When Andy and I were looking for land to build on (before we bough our 2 acres), I came across a description of an area that sounded just like what we were looking for. It described a place for ‘people wanting to experience life instead of passing through it.’ That area turned out to be where we bought our land!
The two acres of property where we’ll be living is in an area called Tollgate Canyon (also known as Forest Meadow Ranch about 15-20 minutes from Park City). The people who live up there refer to it as “the mountain,” even though it’s part of the Wasatch Mountains. There are about 850 privately owned lots ranging anywhere in size from 1/2 acre to 40 acres. Some people live there part-time and others live there full-time. Once our house is built, we’ll be part of the year-rounders.
We spent almost a year looking at cabins and land–trying to decide which option would be the best for us. In the end, we decided that land would be our best option because it gave us the chance to design the house we wanted that would work for our small family and lifestyle. And because I’m a designer, I’m quite particular!
The reason we fell in love with the 2 acres is because they’re in the quieter part of the mountain. There are some places where the cabins are closer together and it felt like more of a neighborhood. Andy and I wanted to be more isolated and have fewer neighbors around us. This particular area only has 1 neighbor that we can see through the trees, and a different neighbor around a bend that we can’t see. Other than that, the rest is the mountain and trees–it’s perfect and exactly what we wanted!
I’m sharing the description of the area below. I found it on the Pine Meadow Ranch website:
“In the 1840s, Parley P. Pratt was searching for an easier route into the Salt Lake Valley than the one that was originally forged by the Donner Reed Company. After surveying the area in 1848, Pratt was certain he could open an easier road. He planned to avoid the Big and Little Mountains by turning South at Echo Canyon, past Coalville, through the easier terrain of Kimball Junction, then entering the valley through the canyon known as Parley’s. His route generally followed what is now I-80.
Pratt advanced the cost of the route out of his own pocket and charged travelers a toll: fifty cents for a wagon drawn by one animal; seventy-five cents for a wagon drawn by two animals; ten cents for each additional pack or saddle animal; five cents a head for loose stock; and a penny a head for each sheep. The tollgate was just below Suicide Rock at the canyon mouth.
Pratt opened his “Golden Pass” on July 4, 1850. His announcement in the Deseret News of July 20, 1850, said that a party of ten men, “the Newark Rangers” from Kendall County, Illinois had taken the new road and pronounced it “good.” While a clumsy and time-consuming pass was made by the Donner-Reed Company crossing the Wasatch, they clearly found the best route. Brigham Young’s Pioneer Companies, arriving in 1847, merely had to smooth the rough portions of road cut by the California wagon train.
Since then, Tollgate Canyon has continued to attract some of our country’s most colorful, adventurous, and inventive folks–each looking to experience life instead of merely passing through it.”
Until next time,
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Have a great day!