On a recent trip to Salt Lake City, Utah we stopped at the “This is the Place Heritage Park” to take the tour through the village. We had stopped here before on a previous trip and walked around the statue gardens but had not gone in the village. Like Nauvoo, Illinois and Kirkland, Ohio the village here has been reconstructed to look as it might have in the mid to late 1800s.
The postcard above was purchased at the gift shop in the Visitor Center of the park. It shows a photograph of the huge monument to the pioneers who entered the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. Plans for the monument began in 1937 with the sculptor Mahonri M. Young commissioned to design it. Prior to that time two smaller markers, a wooden one built by B.H. Roberts and the Boy Scouts in 1917 to mark the place where Brigham Young’s party first entered the valley and a white stone obelisk in 1921 replacing it that still stands east of the 1917 marker. This large monument was dedicated in 1947 on the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the pioneers into the valley. Private citizens donated much of the land now part of the park to the State of Utah in 1957.
Heritage Village begun in 1959 has been regularly added to and expanded since that time. It is what is called a living history museum. Some of the buildings have been restored or replicated others have been physically moved from a different location to the park, some, like the Z.C.M.I. store were dismantled and reconstructed in the park. While the park is open all year only a few buildings were open when we visited this time. Beginning in April and through the summer the buildings are open, docents in period costumes are on hand to explain and give tours. We did take the short train tour receiving an entertaining and informative overview of the village from the conductor.
There was a small amount of snow on the ground; it was cold but very bight and sunny. Here below are some more photos of the village.
Above is Brigham Young’s Forest Farmhouse that was moved in 1975 from the Forest Dale area in the central valley to the Park for restoration. In addition to this house Brigham Young’s experimental farm was also re-created. When the pioneers moved here from the east they did not know what crops would grow in the desert climate so they brought in seeds and plants and used the experimental farm to see which ones would survive the best before planting large tracts.
Below are original pioneer cabin homes that have been restored. The streets are dirt and where there are paved sidewalks they are made to look like boardwalks.
When the pioneers first came they had no place to gather as a group so a Bowery was built for that purpose. It has a “stick” roof but is open on the sides. There are benches for tables and chairs.
Z.C.M.I. [Zions Co-operative Mercantile Institute] the first department store
The Huntsman Hotel
A cabinet shop, note the chair on the roof top as advertisement for the business
The 13 foot by 22 foot John Gardiner cabin where he lived with his wife and ten children. The reconstruction of the dwellings and furnishing are complete including the outhouses like the one seen at the right side of the picture.
The Nils O. and Josephine Andersson home
This large upper middle class home belonged to John and Sarah Fairbanks. When they first arrived they lived in a covered wagon but later built this home. It was one of the few buildings open for tours while we were there. The photos below show some of the interior.
The kitchen/dining area
Portrait of John & Sarah Fairbanks
Relief Society Building
Early meeting house
View of the monument from the Visitor Center