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Historical Sites to See in Salt Lake

Wednesday June 6, 2012
There are several historical re-creation sites in Salt Lake and along the Wasatch Front. These make a fun adventure for the day and can help teach the kids about what life was like for the people who lived in Utah long ago.

A whole pioneer village has been recreated at This is the Place Heritage Park on the east bench in Salt Lake. My kids and I have enjoyed volunteering up there for a couple of summers and have learned lots of fun little historical facts and gotten to know some great people. We know how to play graces and are pretty good at hoop trundling, carding wool and stilts. The 450-acre park has a new Native American village and a mercantile with old-fashioned candy. Their spring program has started and hours are 9:00am-5:00pm Monday - Saturday, 10:00am-5:00pm Sunday with admissions being Adults $7.00, Children (3-11) $5.00, and Seniors (55+) $5.00.

Wheeler Historic Farm
is the restored turn-of-the-century dairy farm of Henry J. Wheeler. Right in the middle of the Salt Lake valley is a haven of farm chores, tractor-drawn hay rides, and beautiful wildlife and wetlands. Open from dawn to dusk, it is located at 6351 South 900 East in Salt Lake City. You can enjoy the farm machinery exhibit, milk a cow, feed the ducks, or have a picnic in this picturesque setting.

I think one of the most fascinating historic sites on the Wasatch Front is the Benson Grist Mill west of Salt Lake in Stansbury Park. You can tour the 150 year old structure and view close up the amazing construction methods and the complicated milling equipment used when the area was settled. Early mills were a vital part of farming communities and necessary for the making of bread--a staple of the frontier diet. Several other small cabins and displays surround the site as well. The Mill is open throughout the summer on Mondays - Saturdays 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

The Utah Heritage Foundation sponsors guided historic tours around the many fascinating neighborhoods and mansions of downtown Salt Lake. Tours can be scheduled for small groups two weeks in advance and cost $3 per person. They also offer several self-guided tours with downloadable audio for CD or mp3 players. I highly recommend the Historic South Temple Street tour. South Temple has always been Salt Lake's most prestigious address and many early mansions line the street with fascinating histories. The walking tour takes about 2.5 hours.

The Beehive House is Brigham Young's residence and is open for tours from Monday through Saturday 9:00am to 8:30pm. Free guided tours begin every 10 minutes. Brigham Young was the leader who led the Mormons to the Salt Lake Valley and was the first territorial governor until 1858. The Beehive House is located on 67 East South Temple, just east of Temple Square.

And finally, a little further away is the Heber Valley Railroad. It is a historic steam railway which still travels through the Heber valley and down Provo canyon. The trains during the summer and schedules can be found on the website. You can enjoy a slice of the "Golden Years" of U.S. railroading and the beautiful scenery all at the same time. The ride starts at 450 South 600 West - Heber City, Utah (about a 1 hour drive East of Salt Lake.)

Reprinted from The Chart Chick Blog.  Read more about Janet and her genealogy chart printing company at Family ChartMasters,  where you can also download or purchase her Genealogist's Guide to Salt Lake City.