“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Salt Lake City in Salt Lake County, Utah — The American Mountains (Southwest)

This is the Place Monument

This is The Place Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dawn Bowen, June 18, 2007
1. This is The Place Marker
Inscription.  This is the Place Monument, dedicated July 24, 1947, commemorates the arrival of the Mormon pioneers into the valley of the Great Salt Lake one hundred years before, and also the role of others—Spanish Catholic fathers, trappers and fur traders, official government explorers and California immigrants, who contributed to the successful founding of an empire in “the top of the mountains.” Driven from their homes in Missouri and Illinois because of political and religious prejudice, the Mormons began their historic fifteen hundred mile trek from Nauvoo to the Rocky Mountains on February 4, 1846, an event that had been prophesied by the Prophet Joseph Smith four years earlier.

As early as September 9, 1845, leaders of the church had determined to found their “Zion” in the valley of the great salt lake. Because of the intense cold and deadly scourge of cholera, the four hundred mile trek across Iowa in 1846 was the most trying of the entire exodus. these handicaps, together with the furnishing of five hundred volunteers—the Mormon battalion—to fight in the war against Mexico, forced the Saints
This is the Place Monument image. Click for full size.
By Dawn Bowen, June 18, 2007
2. This is the Place Monument
Designed and bronzes sculpted by Mahonri M. Young (1877–1957).
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to halt temporarily on the Missouri river. Winter Quarters was established on the present site of Florence, Nebraska.

From this place on April 7, 1847 the pioneer company left for the Rocky Mountains. The train consisted of 143 men, 3 women, 2 children, 72 wagons, 93 horses, 66 oxen, 52 mules, 19 cows and 17 dogs. Seventeen additional members of the Crow and Therlkill families with three wagons who had wintered at the site of modern pueblo, Colorado, were added at Fort Laramie, and six members of the Mormon battalion joined them at the crossing of the Green River, making in all a total of 171 souls who came into Great Salt Lake Valley, July 22-24 1847.

Fort Laramie was reached June 1, South Pass, June 27, and Fort Bridger July 7. On July 13 Orson Pratt was directed to take 23 wagons and 42 men and proceed ahead to determine where the Reed-Donner trail crossed the mountains. Two days later, Orson Pratt’s company discovered the trail which ran southwest for fifteen miles from the present site of Henefer, Utah and then turned west over the mountains. Following this route, Orson Pratt and John Brown ascended big mountain, and from its summit, on July 19, saw for the first time the Great Salt Lake.

Two days later Orson Pratt and Erastus Snow proceeded from the foot of Little Mountain four and one-half miles down Emigration Canyon, ascended a hill
Heber C. Kimball (left), Brigham Young (center), Wilford Woodruff (right) image. Click for full size.
By Dawn Bowen, June 18, 2007
3. Heber C. Kimball (left), Brigham Young (center), Wilford Woodruff (right)
near the entrance of the valley, and in the words of Orson Pratt “beheld in a moment such an extensive scenery open before us (that) we could not refrain from a shout of joy which almost involuntarily escaped from our lips the moment this glad and lovely scenery was within our view. although we had only one horse between us, we traversed a circuit of about twelve miles.”

On the morning of July 22, a party of nine horsemen, headed by Orson Pratt and George A. Smith, rode into the valley for the purpose of locating a place to plant crops on the same day. Willard Richards led a train of sixty wagons into the valley. Temporary encampment was made seven and one-half miles southwest from the mouth of the canyon. Early next morning permanent encampment was made two miles north on the banks of the South Fork of City Creek. On the same day the waters of City Creek were turned upon the hard baked soil, thus inaugurating the system of modern scientific irrigation in America.

Meanwhile, Brigham Young, who had been seriously ill with mountain fever, entered the valley on July 24 with the remaining fifteen wagons of this historic occasion. Wilford Woodruff, in whose carriage president Young rode, says “when we came out of the canyon in full view of the valley I turned the side of my carriage around, open to the west and president Young arose from his
Wagon train detail image. Click for full size.
By Dawn Bowen, June 18, 2007
4. Wagon train detail
bed and took a survey of the country while gazing on the scene he was enwrapped in vision for several minutes. When the vision had passed he said ‘this is the right place. Drive on.’ ”

The figures on the west face of the monument (top) are: Brigham Young (center) Great Mormon leader, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Second President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1847-1877), First Governor of the Territory of Utah (1850-1857). Heber C. Kimball (north on President Young’s right) Prophet Apostle, great religious leader, friend and adviser of Brigham Young, first counselor to Brigham Young (1847-1868). Wilford Woodruff (south on President Young’s left). great religious leader, Apostle, Fourth President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (1889-1898).

The lower group: Orson Pratt (on horse). Apostle, scientist, mathematician explorer, journalist; Erastus Snow (standing) Apostle, explorer, colonizer; the two wagon trains (north wing) first wagon train (July 22), led by Willard Richards (on second horse, noted physician, apostle, religious leader, second counselor to Brigham Young (1847-1854), secretary of the provisional state of Deseret, second wagon train (July 24) Brigham Young sitting in carriage. Wilford Woodruff driving. Heber C. Kimball and Lorenzo Dow Young walking beside carriage. Women are: Clarissa
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Decker Young (wife of Brigham Young), Ellen Saunders Kimball (wife of Heber C. Kimball) and Harriet Page Wheeler Decker Young (wife of Lorenzo Dow Young). boys are: Lorenzo Sobieski Young (son of Lorenzo Dow Young by his wife Persis Goodall) and Isaac Perry Decker (son of Harriet Decker). the nine horsemen (north side of monument, reading from left to right): Orson Pratt, Orrin Porter Rockwell, Joseph Matthews, Erastus Snow. (south side of monument reading from left to right): John Brown, Jesse C. Little, George A. Smith, an unidentified pioneer and John Pack.
Erected 1947.
Topics and series. This historical marker monument is listed in these topic lists: Churches & ReligionNotable EventsSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Mormon Pioneer Trail series list. A significant historical month for this entry is February 1860.
Location. 40° 45.123′ N, 111° 48.981′ W. Marker is in Salt Lake City, Utah, in Salt Lake County. Marker can be reached from Sunnyside Avenue. It is at “This is the Place” Heritage Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2601 East Sunnyside Avenue, Salt Lake City UT 84108, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Spanish Explorers (a few steps from this marker); Sesquicentennial Mormon Trail Wagontrain (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Pioneer Pavilion
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(about 400 feet away); Smoot Hall at Brigham Young Academy (about 500 feet away); Pioneer Children’s Memorial (about 500 feet away); Pine Valley Chapel (about 500 feet away); Orson Pratt Observatory (about 500 feet away); Thomas Phillip White Cabin (about 600 feet away); John Gardiner Cabin (about 600 feet away); Deseret Hospital and Quilt Museum (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Salt Lake City.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on July 3, 2007, by Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 6,568 times since then and 37 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 3, 2007, by Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg, Virginia. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Close-up photos of the other statue groupings • Can you help?

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Jun. 16, 2021