SALT LAKE CITY — This will be a Pioneer Day like no other in Utah, as the usual festivities have been halted due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. But there are still many ways to celebrate, remember and learn more about Utah's pioneer heritage.
Visiting a pioneer cemetery reminds us of the hardships and sacrifices made by many during and after the trek to Utah. And these cemeteries, often dedicated to the state's first Latter-day Saint settlers dating back to the mid-19th century, can be found throughout Utah. Here are just a handful of the pioneer cemeteries where Utah families can safely honor the legacy of those who came before us; check online to see if there is a pioneer cemetery near your town.
This Is The Place Heritage Park, Salt Lake City
This Is The Place Heritage Park is perhaps the foremost destination for learning more about Utah's pioneer past, and it contains its own pioneer cemetery that, according to its website, was originally located on 200 West between 300 and 400 South. The cemetery was rediscovered in 1986 and subsequently relocated; at least 32 pioneers were buried there.
Protestant Pioneer Cemetery, Silver Reef
There are a total of 43 graves in this unique Protestant cemetery that dates back to the 1870s; only 11 are marked.
Springdale Pioneer Cemetery
Next to the Novel House Bed and Breakfast, a trail can be found that provides access to the cemetery property where some of Springdale's founders are buried.
Ephraim Historic Pioneer Cemetery
The Ephraim city government website has information about how to get to the cemetery and about the hundreds who are interred there, as well as scanned documents that include an interesting account of the settlement of the city.
Lehi Pioneer Cemetery
The Lehi Pioneer Cemetery claims to be the oldest cemetery in Utah, first used in 1851. Many of the bodies were subsequently moved and the cemetery has since been built over, but a monument to the historical site now stands nearby in the roadside park located from 190-200 West State Street.
Mormon Pioneer Memorial Monument
And of course, it's always worth a trip to the final resting place of the most famous pioneer of all: Brigham Young, the second president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the one who led the Saints into Utah.
Young is buried in the Mormon Pioneer Memorial Monument, just steps away from Temple Square in Salt Lake City. The site also includes the final resting place of renowned poet Eliza R. Snow and a memorial for the 6,000-plus pioneers who perished between 1847 and 1869, when the transcontinental railroad was completed.
Additionally, check out the Salt Lake City Cemetery in the Avenues neighborhood, the final resting place of not just Latter-day Saint pioneers but also prominent church officials, Utah politicians, and business titans.