Mt. Olympus Facts & Firsts

The area we call Olympus Cove is the upper part of an alluvial fan of sediments carried out of Millcreek and Neff’s Canyons of the Wasatch Range over tens of thousands of years. 

The Beginning

Before the arrival of Caucasian pioneer settlers in the Salt Lake Valley, this area was occupied seasonally and sporadically by bands of Goshute, Ute and Shoshone people, although none claimed the area exclusively.

Early Advantages

There were several advantages of our current neighborhood to early pioneer settlers: water, forests and land suitable for grazing and orchards. Millcreek was explored by Orson Pratt and Erastus Snow on July 21, 1847, three days before Brigham Young entered the Salt Lake Valley. 

Pratt reported being impressed with the trees, grasslands, and water supply of our area. The lower part of Millcreek was Utah’s first settlement outside of Great Salt Lake City.

1848: The Gardeners

By spring of 1848, John Neff, Sr. And Robert and Archibald Gardner settled in the upper Millcreek area. The Gardeners started a saw mill on the waters of Millcreek near what became Highland Drive and Neff headed further east and constructed the valley’s first flour mill near present-day Evergreen Avenue And 2700 East. 

Mt. Olympus Community boundary map

Shortly after, the following groups and families settled along MillcreeK:

  • Fisher
  • Keller
  • Osguthorpe
  • Russell
  • Stillman

They built mills from Highland Drive to the top of Millcreek Canyon to produce:

  • Flour
  • Molasses
  • Sawn lumber 
  • Shingles

 John Neff built a road east into the canyon named for him to cut timber to build Salt Lake City and its new “suburbs.”

Full Development

The full development of the Olympus Cove began in earnest after World War II. Land that was lightly populated by ranchers grazing animals and fruit growers and their orchards gave way to new subdivisions. 

In the 1950’s, the new Eastwood Elementary School and Eastwood Hills subdivision were constructed on an area that had been an early landfill.

The Mount Olympus Park subdivision and numerous others followed, taking advantage of the captivating views and natural beauty of the area.