A condensed history lesson on Tremonton
By Emily Jensen
But before you give up, you will come upon a city that boasts 13 restaurants, two motels and one hotel, nine convenience/gas stations, two grocery stores and even a bar.
Welcome to Tremonton, Utah, home of the Bear River Bears and over 4,500 people.
Located in Box Elder County, just west of the Bear River, Tremonton is a decision city. This is because the interchange of Interstate 84 and Interstate 15 is located in Tremonton. If you are going north, you will need to decide to either continue up Interstate 15 to Pocatello, Idaho and off to Montana or take the Interstate 84 and head to Boise, Idaho and on to Washington.
Tremonton's history is somewhat unique in that Mormons did not settle it. The Bear River Valley was inhabited by the Fremont and later the Shoshoni Indians before the coming of white settlers. John Petty first settled the townsite, of what was to become Tremonton, in 1888. His farm took up of what is now the south half of the city.
Families came from Nebraska and Illinois to settle in the Bear River Valley. Tremonton's name began as Tremont, given by the German settlers who originated from the Tremont, Ill. It later was named Tremonton at the mail carriers' request because mail en route to Fremont, Utah would end up in Tremont, Utah, and vice versa.
Tremonton is the second largest city in Box Elder County and has an elevation of 4,322 feet above sea level. In the 1930s, the population was around 1,400. Tremonton has grown so that in the 1990s, the population is over 4,200. In the last 10 years, the population of Tremonton has gone up 22 percent.
And this growth is continuing, Rich Woodworth, Tremonton city manager, explains that Tremonton has is a growth rate of about 70 homes going up in the city per year with an average family size of 3.2.
Why the growth? One reason is the city's developing industrial park including, OEA Automotive Safety Inc., La Z Boy Reclining Chairs, and Thiokol Corporation located in Brigham City and Promontory, Utah, employing with over 8,000 people. The industry is expanding, and in the year 2001, a new Malt-O-Meal factory will open with more employment opportunities for future residents.
The pride of Tremonton rests with the local Bear River High School Bears. In the 3-A class, the Bears home football games will draw people from all over the valley. Yet in the entire history of the school, Bear River has never won a football state championship. But the fans will flock to the games, and if you drive by the stadium on a warm fall evening, you may hear the roar of the home crowd as the team goes for a touchdown.
"Economically, the city is the central shopping place for the Bear River Valley," explains Kleon Kerr in Those Who Have Served, Town of Tremonton. "Tremonton is a modern city."
More information about Tremonton can be found at www.tremontoncity.com.