 1847 with his family, including his 13-year-old daughter who drove the wagon that had the gristmill equipment. It was with this equipment that he was able to create his mill which became one of the first in Utah. In 1854, after two years of the mill’s operation, Brigham Young joined Isaac Chase and became his partner in the mill’s production. Chase continued as a miller for the next six years before selling his share of the mill to Brigham Young in exchange for a cabin in Centerville, Utah in 1859. The mill then became known to most as Brigham Young’s lower mill as he already owned a mill further north in Salt Lake City.

The mill became well known due to the famine of 1856-1857. During the famine, Isaac Chase’s mill provided free flour to the people of the valley, helping them survive and saving numerous families. Before Brigham Young’s death, he said he wished the land on which the mill stood to be sold to the city for the lowest possible price. On April 20, 1881 Salt Lake City purchased 100 acres of land from the Brigham Young estate which included the Chase Mill. Today the mill stands as a historic monument at Liberty Park, which was once known as Mill Farm in honor of the Isaac Chase Mill.

Images

Isaac Chase Mill, 1968
Isaac Chase Mill, 1968 Source: Fairbanks, P. Kent.  "Historic American Buildings Survey, P. Kent Fairbanks, Photographer August, 1968 SOUTH ELEVATION. - Isaac Chase Mill, Sixth East Street, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, UT." Historic American Buildings Survey, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. https://www.loc.gov/resource/hhh.ut0036.photos/?sp=1
Isaac Chase Mill, 2009
Isaac Chase Mill, 2009 "The Isaac Chase Mill, the oldest standing industrial building in Utah, is located at Tracy Aviary in Liberty Park, Salt Lake City." Source: Simpson, Tricia. "Chase Mill Salt Lake City Utah." Wikimedia Commons. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chase_Mill_Salt_Lake_City_Utah.jpeg Creator: Tricia Simpson
Isaac Chase Mill
Isaac Chase Mill Source: Fairbanks, P. Kent. "Historic American Buildings Survey, P. Kent Fairbanks, Photographer August, 1968 NORTH AND WEST ELEVATIONS. - Isaac Chase Mill, Sixth East Street, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, UT." Historic American Buildings Survey, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. https://www.loc.gov/resource/hhh.ut0036.photos/?sp=3

Location

Metadata

Chase Barfuss, Brigham Young University, “Isaac Chase Mill,” Intermountain Histories, accessed July 22, 2024, https://www.intermountainhistories.org/items/show/386.