By Ashley Dickson, utahvalley360.com
For many Utah Valley residents, the town of Vineyard means little more than a green sign on the side of I-15. But the area known for its farmland and Geneva Steel will soon become one of Utah Valley’s fastest growing areas.
The sand hills and fertile soil were once coveted spots for cultivating grapes, fruits and other berries. The vineyards of the area led way to the appropriate town name.
Vineyard’s first permanent settlers began to organize the community in 1855, when homesteaders paid $1.25 per acre for farming property on the lake bottoms. Farming reigned as the dominant occupation for Vineyard residents until the $200 million Geneva Steel plant began operation in the 1940s. Now farming and steel mill work are professions of the past in Vineyard – the town has 24 manufacturing and service-related businesses.
Geneva Road and 400 South — the one road into town is the one road out.
Only the locals know
Kids love to hang out at the wickiup – a Native American hogan on the shore of Utah Lake.
A few decades ago, the biggest issue in town may have been a pet dog getting hit. With the planned growth of Vineyard, residents are now concerned about the fate of the water and sewer infrastructures.
The average Vineyard resident is 29 years old. Many who grew up in Vineyard stick around to raise their families.
All in the family
Vineyard is the type of town where everyone knows each other – and it’s not just because there are only 150 residents. Nearly all Vineyard residents are related. There are only three families who are not descendants of the Holdaways, Gammons or Cleggs.
In an effort to define the town’s future and preserve the rural atmosphere, residents petitioned to have their community incorporated. On May 11, 1989, the area officially became the town of Vineyard.
After the sale of the Geneva site and the foreclosure of a number of farms, a developer is making plans to turn the 37-family town into a bustling 30,000-person community. Construction is under way for a natural gas-fueled power plant that will serve customers in five western states. Researchers are studying the possibility of bringing commuter rail to the area to combat the future growth.
Best part of living here
With only 46 houses on 2,800 acres, Vineyard is a very quiet, open area. Vineyard fits the mold of a sleepy, agricultural town – and that’s just the way the residents like it.
Worst part of living here
Change is imminent. The sleepy town won’t be open and quiet for long. By the end of the summer, construction will begin for the first of the new neighborhoods in Vineyard.