Spanish Fork is nestled along the Wasatch mountain range and Utah Lake. The City is 55 miles south of Salt Lake City and 10 miles south of Provo. Spanish Fork is adjacent to Interstate 15 and US Highway 6 which leads to Moab and Arches National Park. Within minutes of the City are numerous outdoor locations for camping, picnicking, hiking, biking, fishing and skiing.
Spanish Fork is a community of 40,000 people which strives to maintain a high quality of life, by providing an outstanding environment for working, recreating, and enjoying life. We believe in “Pride and Progress” and we are the only community in Utah that owns and operates a municipal Cable TV and high speed internet service. Within 30 minutes of the City is a population of over 400,000 people, five colleges and universities with nearly 60,000 students.
Spanish Fork’s City government is the Council-Manager form, consisting of a part-time Mayor and five part-time City Council members, along with an appointed full-time City Manager who administers the operation of the City and its employees.
History of the Area
The Franciscan Friars named Silvestre Valez de Escalante and Francisco Atanasio de priests were in quest of a direct route from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to Monterey, California. After traveling down Spanish Fork Canyon they camped somewhere near the present day City limits on September 23, 1776.
Many years later the name "Spanish Fork" appeared on John C. Fremont's map of the area published in 1845. This was two years before the Mormons settled in Utah, and five years before there were any settlers in Palmyra. In all likelihood, the name "Spanish Fork" was derived from the fact that the route of the Taos trappers during the early part of the 1800's followed the canyon and the river. The indigenous population of Spanish Fork was composed of members of the Ute Indian tribe. They had no permanent villages due to their nomadic nature. Because these Indians ate so many fish, they were also known as the "water Indians".
Enoch Reece settled the first home in the Spanish Fork area in 1850; he laid claim to 400 acres of land approximately two miles west of Spanish Fork. Soon after, Charles Ferguson and George Sevey arrived in the area with 200 head of cattle belonging to Mr. Reece, and Spanish Fork had its first business venture.
In the winter of 1850-51 a few families settled along the Spanish Fork River. By the end of 1852 the population along the river had grown to over 100 families. In 1854 a fort was built in Spanish Fork to meet the needs of existing settlers. In January of 1855 the area of Spanish Fork incorporated as a city. Soon after incorporation, the first Icelandic immigrants settled between 1855 and 1860. These Icelandic pioneers established the first permanent Icelandic settlement in the United States.