When Utes Visited ZCMI

Posted on 12 June 2013

Crossroads West

This intriguing stereograph captures a moment in time shortly before the histories of Utah Utes and Utah Mormons—two groups entangled from the late 1840s through the early 1870s—fatefully diverged. Salt Lake City photographer Charles Savage set up this shot at the Eagle Emporium, the new flagship location for Zion’s Co-Operative Mercantile Institute (or ZCMI, ostensibly “America’s first department store”). A group of armed and mounted Ute men posed for Savage here in 1869—the same year as the joining of the transcontinental railroad at Promontory Summit, Utah. On the store’s facade, behind the equestrians, the all-seeing eye of God (between the words “Holiness to the Lord” and “Zion’s”) looks upon an American eagle alighted atop a beehive, the symbol of Utah Territory (as well as Deseret, the LDS shadow “theodemocracy”).

Tags: , , , , , ,