The east shore of the Great Salt Lake was surveyed in October 1855, and included land that later was to become the city of Syracuse. It was part of the "big range" of northern Davis County, which was a good place for raising sheep and cattle. However, the area did lack water, with only two springs between Kay's Creek and the Weber River.
With the Homestead Act of 1862 the land became available for settlement; however, the first person to plow and sow land in the area was David Cook in 1876. Joseph Bodily also homesteaded eighty acres and built the first log cabin in 1877. David Kerr, Joseph Hadfield, John Sheridan, and others came in 1878.
By 1884 the extended Hooper Canal brought water from the Weber River to the area. With water, homesteads developed near the lake shore. Soon hay and grain grew in abundance. Dairy farming became important when a group of farmers built a cheese factory. Within twenty years of the first settlers, most of the available land was under cultivation. It did not take long before farmers near the lake realized that some of the land was suited for fruit growing. Artesian wells with cement holding ponds in conjunction with the Hooper Canal irrigated several hundred acres of apples, pears, peaches, and plums. By the turn of the century, this area had become the largest producer of fruit in Davis County.