This Is the Place Heritage Park

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This Is the Place Heritage Park

The This Is the Place Heritage Park is a 450-acre living-history site and park that grew around the historic This Is the Place Monument, located at the mouth of Emigration Canyon in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The monument marks the location where Brigham Young was to have stopped in his carriage, with the first company of Mormon pioneers, and proclaimed, “This is the right place. Drive on.”[1] The original marking was first a wooden cross, then a small, white obelisk. The Deseret News reported: “Efforts to honor the high valley viewpoint, and Brigham Young's ringing phrase, began in earnest early in the 20th century. A location study was conducted in 1915 by a committee that included Latter-day Saint leaders George Albert Smith and B.H. Roberts.” The site was verified in the early 20th century by aging pioneers like W.W. Riter, who was a nine-year-old boy when he entered the valley. The location was also verified in William Clayton’s Emigrants’ Guide.[2]

The area was known as “Pioneer View” and a group of private citizens bought a significant amount of the land surrounding the site and donated it to the State of Utah to protect it from commercial development. The state Parks and Recreation department maintained the land. In 1959, a small visitors’ center was constructed, and because the site was heavily visited, in 1971, the state legislature appropriated $100,000 for the creation of a living history museum. Funds were also appropriated for further land acquisition, which eventually totaled 450 acres. Three years later, additional funds were appropriated for the construction of underground utilities.

The Brigham Young Forest Farmhouse was moved in 1975 for restoration in the park. In 1979, five original pioneer homes were donated to the park and restored and a small bowery was constructed. The Old Deseret village continued to grow during the next decade with a replica of the original Social Hall (located in downtown Salt Lake City), two adobe homes, two frame homes, and one log cabin were relocated to the park and a blacksmith shop was completed. From 1992 to 1995, numerous other buildings were both dismantled and reconstructed in the park and historic structures were replicated.

The state legislature appropriated $2.4 million for a new visitors' center. In 1996, the State Centennial Commission designated the park as This Is The Place State Park. Parking areas were created in 2000–2004, as well as a plaza between the park and the new visitors’ center. More buildings were replicated, including the original Deseret Hospital. In 2006, the park underwent an expansion of its programming and access to the park was improved.

This Is the Place Heritage Park was dedicated in 2009. Features of the park include three trains, animals, a one-sixth sized ship replica, gift shop, food shops, and places for public events and family gatherings. A splash pad was recently added. Guests can make crafts, watch demonstrations, tour buildings, ride ponies, go for a statuary walk, or ride on a horseback trail ride. Special events are planned for July 4, July 24, and Halloween.

On July 22, 2022, a new monument honoring Utah's black pioneers was unveiled and dedicated. The statues in the monument depict Green Flake, Jane Manning James with her two sons, Sylvester and Silas, as well as brothers Hark Lay, who chose the last name of Wales, and Oscar Crosby, who chose the last name of Smith when each was freed. Each played instrumental roles in the settlement of Utah. The dedication marked the 175th anniversary of the first wagon company’s 1847 arrival in the Salt Lake Valley.[3]

Harking back to Brigham Young’s utterance, the park’s slogan is “This is the fun place for everyone!”

Heritage Village Buildings

  • Andrus Halfway House and Farm
  • Ashby Dugout
  • B. F. Johnson Saddlery
  • Blacksmith Shop
  • Bowry
  • Brigham Young Barn
  • Brigham Young Forest Farmhouse
  • Burnett Cabin
  • Cedar City Tithing Office
  • Charles C. Rich Home
  • Deseret Hospital and Quilt Museum
  • Deseret News Print Shop
  • Deseret Telegraph Office
  • Dinwoodey Cabinet and Chair Shop
  • Dinwoodey Tinsmith Shop
  • Eagle Gate
  • Edward Snelgrove Boot Shop
  • Emery County Cabin
  • Ence Cabin
  • Fairbanks Home
  • Godbe-Pitts & Company Drugstore
  • Great Salt Lake Social Hall
  • Handcart Companies|Handcarts]]
  • Heber C. Kimball Home
  • Heber East Ward School
  • Hooper & Eldredge Bank
  • Huntsman Hotel
  • Jewkes-Draper Home
  • John Gardiner Cabin
  • John Pack Home
  • Joseph Staker Cabin
  • Levi Riter Cabin
  • Levi Roberts Cabin
  • Madsen Furniture Company
  • Manti Fork Gristmill
  • Margaret Hickman Cabin
  • Mary Fielding Smith Home
  • Murdock Carriage House
  • Native American Village
  • Nils O. & Josephine Anderson Home
  • Orson Pratt Observatory
  • Ottinger-Little Hall (firehouse)
  • Pine Valley chapel
  • Pioneer cemetery
  • Relief Society Hall
  • Richard & Mary Goble Pay home
  • Savage livery stable
  • Shaving parlor
  • Smoot Hall at Brigham Young Academy
  • Visitor Center-Sugar mill
  • William Atkin home
  • Woodmancy-Richardson Cabin
  • Zion's Cooperative Mercantile Institution

Official Website