An Introduction to Salt Lake's Greek History

The historic Greek Orthodox Church located in Salt Lake City, the Holy Trinity, was filled with Greek adults and youth on Friday night for a social dance. The minister of the church greeted couples as they walked to the door in their best dress, and lights were strung throughout the Hellenic Cultural Association next door. The Greek community in Salt Lake is closely connected through culture, shared experiences, and religion. Their history is rich!

In the early twentieth century, mining and infrastructure jobs opened across the West and brought thousands of immigrants from across the globe to the Western United States. Employment opportunities multiplied as the Utah Copper Company expanded its mine in western Salt Lake, and the Greek community grew as immigrants followed their families and acquaintances to the Salt Lake Valley. Unified by Orthodoxy and racism in mining towns, Greek enclaves formed around the smelters. The enclaves dispersed after the World Wars and began to localize and integrate in Salt Lake City. Both skilled and unskilled Greeks joined the labor force during the latter half of the twentieth century entering fields such as law, the restaurateur business, and others.

The Greek Festival in Salt Lake City each September celebrates Greek community in the valley and welcomes all, unifying again the Greek community despite diverse new life circumstances and also helps educate the general public. This interactive opportunity to experience Greek culture and food only comes once a year, but daily opportunities to interact with the Greek community in Salt Lake are abundant. Historical resources are available at the Hellenic Historic Museum in the basement of the Holy Trinity Cathedral and authentic Greek food can be found at the Lamb or Crown Burger. The Greek community is largely responsible for the Salt Lake Valley as it exists today. Their history is our history.

Greek Orthodoxy in Salt Lake City

Greek Orthodoxy long served as the center of life in Greek Utah. A small church was initially built in Price, Utah in 1904 to carry out rituals of marriage, baptism, and funerals. After approximately twenty years, the Holy Trinity Cathedral was…

The Hellenic Historic Monument

America experienced heightened nationalist ideology during World Wars I and II. As hysteria over the broader conflicts in Europe increased, xenophobia in the United States created strong inter-ethnic stress. In Utah, tension already existed in the…

Salt Lake's Historic Crown Burger

Dean Maroudas’ father immigrated to Chicago with his siblings. After spending some time in Chicago, the Maroudases came to Utah where Mr. Maroudas began working for another Greek family at Ajax Presses fashioning dry cleaning presses. When Ajax…

Kennecott's Greek History

By 1868, Utah’s copper industry had grown to such an extent that it attracted immigrant workers from all over Europe. After the Utah Copper Company began managing the Bingham Canyon Copper Mine in June of 1903, the Magna Mill and other smelters in…