In the middle of the 19th Century tens of thousands of members of the Church of the Latter Day Saints began what has been called the largest human migration in American history. Led by Brigham Young, the pioneers escaped religious persecution in the East and made the treacherous journey to what is now Salt Lake City. Thousands died along the journey, but the ones that remained were able to build a life for themselves. Their stories, belongings, and other artifacts are kept across the street from the State Capitol at the Pioneer Memorial Museum.
This museum, which is run by and serves as the headquarters of the International Society Daughters of Utah Pioneers, has free admission and is packed with relics from this early period of American history.
The volunteers that staff the museum have a passion for their history and are quite proud of the collection that they have assembled. The main halls of the museum are densely packed with photographs, memorabilia and personal belongings of the pioneers. The history department has an additional archive of thousands more photographs and stories. Outside of the main museum, in the Carriage House, there is a less dense collection of larger artifacts including tools, supplies, and even a fire engine.
This museum is directly across from the State Capitol and is certainly worth seeing. Especially so if you walked up what seems like a mountain from downtown to the capitol like me.