The location of the park is where, on July 24, 1847, Brigham Young first saw the Salt Lake Valley that would soon become the Mormon pioneers' new home. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that Young had a vision shortly after they were exiled from Nauvoo, Illinois. In the vision, he saw the place where the Latter-day Saints would settle and "make the desert blossom like a rose" and where they would build their State of Deseret. As the account goes, Brigham Young was very sick with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and was riding in the back of a wagon. After exiting Emigration Canyon and cresting a small hill, he asked to look out of the wagon. Those with him opened the canvas cover and propped him up so he could see the empty desert valley below. He then proclaimed, "It is enough. This is the right place. Drive on." The words, "this is the place," were soon heard throughout the wagon train as the Mormon pioneers descended into the valley, their long journey having come to an end. The statement was first attributed to Young by Wilford Woodruff more than thirty years after the pioneer advent.
The This is the Place Monument is a historical monument at the This is the Place Heritage Park, located on the east side of Salt Lake City, Utah, at the mouth of Emigration Canyon. It is named in honor of Brigham Young's famous statement in 1847 that the Latter-day Saint pioneers should settle in the Salt Lake Valley. Sculpted between 1939 and 1947 by Mahonri M. Young, a grandson of Brigham Young, it stands as a monument to the Mormon pioneers as well as the explorers and settlers of the American West. It was dedicated by LDS Church President George Albert Smith on 24 July 1947, the hundredth anniversary of the pioneers entering the Salt Lake Valley. It replaced a much smaller monument located nearby.
Were all the buildings originally found at this location?
All of the buildings you will see at The Park were either re-located from their original site, or reconstructed and placed in the Park. None of them stood on this site originally. The Village as you see it today, represents an early settlement in the Utah territory.
The village began around 1959, when a small visitors' center was constructed near the Monument; it featured a large mural by local artist Lynn Fausett. Well-attended, the monument convinced the legislature in 1971 to appropriate $100,000 to prepare a master plan for the creation of a living history museum. Following the appropriation of $1M for land acquisition and development, the Park was expanded to include 450 acres (1.8 km2). In 1974, an additional $1.7M was appropriated for the construction of underground utilities.
In 1975, began the restoration or replication of historical buildings from Utah's history. Brigham Young's Forest Farmhouse was moved in 1975 from the Forest Dale area in the central valley to the Park for restoration. In 1979, five original pioneer homes were donated to the Park and restored; a small bowery was constructed. The 1980s included a replica of the original Social Hall, located in downtown Salt Lake City, two adobe homes, two frame homes and one log cabin were relocated to the Park. The blacksmith shop also was completed.
1992 through 1995 was a period of major expansion in which the Manti Z.C.M.I store was dismantled and reconstructed in the Park, a pioneer dugout home was constructed, 15 replica structures were built and the Hickman Cabin was relocated from Fairview to the Park. The Utah Statehood Centennial Commission adopted the Park as its living legacy project. The legislature appropriated $2.4M for a new visitors' center. In 1996, the park was designated This Is The Place State Park by the State Centennial Commission. In 1998, the state legislature approved the creation of a private, non-profit This Is The Place Foundation that would manage the Park.
Dedication ceremonies of the Emery County Cabin in June 2009 2000 through 2004 – Another expansion of the Park included construction of a large parking area east of the Monument and a plaza between it and the new visitors' center. Other construction completed during this period involved the Cedar City Tithing Office, Snelgrove Boot Shop, John Pack home, William Atkin home, Brigham Young Academy, Heber C. Kimball home, P.W. Madsen Furniture Company, and the Deseret Hospital. With this significant construction boom, the park's finances were challenged, and the state legislature made an emergency appropriation to keep the park afloat. In 2006, the management of This Is The Place Foundation was changed, and with it the direction of the Park. Emphasis was placed on expanding the programming and access to the Park.