American Fork is a city in Utah County, Utah, USA, at the foot of Mount Timpanogos in the Wasatch Range, north of Utah Lake. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 21,941 and was estimated at 22,387 in 2004. It has been rapidly growing since the 1970s.
The area around Utah Lake was used as a seasonal hunting and fishing ground by the Ute Indians. American Fork was settled in 1850 by Mormon pioneers, and incorporated as Lake City in 1852. Settlers changed the name to American Fork, after the river that runs through it, in 1860. Most residents were farmers and merchants during its early history. During World War II the town population expanded when the Columbia Steel plant was built in a nearby community. An annual summer celebration in the city is still called "Steel Days" in honor of the importance of the plant, which no longer exists.
The city has worked to maintain the downtown Main Street area. This includes construction of several new city buildings, including a library, district court and police complex, and a fire station. Recently, large-scale retailing has come to the west side of American Fork with the Meadows shopping area, and it has become a shopping attraction for North Utah County. The Interstate 15 freeway traverses the traditional southern and western borders of the city. As build-out approaches for the city north of the freeway, it looks to carefully manage expansion and development in the area south of town, between the freeway and Utah Lake.