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History of Orem, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia (Links Added)
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The city of Orem is located on the eastern shore of Utah Lake and extends on the east to Provo and the foothills of Mount Timpanogos. It shares the general location with Provo, and its history is closely related to that of Provo. Its recent explosive development and growth have resulted in Orem's population exceeding 67,000 people, according to 1990 census figures.

Prior to its incorporation, Orem was known as the "Provo bench," and its fertile orchards and farmlands added to Provo's early reputation as the "Garden City of Utah." Orem was incorporated in 1919 because residents recognized the need to develop a water system for the area. Orem has little naturally occurring water, and local residents believed that Provo was unlikely to provide the public financing necessary to construct a water system. One of the first acts of the new town was to issue $110,000 in bonds to construct the water system, which solved the area's long-standing shortage of water. The new town took its name from Walter Orem, the owner of the interurban railroad that ran between Salt Lake City and Provo, in an apparent attempt to curry the favor and attract the investments of this prosperous resident of Salt Lake City.

Unlike many Utah towns and cities, Orem was not laid out in regular city blocks with houses clustered closely together. Instead, Orem's origins are in homesteads settled along the territorial highway (now State Street) and along other substantial arteries where area farmers built their homes and to live near their fields and orchards. As prime farmland along primary roads was taken, farms sprang up in other parts of the "bench" that is now Orem, and rural roads soon crisscrossed the area connecting the farms. This type of development, known in Utah as the "Gentile manner," differed from typical historical development by Mormons, who were often counseled by church leaders to live in the city and cultivate farmland outside its limits.

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