This is the fifth in a weekly series of stories highlighting interesting facts about cities in Utah County.
Pleasant Grove celebrated its 163rd birthday in January, but did you know these interesting 10 facts about the Utah County city?
-- Stacy Johnson, Daily Herald
Pleasant Grove was originally called Battle Creek.
The area of Pleasant Grove was originally settled in Sept. of 1850, and was known as Battle Creek, after a battle between a group of Mormon settlers and Indians at the mouth of the canyon, according to Pleasant Grove city. It was the first battle between Mormon settlers and Indians in Utah, and the Mormons were trying to stop a group of Indians accused of stealing cows from Mormon settlers throughout the region.
Residents later decided a better name and called the city Pleasant Grove after a grove of cottonwood trees that was located at the current intersection of Locust Avenue and Battle Creek Drive.
The city was originally built inside a fort.
In the mid-1850s, after skirmishes between settlers and Indians, the Old Pleasant Grove Fort was built in Pleasant Grove. The fort was four city blocks square, and homes and a corral were built inside the fort. According to the Utah Division of State History, the homes lined the outside of the fort, facing the community corral at the center.
The fort no longer stands, but a monument stands where the southeast corner of the fort stood at 300 S. 300 East in Pleasant Grove. The other four corners of the fort are also marked.
Pleasant Grove is the fifth-biggest city in Utah County by population.
According to 2016 U.S. Census Bureau estimates, Pleasant Grove is home to 38,756 people, making it the fifth-largest city in Utah County by population. It is only smaller than Provo, Orem, Lehi and Spanish Fork.
The city has seen a 15.5 percent population increase since 2010.
It is on the smaller end of the spectrum in Utah County, by land-size.
Pleasant Grove is 9.17 square miles in size, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, putting the city on the lower half of cities in Utah County by size.
Twelve Utah County cities and towns are larger than Pleasant Grove. Only Payson, Highland, Lindon, Alpine, Vineyard, Cedar Hills, Elk Ridge, Woodland Hills and Goshen are smaller than Pleasant Grove.
Pleasant Grove records the second-highest population per square mile in Utah County.
The population per square mile in Pleasant Grove is 3,655 people per square mile. The only city with a higher population density is Orem, who has 4,828.5 people per square mile, though Cedar Hills is close behind Pleasant Grove with 3,554.4.
Pleasant Grove was the seventh city incorporated in Utah County.
Pleasant Grove was incorporated as a city on Jan. 18, 1855, making the city 163 years old. It was incorporated less than six years after Provo, and Lehi, Payson, Springville, American Fork and Spanish Fork were cities before Pleasant Grove. Spanish Fork was incorporated just one day before Pleasant Grove.
From the 1920s to the 1950s, Pleasant Grove was a major strawberry producer.
From its early settlement, Pleasant Grove’s main income-producing activity. According to the National Register of Historic Places, in 1915, the Pleasant Grove Cannery was built alongside the inter-state railway, which provided an outlet for crops. From the 1920s to the 1950s, Pleasant Grove farms became mainly strawberry producers. In 1921, Strawberry Days celebration was started to promote their crops.
Though the strawberry fields don’t exist anymore, the city still celebrates the abundant strawberry crops with Strawberry Days, the longest continuous community celebration in Utah.
It has 11 uniquely named neighborhoods.
Every city has neighborhoods, but most city neighborhoods probably aren’t as uniquely named as Pleasant Grove. The neighborhoods are called Monkey Town, Little Denmark, Manila, North Field, Big Spring, Mud Hole, Grove Creek, Battle Creek, Scratch Gravel, String Town, Old Fort and Sam White’s Lane.
According to Pleasant Grove city, Little Denmark was the area of the city where Scandinavian people settled, Monkey Town was named because it was the area of the town where youth would meet together to “monkey around.”
Several famous people were born or lived in Pleasant Grove.
Quinn Allman, frontman and founding member of The Used grew up in Pleasant Grove. Todd Herzog, known for winning “Survivor: China” in 2007 was born and raised in Pleasant Grove.
Also born in Pleasant Grove was C.J. Wilcox, who was drafted as the 28th overall pick in the NBA Draft in 2014 after playing high school basketball at Pleasant Grove High School and college basketball at Washington.
It’s represented by a “G” on a mountain.
On the side of the mountain just above Pleasant Grove High School stands the Pleasant Grove G.The original G was built May 10, 1920 when nearly 100 senior boys from the newly constructed Pleasant Grove High School wanted to express their pride in their community and school. Little Mountain is bordered on the north by Mahogany Mountain and on the south by Brush Mountain. The G is between Grove Creek Canyon on the north and Battle Creek Canyon on the south.
A rough and steep trail was cut out of the side of the mountain and the students then forged a "G" with pick and shovel. They then carried boulders from a half-mile radius to fill in the framework and packhorses hauled up water, lime and sprayers so they could coat the rocks with whitewash. The whitewash has had to be redone just about every year.
The "G" is lit three times during the year -- for Pleasant Grove's Strawberry Days, for Pleasant Grove High School's graduation and for their homecoming festivities.