A significant part of Utah State history is found at This Is The Place Monument at This is the Place Heritage Park, in Salt Lake City near the University of Utah campus and Emigration Canyon. This Is The Place Monument marks the location where on July 24, 1847, Brigham Young, then leader of the Mormon Church (official name – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), overlooked the Salt Lake area and declared this would be the place where the Mormon pioneers would settle after their long trek westward. The Mormon pioneers had previously settled together in multiple locations including Kirkland, Ohio, western Missouri, and most recently Nauvoo, Illinois, but were driven out of these lands because of religious persecutions.
There is a Heritage Village nearby the monument, but I didn’t visit that aspect of the park because it was closed; I arrived too late in the day. I was able to park in the east parking lot, and get out and walk around the huge monument. On the top of the monument looking westward are Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball and Wilford Woodruff. There are many other historical figures on the monument including:
• Benjamin Bonneville
• John Brown
• Isaac Perry Decker
• John C. Fremont
• Ellen Saunders Kimball
• Jesse C. Little
• Joseph Matthews
• Peter Skene Ogden
• John Pack
• Orson Pratt
• Etienne Provost
• Willard Richards
• Orrin Porter Rockwell
• Father de Smet
• George A. Smith - my great, great, great, grandfather
• Erastus Snow
• Chief Washakie
• Clarissa Decker Young
• Harriet Page Wheeler Decker Young
• Lorenzo Dow Young
• Lorenzo Sobieski Young
As well as the following groups:
• Mormon pioneers from the vanguard expedition of 1847 including the nine preliminary explorers, the main company and the rear group.
• Donner Party
• Spanish explorers from the Dominguez-Escalante Expedition in 1776
• William H. Ashley and American Fur Company Trappers
On the eastern side of the monument at the base are statues of six historical figures, three on each side of a plaque discussing the Donner Party which crossed Utah's Wasatch Mountains and Great Salt Lake Desert.
The view looking westward from This Is The Place Monument provides a wonderful view of the Salt Lake Valley. From this location, Brigham Young had a good perspective of the Salt Lake Valley.
I really enjoyed making this stop during my quick visit to Utah in the summer of 2015. If you happen to be traveling to Utah, this open park setting provides a great place to stop and spend some time while enjoying a bit of Utah and LDS Church history.
For more information about This Is The Place Monument, please visit the official This Is The Place Heritage Park website.