8 Historical Gems in Salt Lake You Should Not Miss

With a rich and complex history, it’s no surprise that Salt Lake County is home to several fascinating historical sites. Whether you have a free afternoon with the kids, you’re looking for a cool educational destination, or are just curious about your community’s past, this is your guide to discovering historical gems in Salt Lake. Let’s dive into the rich heritage of this area and uncover stories behind its most significant landmarks and events.

Memorial House

Located in the heart of Memory Grove Park, Memorial House is an enchanting venue that boasts a rich history and versatile spaces that make it a popular choice for special events, luncheons, and weddings. One of the key attractions of the house is its timeless charm and enchanting ambiance.

Originally constructed around 1890 as a stable and equipment storage shed, the house was transformed into a gathering place in the 1920s. The same historical architecture and features that attracted guests to this venue over a century ago are still in place today.

Wheeler Historic Farm

Wheeler Historic Farm offers a unique glimpse into 19th-century farm life, providing you with an authentic experience of Utah’s agricultural past. The farm features various family-friendly activities, including historic house tours, wagon rides, and encounters with farm animals such as horses, chickens, goats, and cows.

It’s also a public park and is open every day, allowing you to visit the farm and the animals at your leisure. As a working farm, it provides a serene space for children to explore and learn about agriculture in a hands-on environment.

Temple Square

Temple Square is a hub of historical significance and architectural wonder. Covering five city blocks, it boasts nearly 20 attractions related to Latter-day Saint pioneer history and genealogy. You can explore iconic landmarks like the Salt Lake Temple and the Tabernacle, as well as the Family Search Library, Conference Center, and Social Hall Heritage Museum.

This means you can see all or most of these attractions in a relatively short amount of time. Moreover, the centerpiece of the square, the Salt Lake Temple, is a sacred place of worship for members of the Church. This massive granite edifice is a worldwide icon of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Beehive and Lion Houses

The Beehive House and the Lion House are two historical gems that are a must-see for their significant role in the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Constructed in 1854, the Beehive House was the official residence of three Presidents of the Church: Bringham Young, Lorenzo Snow, and Joseph F. Smith. It was named after the beehive sculpture that adorns the top of the mansion, a Churchwide symbol of industry, cooperation, and hard work.

Meanwhile, the Lion House which was built in 1856 was named after the large lion stone statue above its front entrance. It hosted a series of meetings that led to the creation of the Church’s Young Women organization and also functioned as classroom space for the nearby LDS University. Both houses are significant as they represent the establishment of Salt Lake City as the headquarters of the church and they also showcase the architectural style of the time.

Gardner Village

Located in West Jordan, Gardner Village offers locally-owned shops and restaurants nestled around the historic Gardner flour mill. The village is named after Archibald Gardner, a pioneer who settled in the area in the 1850s. The site where he built his original flour mill still stands today, and it's now a restored gristmill that serves as the heart of Gardner Village.

You can also explore the village’s history through its architecture, including several historic buildings and structures. In addition to shopping and dining, Gardner Village also hosts various events throughout the year, such as the annual Christmas Village event.

Governor’s Mansion

The Governor's Mansion, also known as the Kearns Mansion, was constructed in 1890 as a residence for mining executive Thomas Kearns. It exemplifies the Queen Anne architectural style which was popular in the late 19th century. Following Kearns' passing in 1918, his widow, Mary, donated the property to the State of Utah.

Since 1925, it has served as Utah's governor’s official residence. The mansion, adorned with ornate woodwork and stained glass windows, has undergone multiple renovations. Today, it welcomes public tours, offering insight into its history and architectural heritage.

This Is The Place Heritage Park

This Is The Place Heritage Park offers a blend of education and fun for all ages. Dedicated to Utah's pioneer and Native American history, the park features interactive exhibits, demonstrations, and hands-on activities.

You can immerse yourself in pioneer life, explore the park's serene setting, and engage with history through reenactments and guided tours. This interactive approach sets it apart as a living history museum, fostering a deeper understanding of Utah's cultural roots.

Devereaux Mansion

The Devereaux House, constructed in 1857, stands as Salt Lake City's earliest and most opulent mansion. It served as a prestigious venue for social gatherings attended by prominent locals and esteemed visitors from afar.

Over the years, the mansion underwent extensive renovations and expansions, evolving into a grand estate featuring ornamental gardens, vineyards, and stables. Owner William Jennings, a notable patron of the arts, adorned the interior with treasures collected during his travels. Today, the Devereaux Mansion is not only a historical landmark but also an archeological treasure that showcases the changes and developments of Salt Lake City over the decades.

So, there you have it. What do you think of the places mentioned above? Hopefully, this guide will inspire you to embark on your own journey through Salt Lake’s rich history.

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