Pioneers came into the Sandy area in the 1860's. It was a farming community with few people and widely spaced homes. When mining began in the nearby canyons and the railroad arrived in 1877, Sandy changed from a quiet agricultural village to a booming mining town. This was a time where the Italians, Greeks, and other groups arrived by the hundreds, and when the Mormon settlers were soon outnumbered by those of other faiths.
The ideal location of Sandy also quickly attracted the businesses associated with mining such as smelters and sampling mills for testing the ores brought down from the mines. These businesses provided hundreds of lucrative, but dangerous and sometimes unsteady jobs for young, strong men. But unlike other boom towns such as Alta, some of the men who became involved in mining also had other sources of income such as farming, or business endeavors.
The sudden influx of business resulting from the placement of the railroad also brought on the massive growth of the downtown area. In no time at all, Sandy was a one-mile square town containing many thriving businesses including 17 saloons, several hotels, and even a ZCMI Co-op.
In 1893, Sandy's population was over 1000 and Sandy incorporated and passed its first ordinances. The first Mayor was Arthur J. Cushing and laws were enforced to create a more civil town. Failure of the mines in the early 1900's forced many people to leave and Sandy once again became a quiet agricultural community.
By 1900, there were only 4 saloons in town, all of which were owned by Mormons. By 1910, the total population was 1,716, and 54 percent of the population was under the age of 18. Home construction also grew on the East side of the tracks and spread out creating several more blocks. Building construction improved, and slowed down, which indicated the willingness of people to stay in the community. Sandy became well known for its farming crops such as beets, alfalfa, and peaches.
Sandy City Historic District
This hand-drawn map of Sandy City Historic District was produced by Albert Hardcastle, Sr., in about 1880.