Celebrate summer fun with a photographic look at Lagoon's past

Deseret News archives
If you're going to Lagoon this summer, you're — perhaps unknowingly — continuing a long tradition of summer fun in Utah.

According to the Utah Education Network website, the Lagoon resort was built in 1896 by Simon Bamberger, the fourth governor of Utah, as a way to increase traffic on the Salt Lake and Ogden Railway.

Over the years, Lagoon offered a plethora of activities to patrons, from concerts to dances, hot air balloon rides, horse racing, live theater and thrill rides. The first thrill ride opened in 1899, according to uen.org, and since then, many more rides have been added.

Here's a look back at Lagoon's history using photos from the Utah State Historical Society and the Deseret News archives:
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
Highland, UT

Back in the day before the giant crowds, my brother rode the white roller coaster 30 consecutive times in one day. Funny.

Cadillac Man
Salt Lake City, Utah

Lagoon was the summer concert venue for decades yet you included no pictures of the Patio Gardens which hosted The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones and countless other big acts. What about the moonlight swim? The crowd was so large the Lagoon parking lot fence was torn down by law enforcement.This could have been great but it is sparse and lacking.

Salt Lake City, UT

This was a wonderful way to travel down memory lane. Thanks for a great piece and great photos. I remember the 1953 fire--I was so afraid that Lagoon would close forever. The Fun House was so awesome.

Altamont, UT

Oh, I remember that evil disk in the funhouse! Many a bruise and fat lip from being thrown off of that thing!! Loved the tall slides in the funhouse. Thanks for the photos!

sid 6.7
Holladay, UT

Thanks for the memories D-News! Great read!

Monsieur le prof
Sandy, UT

I remember seeing the Smothers Brothers there. It was one of the best concerts ever!

Pleasant Grove, UT

Ah, the Giant Slide with the sit-inside sacks! Scared the daylights out of me as a kid.

Salt Lake City, Utah

My grandmother's brother was Ranch Kimball. We thought we were the luckiest kids in the world because we had free tickets and could ride the rides non-stop until we were totally sick. We always ended the day at Lagoon in the Fun House. It was fun, scary and dangerous on some of those spinning rides, long slides and turning barrel. That was before law suits. Missing are pictures of the Beach Boys and other popular groups who performed at the Terrace. I will never forget the Beach Boy concert as a teenager. What a thrill, especially when they sang about "Salt Lake City, here we come" and mentioned Lagoon in the song. Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

Cedar Hills, UT

just got back from Lagoon with wife. Lots of fun still. I recall as a little boy in the late 60's going on the bumper cars and fun house. The fun house was pretty crazy as I remember.

cambodia girl
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

I remember being scared to death when my brothers and sisters used to make me (the youngest) open doors in the Fun House where monster dummies would fall forward. You had to find the correct door to get through. Also the moving walkway and the air blasts that sent our hair and sometimes our dresses flying upward.

Does anyone have a photo of the laughing lady? I remember just staring and staring at her. It was amazing to see.

Quiet Neighborhood, UT

Nice article! I will have to show my kids.

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