SOWIETTE PARK, 5th West and 5th North Sts., on the site of the second fort built at Provo, was named for the principal war chief of the Utes, who tried to protect the settlers from the warlike followers of Chief Walker. The latter, in the 1850's, camped near the fort, planning to attack the small group of pioneers. Chief Sowiette moved his warriors into the fort and prepared to defend his white friends. Walker and his braves whooped around the stockade all night, but finally withdrew. The walls and clearing of the old fort have been replaced by trees, tennis courts, a swimming pool, a baseball field, and tourist grounds open for camping.
The PIONEER MEMORIAL BUILDING, completed in 1938, was erected by the Sons and Daughters of Utah Pioneers. It contains a collection of pioneer relics and Indian artifacts, including an American flag woven of silk produced in Utah during the State's silk-raising experiment in the early 1890's. The flag won a first prize at the Chicago World's Fair of 1893. The PIONEER CABIN, north of the Memorial Building, is a replica of an early Utah cabin, furnished with authentic pioneer furniture.
PIONEER PARK, 5th West and Center Sts., is a favorite resort of children and checker players. Occupying a city block in the business district, the park contains a playground, a wading stream, and an open bandstand, where the municipality presents Sunday evening concerts during summer months. Tables and chairs are placed under the shade trees for the use of checker players.
The CITY AND COUNTY BUILDING, Center St. and University Ave., a classic structure of white oolite stone on a base of Utah granite, designed by Joseph Nelson, houses the government offices of Provo and Utah County.
UTAH LAKE, W. end of Center St., a body of fresh water covering nearly 150 square miles, is fed by the streams of Utah Valley and drained by Jordan River, which flows northward into Great Salt Lake. Father Escalante, who first visited the lake in 1776, reported in his journal: "This lake of the Timpanogotzis abounds in many kinds of good fish, and in geese, and other water-fowl that we had not time to see. The Indians . . . subsist upon the abundant fish of the lake, for which reason the Yutas and Sabueganas called them the Fish-eaters." As late as 1864 commercial catches of nearly two tons of trout in a single haul were not impossible. With years of commercial fishing, trout disappeared almost entirely from the lake. Suckers survived somewhat longer, but they too are scarce. Carp, catfish, yellow perch and bass were planted in later years, but experienced difficulties with the unstable lake levels.
The Jordan River, principal source of irrigation water for the farms of a large portion of Salt Lake County, originates at Utah Lake, and the concept that it would serve as a reservoir led to an inter-county legal controversy that lasted for more than twenty-five years. In 1872 Salt Lake County built a dam in the river eight miles north of the lake, to facilitate the diversion of water for irrigation, and for the storage of winter inflow. The year following, because of heavy snows melting in the mountains, the lake level became so high that landowners on the border of the lake, in Utah County, objected seriously to flooding of their property. During the wet winter of 1873-74 "the head gates washed out being helped by persons unknown," and it was not till the spring of 1875 that the dam was rebuilt. Trouble was more or less continuous until 1884, when Utah County filed suit for damages against Salt Lake City and four canal companies, then owners of the dam. Before the case came to trial, officials of the Mormon Church persuaded the litigants to arbitrate. John Taylor, President of the L.D.S. Church, and his first councilor, George Quayle Cannon, presided.