Lincoln Point: Historical Resort and Modern Recreation Hot Spot
The 42 acre Lincoln Point property is north of and adjacent to the Utah County Lincoln Beach park and boat harbor.
The earliest development on the property began less than forty years after the first pioneer settlers came to Utah Valley. About 1889, John Hallet took settlement money from a mining accident that severely disabled him and invested in a house and an outdoor dance facility. The remains of that stone house can still be seen about 400 feet north of the boat launch ramp (see photo below). Due to his physical handicaps Hallet could not manage the property and sold to Hyrum Argyle.
Argyle’s vision was to build a destination resort. In addition to the dance facility, he constructed a swimming pool which was supplied with mineral water from the several hot springs. Also, a bath house, store and saloon, and a large guest house with six or seven rooms to accommodate overnight visitors. A wooden pier extended 100 feet out into the lake where boats were offered for hire.
“Lincoln Beach, the new bathing resort at the point
of the mountain west of this city is now in running
order. They have eight bath houses and twenty-five
suits on hand. A pier 100 yards long is being built
out into the lake, at the end of which a large
platform will be built for the benefit of bathers
and spectators. The steamer Helen of Provo had
been engaged to run between that place and Lincoln
Beach on Sunday next at 25c for the round trip, and
in addition they have a number of row boats [sic] for
hire. Refreshments in the shape of ice cream, soda
water, etc. will be provided, and a general good time
is expected.” — The Spanish Fork Sun, July 14th, 1892.
“Church Chronology” by Andrew Jensen under the date of August 6, 1892 reads: “Lincoln Beach, 10 miles northwest of Payson, Utah County, was opened as a pleasure resort.” The distance from populations centers over primitive roads evidently limited the number of paying customers so Argyle eventually moved the buildings to his home in Lake Shore and abandoned his project.
In 1915, Henry Fernsten began developing the property anew. He built a cement swimming pool, the remains of which can still be seen, full of phragmites (see photo below), a new bath house and other facilities. Trees were planted and attractive picnic locations were provided. Fernsten enjoyed success for about 15 years. Then, he went to Colorado on business and disappeared without a trace. His family believes he may have been killed.
A few years ago a son of Henry, Dan Fernsten, who then lived in California, visited Lake Shore historian Mattie Barney Cornaby and provided her with pictures which memorialize his father’s substantial efforts. Interestingly, Dan Fernsten married Olive, one of the Argyle daughters.
In 1957, through the combined efforts of Payson, Spanish Fork and Springville cities, a boat harbor was established just south of the Lincoln Point property.
During the past few years, a new and impressive development has taken place. Utah County, with the assistance and cooperation of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, has invested heavily to make the Lincoln Beach boat harbor more useful and attractive. The large crowds that visit Lincoln Beach park, especially on weekends and holidays, attest to the public benefit resulting from this investment.
With the recent acquisition by Utah County of the 17 acres on Lincoln Point, there are plans to improve this area for recreational access. To read more about the acquisition and provide ideas for the improvements, check out our Lincoln Beach expansion blog post.
*This post is summarized from historical documents provided by Utah County Public Works.