Salt Lake Meridian Marker

The Salt Lake Meridian Marker identifies the spot from which the city of Salt Lake fans out into a grid of streets.



The marker identifies the site from which Salt Lake City began. President Brigham Young assigned Orson Pratt to design the future city by drawing upon Joseph Smith’s plan for the city of Zion. Orson went to work immediately, drawing the city plat with wide streets and large lots. By August 2, 1847, the base and meridian were established as the southeast corner of what was to become Temple Square. From there, he and Henry Sherwood began to survey the plat for Salt Lake City; all streets identified by the number of blocks east, west, north, or south of the meridian marker. Interestingly, while crossing the plains with the first pioneer company, Orson Pratt was unable to set his watch accurately for the space of two months. Hence, when he measured the precise latitude and longitude of the area, his calculations were off by fifty feet.

Historical Marker Database

Additional Media

The replica of the original Meridian Marker. Jeffery Marsh.

Old Orson Pratt. Daughters of Utah Pioneers.

The Original Meridian Marker. Moved to the LDS Church History and Art Museum in August 1989. Brigham Young University.

Map of Zion. Brigham Young University.

Plaque of the Meridian Marker. Jeffery Marsh.