Murray Utah Real Estate Market & Area Guide
If you think Murray, UT is a little shady you’re right! Designated a Tree City USA since 1977, Murray is situated on the Wasatch Front within the Salt Lake Valley. The city makes an organized effort to make sure trees are planted, existing trees are cared for and the beautiful shady ambiance is maintained.
Murray is a suburb of Salt Lake City. It’s located in Salt Lake County. A high percentage of residents here own their homes. The population is roughly 50,000. This city is especially popular with families and young professionals.
Outdoor recreation is crucial to communities throughout Utah; however, this densely populated community definitely places a premium on beautifying and maintaining open spaces where people can stretch and move!
Murray’s historic downtown is definitely a nod to the past; however the city keeps up with its present day commercialization and the fast pace of progress. The area was once a rural outpost. The historic city center was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. The boundary of that designation was increased in 2020.
Today the city center enjoys a strategic balance of mixed-use developments. For example, there are residential properties on the upper levels of commercial properties. The industrialization of this former outpost took on a life of its own as city leaders strived to encourage people of all faiths, origins and financial backgrounds to co-exist.
Pioneers representing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. One year later a group of settlers (known locally as the Mississippi Saints) arrived. They took to the south end of the valley and began their own small and sparsely populated settlement. Some called it “the Mississippi Ward,” others called it “Cottonwood, Big Cottonwood and South Cottonwood,” according to an article published on the city’s website titled History of Murray City. The history estimates the original population of present day Murray consisted of 20 families during the 1860s. It was largely an agriculture community. In 1869 a body of ore was identified in nearby Park City. Soon more ore was found in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Murray offered a central location. That and access to the railroad made it the perfect place for a smelter built there in 1870.
“Murray became the home of some of the largest smelters in the region over the next 30 years,” the published history said. The first official post office was established in 1870 as the South Cottonwood Post Office. A territorial road was established (now known as State Street) and in time a trolley transportation system came to life. Naturally, businesses followed the traffic along the valley’s new transportation corridor.
On Nov. 18, 1902 residents voted to incorporate the community and elected C.L. Miller as mayor. Salt Lake County made it official seven days later. Utah formalized the designation on Jan. 3, 1903.
In 1883 the local post office changed its name from South Cottonwood Post office to Murray Post Office. It was named after Eli Murray, a territorial governor and a general in the civil war.
Smelters are industrial operations designed to extract metal from ore with extreme heat and some chemical agents. Murray became a true American melting pot as workers from around the world flooded in. Latter-day Saint settlers mostly came from Western Europe and Scandinavia. The opening of the first smelter completely changed the cultural makeup of the community. People reportedly came from Eastern Europe and Asian countries.
“Over half of the smelter workers came from Greece. Many came from Armenia, Yugoslavia, Italy, and Japan. These groups brought new religious customs to Murray as well. Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, and Catholic church congregations have developed. The ethnic diversity of early Murray is very visible in the Murray City Cemetery,” according to the city’s online history. Cultural diversity is still a hallmark of Murray today.
If Murray is a city of trees, it is definitely a city of parks. Whether you like to hike, bike, play ball, take pictures or just find a shady spot to rest this city has it all. Following are some of the parks you might enjoy in Murray:
- Germania Park
- Grant Park
- Hidden Village Park
- Murray Park
- Southwood Park
- Walden Park
- Willow Pond Park
- Winchester Park
Looking for something unique to explore? Wheeler Historic Farm is the place! The farm homestead offers so many great teaching tools. Children of all ages can participate in interactive farm activities (including milking a cow). On Sundays a farmers market offers fresh produce. Camps and workshops coincide with the market to help children learn about animal husbandry and the crucial role agriculture plays in our world today. As if that were not enough, Wheeler Historic Farm is an extremely popular wedding venue.
The Joan M. Hardle Memorial Arboretum is an urban forest. It is a peaceful place of enlightenment. Trees and foliage in this sacred space are clearly identified with labels. What a great way to teach children while they play. Although it is part of Murray Park, the setting warrants a mention of its own. This isn’t just a pretty tree museum. No, this site is sanctuary to trees and plants from around the world. It is considered a testing site where arborists test different species and varieties of trees for their ability to adapt to Murray’s soil and climate. Many homeowners and developers use it as a resource to help determine the best types of plants to use around their homes and businesses.
Murray residents know how to shop. The city’s economic developers know how to attract businesses to this bustling city and some of the best shopping in the valley is done right in Murray City.
Fashion Place opened in 1972. Today it is considered an upscale shopping center. Its anchors include Nordstrom, Crate & Barrel, Macy’s and Dillards.
Uptown Cheapskate is for people who love quality products on the cheap. The store’s website boasts that it, “ … buys what you loved yesterday and sells what you want today.” You can buy and sell:
Here there is an emphasis on gently-used brand-name clothing and products at a drastically reduced priced.
Murray offers eateries, entertainment and more! It is located in close proximity to some of the most popular shopping centers in the state.
The entire state of Utah enjoys one of the best economies in the nation. On March 29, 2021 Utah’s economy was ranked #1 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Utah ranked third in the nation overall. Murray enjoys a wide variety of employers including the following:
- University of Utah
- Goldman Sachs
- Intermountain Health Care
- Academy Mortgage
- University of Utah Hospitals & Clinics
- CHG Healthcare
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
- Mountain America Credit Union
- USANA Health Sciences
There are 26 schools in Murray including public and private. It boasts the Academy for Math Engineering & Science, an early college school that is associated with the University of Utah. It focuses intently on science, technology, engineering and math.
Public schools are all a part of the Murray City School District.
For more information about Murray schools rankings, visit GreatSchools.org.