Salt Lake City-area Mormon History Sites

Ever since Brigham Young arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847, the area has been developing not just as a city but as the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Many of Salt Lake City's attractions and landmarks relating to Mormon history are located on Temple Square, but the rest of city and the surrounding areas are full of them as well.

Some information on this page is taken from William C. and Eloise Anderson's book, Guide to Mormon History Travel.

Welfare Square

Welfare Square, with its massive 178-foot grain elevator, symbolizes the Mormon Church's efforts to help people to help themselves.

Mormon Trail Sites
Several points along the historic "Mormon Trail" -- the path that pioneers followed from the east into the Salt Lake Valley -- are marked and open to the public. The most notable is This Is the Place Heritage Park, which includes the famous This is the Place Monument and a Heritage Village recreated to present visitors with a unique glimpse into the pioneer past.

Salt Lake Cemetery
This cemetery is located on the hill behind LDS Hospital. Nine of the presidents of the Mormon Church are buried here. Visitors can pick up a "Trail of the Prophets" map at the cemetery office, which shows the location of each president's gravesite. The cemetery also boasts a great view of the Salt Lake Valley.

Ensign Peak
Ensign Peak is a prominent hill on the northern edge of the Salt Lake Valley. On July 26, 1847, two days after arriving in the Salt Lake Valley, Brigham Young and seven other pioneer leaders climbed the hill to survey the valley. From its summit they laid out in their minds the city they intended to build. The peak has been the site of numerous civic and religious ceremonies over the years.

State Capitol
Located at 350 North Main Street, on a hill above downtown Salt Lake City, the Utah State Capitol was designed to resemble the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., and is widely regarded as one of the nation's most attractive state buildings. The structure is classical is style, with support columns and a copper-clad dome. The interior is also impressive, boasting a large central hall and marble staircases.

Old Council Hall
This building, facing the Capitol Building from across the street, originally served the Utah Territorial Legislature as well as the Salt Lake City Council, and was once located at the corner of State Street and 100 South. It was moved from that location to make way for the Federal Office Building. The building now serves as home to the Utah Travel Council. The upper floor has been restored to its original design and is beautifully decorated in Victorian style.

Mormon Battalion Monument
On the grounds of the Capitol Building is this large memorial built in honor of the Mormon soldiers who were recruited during the Mexican-American War. The memorial is in particularly beautiful setting.

Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum
The Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum sits at 300 North Main Street. It is filled enoough pioneer artifacts that visitors should allow quite a bit of time if they want to see all that the museum has to offer. A particularly interesting section of the museum is the Railroad Room, which has a large original painting of the driving of the Golden Spike, which marked the completion of the intercontinental railroad in 1869.

LDS Hospital
Located on 8th Avenue between C and D Streets, this large medical center was operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for many years. The hospital was an early center for heart surgery and treatment.

Devereaux House
On South Temple, three blocks west of Temple Square, is this pioneer-era mansion which has been restored and is now part of the Triad Center. The property was originally the home of William Staines, who sold it to William Jennings. Jennings, who was born in England but converted to Mormonism in Salt Lake City, made a fortune in the freighting business, and used part of that money to construct this mansion, naming it after an ancestral home in England. The house became the city's most important social center, hosting as guests United States presidents Ulysses S. Grant and Rutherford B. Hayes as well as General William T. Sherman. Its original beauty has been restored, and the Devereaux House now hosts an elegant restaurant, the Chart House. Group tours are sometimes conducted by the Utah Heritage Foundation, and an open house is held each summer during the Salt Lake Arts Festival, which is held in adjoining areas.

Pioneer Park
Located at 300 South and 300 West, Pioneer Park marks the site of the first pioneer campsite in Salt Lake City, and the site of the first pioneer fort.

Utah State Historical Society
The Utah State Historical Society is located in the former D&RGW railway depot on 300 South and 300 West, near Pioneer Park. The Historical Society Museum and Library occupy most of this building. The center features exhibits on early Utah history and has a large collection of materials. Help is available regarding individual questions on Utah history or historic sites.

Welfare Square
Welfare Square symbolizes the effort of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to improve the community and the world around it. Located at 700 West and 600 South, Welfare Square was the first major facility built under the church's welfare plan that grew out of the Great Depression in the 1930s; it includes a 178-foot-tall grain elevator, a large storehouse, a bakery, a cannery, a milk processing operation, a thrift store, and an employment center, all designed to help people help themselves. Visitors are encouraged to take a bus tour to Welfare Square, which meets on Temple Square. One-hour tours are conducted Monday-Friday.

Some information courtesy the Salt Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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