Garfield, Utah (Salt Lake) was a small mining town located just a few miles West of Magna, on the old 21st South road. (This is now called Interstate 201). Interstate 80 now runs through the North end of the town.
In the early history of Utah, Indians used to pass by the area. Some of them would stay at times in a cave at the South West end of the tailings pond. This was called by the locals, Dead Man’s Cave, since a man committed suicide in this cave around 1913. If you are driving West on the freeway just as you pass the pond, look to the North and you will see the cave, also you will see the old highway that used to run just beneath the cave. Skeletons found in the cave show that the Indians lived there somewhere between 3,000 and 7,000 B.C.
Early explorers and trappers went right by the caves and the Garfield area on their way back and forth to California and the East. This was the easiest route through the early Salt Lake Valley. Captain John C. Fremont, an early explorer, spent a night at the old Garfield town site in 1843. (Before it was a town). John Muir, the famous naturalist, spent several days in the area looking at the interesting vegetation that once covered the Oquirrh Mountains. In his book, Steep Trails, he writes about the Great Salt Lake and his stay at the hotel in Lake Point in 1877. (See Steep Trails, Chapter 8 and 9).