Today we owe a lot to the early Layton and Kaysville businesses. Many of these businesses were essential to the development of Davis County. However, with the progress of time most closed their doors by the mid-1950s. Agriculture was the basis for most of these businesses and they became the victims of urbanization as Davis County grew in population during the 1950s and 1960s and the available farmland decreased.
The earliest of the “Lost Industries” were the grist and flour mills. In 1854, John Weinel built the first grist mill in the northern end of Davis County. This Kaysville mill operated for over 40 years and was one of the area’s most important businesses. In 1866, Christopher Layton and William Jennings established the Layton Flour Mill in Kaysville, just a block and a half west of the Weinel Mill. This mill was steam powered and operated for over 35 years. In 1890, the Layton Milling and Elevator Company was established and in 1902 the Kaysville Flour Company was started. In 1922, these two mills were combined into one company and these two mills produced thousands and thousands of pounds of processed flour that was sold throughout the western United States.
In 1892 the first canning company was established in Davis County and within ten years, there were five canneries operating in Woods Cross, Kaysville, Layton, Syracuse and Clearfield. These plants processed and canned peas, bean, corn, tomatoes, and produced ketchup and pickles. All were gone by the 1950s.
In 1915, the Layton Sugar Company was established. Thousands of acres of land were devoted to the raising of sugar beets and the Layton factory produced “Mountain Brand” sugar for 44 years. At one time the Layton Sugar Company was the largest employer in Davis County. The factory closed in 1959.
Layton and Kaysville were also large producers of cattle, horses and sheep. By the mid-1920s thousands of sheep and cattle were loaded onto railcars in Layton and shipped to eastern markets. Two important ranching companies were the Morgan Land and Livestock Company and the Thornley Land and Livestock Company. Both ceased operation in the 1930s.
In 1915, the Utah Fruit Juice Company in Kaysville processed cherries, apricots and peaches for sale to restaurants and grocery stores in Salt Lake City and Ogden as well as other large cities in the West. Over 9,000 quarts of fruit juice were processed per year. This business died as a result of the Great Depression.
To remember these businesses, the museum has gathered pictures and artifacts that tell the story of how important these businesses were to the development of Davis County and the State of Utah.
The museum hours are: Tuesday through Friday, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 1-5 p.m.
Layton Old Town
The museum's permanent exhibit features the history of Layton and is called "Layton Old Town." Artifacts, pictures and stories in this exhibit cover the development of Layton and surrounding communities from 1850 to the present. Native American artifacts tell the story of the area's first residents. Pioneer artifacts and photographs tell the story of the area's first white settlers. Artifacts and pictures from the area's first commercial ventures tell the story of the area's economic development from the first cottage industries to the most recent on-going businesses; and artifacts and historical pictures of the agricultural development of North Davis County tell a story of a vanishing way of life.