Old Deseret Village

“Old Deseret Village,” Liahona, Sept. 1999, 41

Old Deseret Village

With oxen, gardens, costumed volunteers, and historically significant buildings, Salt Lake City’s Old Deseret Village offers a unique opportunity to learn about our pioneer past.

Old Deseret Village overlooks This Is the Place Monument, which commemorates the entry of the Latter-day Saint pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley. Created from reconstructed or authentic 1847–69 homes and buildings, Old Deseret Village brings our historic past to life. Volunteers dressed in pioneer clothing give tours of the buildings, animals live in surrounding pens and sheds, and gardens flourish with flowers and vegetables.

The photographs on these few pages offer readers an opportunity to walk the dusty streets of Old Deseret Village. While there, you may hear the clang of a blacksmith’s hammer, marvel at the immense size of oxen, or wonder how many people could live in one log cabin. And you may feel an even greater bond of fellowship with the dedicated pioneers of Church history.

Left, background: Many early western pioneers lived in small adobe homes, such as this one owned by Mary Fielding Smith, widow of Hyrum Smith. Upper left, inset: Temporary dwellings called dugouts, such as this one, flourished in early pioneer towns. (Photography of home and dugout by Larene Porter Gaunt.) Lower far left: Volunteers in period costumes add to the authentic feel of Old Deseret Village. (Photograph of young women by Tamra Hamblin.) Left, inset: Replica of the Heber East Ward Schoolhouse erected in 1865, which served as both a school and a ward meetinghouse. (Photograph of schoolhouse by David Gaunt.)

Key to Map of Old Deseret Village

1. Bowery
2. Pine Valley Chapel
3. Milo Andrus Home
4. Ence Cabin
5. Heber East Ward Schoolhouse
6. Animal Shelters
7. Savage Livery Stable
8. Blacksmith Shop
9. Public Rest Rooms
10. Deseret News Building
11. Huntsman Hotel
12. Pioneer Dugout
13. Mary Fielding Smith Home
14. Drugstore
15. Cabinet and Furniture Shop
16. Niels O. Anderson Home
17. Manti Fort Gristmill
18. General Store
19. Bank
20. Shaving Parlor
21. John B. Fairbanks Home
22. Social Hall
23. Samuel Jewkes Home
24. Granary
25. Charles C. Rich Home
26. John W. Gardiner Cabin

Above left: Replica of the gristmill built in 1854 at the mouth of Manti’s City Creek Canyon. The mill was moved within the walls of Manti Fort in 1857. (Photograph by Tamra Hamblin.) Left: A volunteer demonstrates how to use a lathe in the cabinet and furniture shop. (Photograph by David Gaunt.) Above: Replica of the general store Luther T. Tuttle established in Manti in about 1850. (Photograph by David Gaunt.) Top: English immigrant Samuel Jewkes built this frame home using heavy pine timbers and wooden pegs. (Photograph by Tamra Hamblin.)