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The Archaeology of Alcohol in the Early Days of Saltair

October 19, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


In 1893 Saltair, a resort with a massive Moorish revival pavilion, was built on the shores of the Great Salt Lake and attracted visitors from across the state of Utah. Owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS), which was heavily influenced by the temperance movement, the question of whether alcohol should be served was a controversial subject for the owners and visitors alike. The Church wanted a wholesome resort where families could relax in peace away from alcoholic influences, yet were also concerned that banning alcohol would result in the loss of profits. Despite this controversy and the hesitancy of the LDS owners to sell alcohol, evidence of alcohol consumption is prevalent in the archaeological record. This presentation examines the the role of alcohol at Saltair, and the spaces in which it was consumed.



About our speaker


Tessie Burningham is an archaeologist for the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining. She earned a bachelor’s in history and anthropology from the University of Utah and a master’s in anthropology from the University of Idaho. She has worked for various organizations, including the BLM Vernal Field Office, Utah State Historic Preservations Office (SHPO), and in private sector cultural resource management. With a strong background in geographic information systems (GIS) she loves to incorporate spatial analysis in her work and has a passion for 19th- and 20th-century rural archaeology and post-contact American Indian research.