Intersected by State Highway 146 and US Highway 89, Pleasant Grove sits just east of American Fork at the foot of Mount Timpanogos. Pleasant Grove has arguably the most melodic sounding name of all Utah Valley communities.
Originally named Grove Fort, Pleasant Grove was settled by Mormon pioneers in late 1850. The grandfather of Philo T. Farnsworth, the inventor of the modern television, was an original settler of the area. After a disagreement with local Indians (who had named the area "Mepha" or "little waters"), the area was renamed Battle Creek. On January 19, 1855, the city was incorporated as Pleasant Grove, named for the area where the city's first cabin dwellings were built.
The alluvial fan bench and farm areas of Utah Valley are ideal for fruit and berry crops, so Pleasant Grove quickly became a major fruit producer, famous for its strawberries. In the late 1800s, several hundred Mormon converts from Scandinavia moved to the area, altering the dominant Anglo-American demographic of the area.
Like other north Valley communities, Pleasant Grove's economy has achieved a balance between agriculture and commercial development. Wood, pipe work, steel, and concrete mills are additional economic assets to the community. The incorporation of two and a half miles of the southern end of Pleasant Grove, known as the Southfields, in 1924 decreased the city's agricultural output and population.
Today, Pleasant Grove continues to grow. Its population increased by 25% during the 1980s, while the number of farms in the city decreased. Pleasant Grove is governed by a city administrator and a city council.
Pleasant Grove takes great pride in its annual summer community festival, Strawberry Days, which is the longest continuing community celebration in the state. Held annually in June, Strawberry Days remains unsurpassed in activities, community involvement, and spirit. Activities include sporting tournaments, concerts, parades, and a PRCA-sanctioned rodeo.
(Information courtesy Pleasant Grove City, Beth Radmall Olsen, UVEDA)