Heritage Gateways

Official Sesquicentennial K-12 Education Project
sponsored by the Utah State Board of Education, the BYU-Public School Partnership and the Utah Education Network

General Information

1846: Leaving Nauvoo Mormon settlers began their trek westward more than a year before they left from Winter Quarters.

Camps West of the Missouri Saints were anxious to leave Missouri. They created settlements to the west.

Council Bluffs General Area Mormons stopped at Council Bluffs and Winter Quarters in 1846 and 1847 before beginnig the trek across the plains to the Rocky Mountains.

Emmigration to Utah, 1847-1868, Statistics Emigration statistics from 1847-1860, including number of wagon companies, PEF companies, arrival date, and number of persons (estimate).

Garden Grove Established Mormon pioneers built started many settlements.

Genoa, NE, Supply Station and Ferry Boat, Part 2 (Dec 1858-Apr 1859) Joel Hills Johnson presided over this Mormon Way Station for over a year. This part deals with the construction of a ferry boat and problems associated with apostate members.

Genoa, NE, Supply Station and Ferry Boat, Part 3 (1 Apr 1859-20 Jul 1859) Joel Hills Johnson presided over the Mormon Way Station of Genoa, Nebraska, for a year. He had trouble with health and apostate Mormons. A ferry boat was built and ferried numerous emigrants in 1859 (Mormon and non-Mormon), but expenses exceeded revenue. (See other references to Joel Hills Johnson, Genoa, Parts 1 and 2, and his treks of 1857 and 1860).

Genoa, NE, Supply Station, Part 1 (Jun-Dec, 1858) Joel Hills Johnson presided over this Mormon Way Station for over a year. His journal describes the problems associated with its establishment.

Golden Pass Road (Echo Canyon to SLC) Parley P. Pratt opened a toll road in 1849 from Echo Canyon to the valley that by-passed the difficult trail over Big and Little Mountains. It was dubbed "The Golden Pass Road," though it wasn't very golden and not much of a road. It was used most by California-bound gold seekers looking for any short-cut or advantage over other travellers

Mount Pisgah Established Mormon pioneers sometimes were called to settl along the trail to help pioneers who would come along the trail later.

Perpetual Emigration Fund (D.U.P. material) The Perpetual Emigration Fund operated from 1855 to 1887 and became the biggest single benefactor of Mormon immigration.

Perpetual Emigration Fund (Stan Kimball) Mormon pioneers made loans to each other to finance the trip to Utah.

Pioneer Fort (Salt Lake City), 1848, How Life Was Thomas Bullock described life in the Salt Lake Valley in a letter to Levi Richards.

Significant Events in and around the Salt Lake Valley (1776-1846) Significant persons and events in and around the Salt Lake Valley prior to the arrival of the Mormons.

Suggestions for Further Research on the Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail Many resources have been published that deal with the Mormon Trail and its related stories.

Western Migration Highlights (1800 - 1869) A few important dates and events in the expansion of the US from the Mississippi River to the Pacific coast

Reading Level Key: -Easy   -Intermediate   -Advanced

Other Pioneer General Reference Resources

  • BYU Museum of Art Brigham Young University''s Museum of Art houses several pieces of artwork dealing with the Mormon Pioneer Trail.
  • Historical Maps of the United States Historical maps of United States at the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection located at the University of Texas at Austin.
  • Immigration to Utah (pdf)Descripton of the ethnic backgrounds of Utah immigrants.
  • National Archives and Records Administration Photographs of the American West, 1861-1912. A breathtaking collection from the National Archives.
  • National Society of The Sons of Utah Pioneers An organization founded in 1933 for the purpose of keeping alive the history and memory of Mormon Pioneers and others who came to the Salt Lake Valley to help settle the West.
  • Utah Collections Multimedia Encyclopedia Searchable database for video, audio, photographs, maps, charts, and text about Utah and the Intermountain West.
  • Springville Museum of ArtThe Springville Museum of Arts in Springville, Utah, is Utah's oldest museum for the visual arts, housing over 1,500 works of art.
  • Utah Museum of Fine Arts - University of Utah The Museum's mission is to collect, exhibit, interpret, sesearch, and preserve a general collection of art objects selected for quality.
  • This is the Place Heritage Park This park includes the 'This is the Place Monument' and 'Pioneer Home and Garden: Old Deseret Living History Museum.' Smithsonian: 150 Years of Adventure (1846-1878)Exhibit: Bright Lamps, Bold Adventure: 1846-1878 discusses what was happening in the United States during the time the Mormon Pioneer Trail was in use.
  • New Perspectives on the West Companion web site to the PBS series "The West."A Pioneer Journal: The Trek WestKSL TV (NBC affiliate) has a reporter on the trek who is filing daily reports.
  • Oregon California Trails Association - Mormon Trail Links to several outstanding articles about the Mormon Pioneer Trail including transportation, food, geography (elevation changes etc.), reasoning behind route choices, wagon construction, etc.
  • The Illustrating Traveler Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library has several beautiful images of the old west.