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

Life on the Trail

1856-60, Handcarts: Construction Plans (Steve Pratt) Stephen Pratt builds handcarts for a living in Cove Fort, Utah. This is his set of copyrighted instructions on how to construct a handcart.

Amusements: Games and Activities Activities along a pioneer trek were not much different than what people today might do on a trip.

Amusements: Toys Toys were simple, usually home made. Immagination enhanced the value of any toy.

Bacteria/diarrhea Most of the diseases along emigration trails was caused by bacteria. Here are the types that caused diarrhea - which frequently ended in death.

Buffalo Chips and Pioneers An important by-product of the buffalo...chips.

Buffalo and the Pioneers Buffalo roamed the plains in great numbers.

Come, Come Ye Saints - Composed Music helped inspire and unite the pioneers.

Communication Pioneer companies cared about those companies that would follow. They left 'bone mail' and messages tucked in posts.

Dentistry, 1864, "Do it yourself!" (Duckworth Grimshaw, age 22) He took one tooth out with a hammer and spike. The other was had a cavity. He filled it with gun powder and blew it out. See more details about Grimshaw, who immigrated from Wales in 1862, in another article.

Draft animals Draft animals included horses, mules, and oxen.

Food: Rules for Eating in Early Days

Freighting within Utah, 1858 Freighting for Johnston's Army became big business for Utah. Richard John Moxey Bee was involved between Ft. Ephraim and Camp Floyd.

Hair Wreaths Hair wreaths were created as decorative and/or sentimental objects. Includes directions on how to make a wreath

Indian Relations/Events Mormons generally treated the Native Americans they met along the trail and in their settlements with respect because one of the Mormon sacred texts dealt with Indian ancestry.

Little Emigrants, Children Many of the Pioneer travelers were children who faced the same dangers as the adults.

Mormons and Trail-Side Services Pioneers had many skills and trades that came in handy when preparing to travel along the trail.

Mormons and the Environment Mormon pioneers were careful of the environment because they know other members of their faith would follow along the same trail.

Music and Dance the Pioneer Companies Pioneers used music to lift their spirits.

Oxen Oxen were the most common draft animal used by the emigrants. What kind of animal was this?

Photographs and Images of the Trail Images from Life in Zion: An Intimate Look at the Latter-day Saints 1820-1995 by William W.Slaughter

Pioneer Cemeteries (3) - Salt Lake City How corpses were handled in a new community. The first burial ground was east of the fort. The Kimball-Whitney and Brigham Young private cemeteries are included.

Problems of Illness, Stress, Privacy, and Traveling Pioneers faced many dangers and hardships each day.

Reading, Interpreting, and Protecting Trail Ruts Studying the ruts still along the old Mormon Trail helps the student better understand the migration history.

Routine, Rules Discipline, Constitutions Description of a typical day on the trail.

Stories from the Trail Stories from the trail

Toys Amusements were always part of the trail experience. Toys and dolls were small and simple.

Trail Preservation and Marking In 1930, the historic value of the trail was officially recognized.

Wagons Various wagons were used but the predominant wagon for Mormons was the "Chicago" type, which was smaller, cheaper, and travelled better over rough terrain.

Reading Level Key: -Easy   -Intermediate   -Advanced