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9 places in Salt Lake City to visit to learn more about pioneers


Looking for a way to celebrate Pioneer Day? Visit these nine places to remember the people who paved the way to making Salt Lake City, as we know it today.

1. This Is the Place Monument

Visitors gaze at This Is the Place Monument through a giant window in the Pioneer Center at This Is the Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City on Friday, March 26, 2021.

Visitors gaze at This Is the Place Monument through a giant window in the Pioneer Center at This Is the Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City on Friday, March 26, 2021.

Credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Map of pioneer-related sites in Salt Lake City.

Map of pioneer-related sites in Salt Lake City.

After Latter-day Saints faced a great deal of tribulation and were driven out of Missouri and Illinois, a company of roughly 150 pioneers set out to settle in the West, paving the way for the others to follow. Led by Brigham Young, the group traveled nearly four months until Brigham Young declared the Salt Lake Valley to be “the right place” in July 1847. Two days after their arrival, the Prophet said God had shown him, “this [was] the spot to locate His people and here is where they [would] prosper.” This Is the Place Monument stands in remembrance of this declaration.

Note that This Is the Place Monument is located at This Is the Place Heritage Park, which captures the environment and activities that encompass that early settlement, which allows others to engage in this historic time. It’s free to visit the monument. Park admission costs between $11 and $16.

Hours:

  • Heritage Village — Mondays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed Sundays
  • Pioneer Center — Mondays through Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sundays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Gift Shop — Mondays through Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Sundays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Location: 2601 E. Sunnyside Ave., Salt Lake City.

2. Pioneer Memorial Museum (Daughters of Utah Pioneers museum)

The Pioneer Memorial Museum in Salt Lake City is pictured on Wednesday, July 6, 2022.

The Pioneer Memorial Museum in Salt Lake City is pictured on Wednesday, July 6, 2022.

Credit: David Schneider, Church News

The Pioneer Memorial Museum is the world’s largest collection of artifacts on one particular subject. It includes the belongings of many pioneers, with everything from paintings to medical tools and furniture. The Daughters of Utah Pioneers site contains biographies of and information about pioneers, with over 42,000 pioneer histories. Histories and documents of personal pioneer ancestors may be found.

Hours: Mondays through Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Location: 300 N. Main St., Salt Lake City.

3. Ensign Peak (hike)

Fabio Galvan and Ray Guillen walk on the Ensign Peak Preserve Trail in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, May 5, 2020.

Fabio Galvan and Ray Guillen walk on the Ensign Peak Preserve Trail in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, May 5, 2020.

Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Two days after arrival in the Salt Lake Valley, on July 26, 1847, Brigham Young and seven pioneer leaders climbed a hill to look out over the valley. Here, the group attached a yellow bandanna to a cane and waved it. Brigham Young named the spot “Ensign Peak” and said this point was a part of his vision when he called the valley “the right place.” Today, the round-trip 1-miler is an easy hike with a nice view.

Hours: Daily, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Location: The trailhead is on Ensign Vista Drive, across the street from a Latter-day Saint meetinghouse in a residential area about a mile north of the state Capitol.

4. Mormon Battalion Monument

The Mormon Battalion Monument is located on the southeast side of the Utah State Capitol.

The Mormon Battalion Monument is located on the southeast side of the Utah State Capitol.

Credit: Jason Swensen

Located near the Utah state Capitol, this monument stands in memory of the 500 pioneer volunteers who joined the U.S. Army during the Mexican-American War and the sacrifices that came with this. Marking various historic periods of the battalion, the monument has figures on all sides representing the enlistment, march, discovery of gold in California and the arrival of the Pueblo Detachment.

Location: State Capitol grounds, 200 E. 300 North, Salt Lake City.

5. The Discovery Center at the Family History Library

From left, Sister Emily Hansen of McKinney, Texas, points at the screen while fellow missionary Valerie Christensen of Yakima, Washington, looks on. While exploring in the new Family Discovery Center in Salt Lake City, the two Temple Square sister missionaries discovered that one of Sister Hansen’s ancestors taught and baptized one of Sister Christensen’s ancestors.

From left, Sister Emily Hansen of McKinney, Texas, points at the screen while fellow missionary Valerie Christensen of Yakima, Washington, looks on. While exploring in the new Family Discovery Center in Salt Lake City, the two Temple Square sister missionaries discovered that one of Sister Hansen’s ancestors taught and baptized one of Sister Christensen’s ancestors.

Credit: Bob Moore

The Discovery Center at the Family History Library allows individuals to discover and read about personal ancestors and heritage. This center provides an opportunity to learn more about possible pioneer ancestry through images and stories.

Hours:

  • Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed Monday, July 25.
  • Tuesdays through Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Closed Sundays.

Location: 35 N. West Temple St., Salt Lake City.

6. Mormon Trails exhibit in the Church History Museum

The Church History Museum exhibit “Mormon Trails: Pathways to Zion (1846 to 1890)” in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 11, 2017.

The Church History Museum exhibit “Mormon Trails: Pathways to Zion (1846 to 1890)” in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 11, 2017.

Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Between 1846 and 1890, pioneers gathered in the Salt Lake Valley, taking a wide variety of paths to reach this destination. The Mormon Trails exhibit allows visitors to learn about the various trails taken by pioneers, as well as their stories along the way. Fifty of the most treasured artifacts in the museum are displayed here, including a functional wagon roadometer for individuals to try out.

Hours:

  • Mondays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed Monday, July 25.
  • Tuesdays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Closed Sundays.

Location: 45 N. West Temple St., Salt Lake City.

7. Deuel Cabin

The Deuel Cabin is pictured in Salt Lake City on Thursday, July 7, 2022.

The Deuel Cabin is pictured in Salt Lake City on Thursday, July 7, 2022.

Credit: Valerie Walton, Church News

The Deuel log cabin was constructed by Osmyn M. Deuel and his brother in 1847. The New York natives, along with family, occupied the cabin for roughly two years, leaving the home to other occupiers. As one of the oldest buildings in the area, it now finds itself renovated, along with furnishings and antiques from the era, and located west of Temple Square between the Museum of Church History and Art and the Family History Library.

Hours: Daily, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Location: 45 N. West Temple St., Salt Lake City.

8. The Mormon Pioneer Memorial Monument (Brigham Young Family Memorial Cemetery)

A statue portraying Brigham Young reading to children is found at Mormon Pioneer Memorial Monument, the 1st Avenue site of his grave site, in Salt Lake City.

A statue portraying Brigham Young reading to children is found at Mormon Pioneer Memorial Monument, the 1st Avenue site of his grave site, in Salt Lake City.

Credit: Bob Koenig

The Brigham Young Family Memorial Cemetery was dedicated as the Mormon Pioneer Memorial Monument on June 1, 1974. While many members of the Young family are buried here, including Brigham Young, the 6,000 pioneers who perished along their journey to Utah are also commemorated.

Hours: Daily, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Location: 140 E. 1st Ave., Salt Lake City.

9. Beehive House

The Beehive House in Salt Lake City on Monday, Aug. 2, 2021.

The Beehive House in Salt Lake City on Monday, Aug. 2, 2021.

Credit: Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

As the primary house of Brigham Young from 1855 to 1877, the Beehive House also contained Church offices and was a place of work for Brigham Young as governor of Utah Territory. Church Presidents Lorenzo Snow, from 1898 to 1901, and Joseph F. Smith, from 1901 to 1918, later lived and worked in the house as well.

Hours: Mondays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; closed Sundays. Closed Monday, July 25.

Location: 67 E. South Temple St, Salt Lake City.

While stopping by the Beehive House, be sure to take a look next door at the Lion House. The Lion House was Brigham Young’s family home and is named after the stone lion statue that sits above the front door, sculpted by William F. Ward. The three-story home was built in 1856. It was complete with 26 bedrooms to house the Young family. The house held multiple meetings that led to the formation of the Church’s Young Women organization. The Lion House is now used as a restaurant and wedding venue with an outdoor garden.

Temporarily closed due to construction, the Lion House is located at 63 E. South Temple St., Salt Lake City.

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