Harrisville, located in Weber County north of Ogden, has a population of about 5,800 as of 2012. It was settled in 1850 by Urban Stewart, who built the first log house in the area. One night in mid-September, he heard a noise in his corn patch and shot at a moving object. This “object” turned out to be a Shoshone Indian Chief, who died from the wound. The Shoshone people retaliated by killing another white man in the area. After this tragedy, Stewart was forced to leave the county. In 1851, Martin Henderson Harris, for whom the city was later named, built a log home in the area. Harrisville was incorporated in 1962, and in 1964, when it was made a third-class city, the population was 867.
In 1976, the city bought the property that was originally owned by the Martin Harris family and built the Martin Henderson Harris Bicentennial Park and Cabin. Residents can rent this cabin, which has become a popular place for wedding, family reunions, and community gatherings. Over the years it has been remodeled and upgraded to make it more comfortable and functional.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the incorporation of Harrisville, and to provide a legacy for future generations, the community created a time capsule in 2012. Residents submitted personal and family information and pictures, which were placed in a binder and buried with the capsule, along with an activity scrapbook of the previous 50 years. The Harrisville History Committee, in addition to publishing Harrisville Horizons, a complete history of the area, has compiled a biography collection of Harrisville residents over the age of 80 who spent the majority of their life in the city. The committee has also put together a free pamphlet that provides a self-guided tour of historical sites.
Each summer, residents celebrate Heritage Days with a parade, vendor booths, games, activities, entertainment, a midnight 5K run, golf tournament, youth dance, food, and fireworks. The Youth City Council holds an annual Easter Egg Hunt, and each winter the community looks forward to Santa at the Cabin. The Parks and Recreation Department, in addition to offering youth and adult sports, is in the process of installing a disc golf course. The city also offers no-cost community garden plots, and from Memorial Day through Labor Day, kids enjoy the Splash Pad. Harrisville and Marriott – Slaterville join together for a weekly Senior Citizen lunch and activity, as well as free yoga classes and line dancing.
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