Stockton, Utah Information
Stockton, Utah, is located in Tooele County, 40 miles or 46 minutes southwest of Salt Lake City. To get to Salt Lake City, take UT-36 N and I-80 E. Originally, it was a Union army camp, known as Camp Relief. The soldiers sent to the area to protect the mail delivery during the Civil War named the new town after their hometown of Stockton, California.
Stockton, Utah Details
Stockton was first settled in 1863 during the mining boom in Utah. The town grew to a population of 4000, which, interestingly, far exceeds the population of 616 that was registered during the 2010 census. Other census figures show that the town only had a population of 80 in 1870 but grew to 515 in 1880. The population has fluctuated between 200 to over 400 ever since until it hit 616 in 2010. Stockton’s history has a few other interesting bits of trivia. It became the first town in the Utah territories to be surveyed and to name its streets. It was also the first town to have electric lights, a telephone that was installed in the Honorine Mine in the 1890s, and a smelter west of the Mississippi River.
At the same time that Stockton was established, a neighboring town alternatively called Centre, Puckerville, and Ajax was settled. In 1869, after his store in Salt Lake City failed, William Ajax moved there to raise hay and sell it to the mines. However, he quickly started a store in his home. By 1870, a post office was added and the store needed its own building. So Ajax created an underground store that he dug out, reinforced with timber, and added roof beams, an earthen roof, and a skylight. The original store was 1,800 square feet and 10 to 15 feet deep. He sold all the necessities along with fine textiles and imported tableware. The store was a success. Customers came from surrounding towns. So he enlarged it to 80 feet by 100 feet and finally to 11,000 square feet with over $75,000 worth of merchandise. He built a hotel, corral, and stables. When the railroad made it easier to get to Salt Lake City, business declined. When he died in 1899, his sons continued to run the store, but the Ajax family were the only inhabitants of the town in 1900. The store closed in 1914 and was accidentally burned down by vagrants sleeping in it in the 1920s. There is nothing left of the town of Ajax except a marker and an indentation in the ground where the store was.
Population and Real Estate Facts and Figures
According to the City Data the population in 2014 was 638 in 216 households. The education level of the population is about 40 percent with a high school degree or higher and about 20 percent with a Bachelors degree or higher. The city had median household income was $66,044 and a per capita income of $26,639.
In 2015, there were 266 housing units with 203 owner-occupied. The median value of the single family homes was $222,277 in 2015. In 2015, the median gross monthly rent was $750.
Places to See and Things to Do in the Stockton, Utah
Adobe Rock is an isolated rock formation located in north Tooele Valley at the intersection of Routes 138 and 36. Since there was fresh water nearby, this rock provided a lookout and a camping area for wagon trains heading west. Adobe Rock is on private property, so you will have to view it from a distance.
The Bonneville Salt Flats
The Bonneville Salt Flats are located along Interstate 80 in Tooele County. They are a remnant of Lake Bonneville from the glacial period. The flats do fill with about an inch of water in the winter. Visitors are allowed to drive on the salt flats. Actually, since 1914, there has been auto racing on the Bonneville Speedway portion of the flats. There is “Speed Week” in mid-August, “World of Speed” in September, and “World Finals” in early October. Cars, trucks, and motorcycles participate.
The Pony Express Trail
A section of the Pony Express Route runs through this area. You can get a map and visit individual sites or follow a section of the trail.
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