My Views of Utah

Fillmore, Territorial Capital of Utah

Photos taken 1999

Photos by Venita*

small map

Salt Lake City is the Capital of the State of Utah. Before Utah was a State, it was a Territory. The Territorial Capital wasn't Salt Lake City, but Fillmore, a town closer to the geographical center of the area. Fillmore is a small town along the I-15 Freeway which runs through Utah from north to southwest on it's way to Los Angeles. It's about halfway between the Idaho border and the Arizona border.

It's a great place to make a rest stop while traveling. In the center of town is a park surrounding the old Territorial State House, which is now a Museum and Visitor's Center. On the same site, a State Park, there are a couple of log cabins and a school from the Utah Pioneer Days. There are also a Public Library, a rose garden and picnic area, a swimming pool and a playground for the kids.


Above: The afternoon sun heightens the redness of the sandstone construction. The stones were quarried in the mountains east of town. Fillmore was named for Millard Fillmore, United States President at the time the boundaries of the Utah Territory were established. Millard County, of which Fillmore is the county seat, was also named in his honor.


Above: The entrance to the State House. Above the door:
"Territorial State House
Erected 1852-1855"


Above: Two small cabins, typical of those built by the Utah Pioneers, have been moved to this site. This back view illustrates the log construction. Original roofing may not have been shingles, but sod. Notice the glass-less windows, closed against the weather with wooden shutters.


Above: The Little Rock Schoolhouse, one of three early schools built in Fillmore, was built on this site in 1867. A cement walk has replaced the flagstones which once led to the front doors and which still surround the school.


Right: "Creating Fillmore City and Millard County, the Territorial Legislature of Utah selected Pahvant Valley as Capital site Oct. 20, 1851. This spot was selected by Gov. Brigham Young. Construction work began in 1852, Truman O. Angell, Architect, and Anson Call, Supervisor. This south wing was used by the fifth Territorial Lesiglature Oct. 10, 1855. In 1856 the Seat of Government was moved to Salt Lake City. Later used as Courthouse and County Headquarters. Restored in 1928 and dedicated as State Museum July 24, 1930."

Custodians: Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, Millard County Company


Left: "Before the close of 1851, the Pioneers of Fillmore had erected a log schoolroom inside the fort. It had split logs for seats, a dirt roof and floor. In 1854 an adobe church was built which served as school. In 1867 three small school buildings were erected. This is one of them; the first building financed by taxpayers..."

("Erected 1953" refers to the date the marker was mounted by the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, Millard County Company.)



Above: All of the land to the distant surrounding mountains was once covered with the type of growth seen in the foreground of this photo. Now one sees a cultivated field, US Interstate Highway 15, and beyond it, pasture for cattle. Fillmore City is across the Highway at center left. This mostly agricultural area is known for its mushroom culture industry.


Above: Broken lava flows, now hosting lichen and algae (foreground), and easily recognized cinder cones in the distance tell of the more ancient history of this broad valley. This view is looking northeast from a view point well south of town. Looking in any direction one sees similar remnants of a violent past.


Above: "Pahvant Butte" may have been a source of the most recent eruption, about 600 years ago, probably during the 15th century.

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*Unless otherwise noted, all photos on this website were taken by Venita, who also holds the copyright. Should you wish to download any of them for any reason (other than your own enjoyment), please credit  Venita  as the photographer and add my URL:

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