Though there had been settlers near the area, the town of Delta wasn’t established until 1903.
The first exploration of the area took place 130 years earlier when Father Escalante camped in this area October 2, 1776. His exploring party of 10 men headed by Father Francisco Dominquez and map maker Pacheco preached to the Indians. They also charted a northern route between Santa Fe, New Mexico and Monterey, California.
They named this valley “Valle Salado” (Valley of Salt). They traveled west near Clear Lake then east to a hillock (Pahvant Butte). Here they found marshes and much pasturage but salty water.
The Pahvant Valley and the Pahvant Mountains were named for the Indian Tribe that occupied the land when the Mormons arrived here in 1851. They first settled in Fillmore, Utah and the surrounding areas then established a settlement near present Deseret in 1860. Mormon leader Brigham Young named Fillmore after President Millard Fillmore and named the county Millard County. No other county and county seat carry both names of an American president.
You can see Delta’s first post office at an interpretive site in the center of town. It was constructed from Nov. 1907 through Jan. 1908 by Henry McCullough, his two sons and son-in-law. It was made from logs hauled 30 miles from Fillmore and was the second house in the town of Melville. After the post office was established, the name was changed to Burtner, then finally to Delta. It was used as a post office from Jan. 1908 until March 1912. On March 5, 1908, the first store (adjoining this cabin) was opened for business. The first Sunday School of the vicinity was organized in this building Sept. 6, 1908.
Today, Delta is a thriving community of more than 3,000 people. Major industries include farming and the Intermountain Power plant. A number of entertaining events are held during the year. The Great Basin Museum is well worth a visit for excellent exhibits and a glimpse into the area’s past. The museum includes a barrack and interpretive displays about the Topaz Internment Camp which was located 16 miles northwest of Delta.
Delta Interpretive Site. Delta Chamber of Commerce.
Great Basin Museum:
Topaz Internment Camp: