10 Best's Top Choices for Salt Lake’s Mormon - and Minority - Historic Sites



When you’re shopping around for historic sites to visit within Salt Lake City, you’re naturally going to come across many, many instances pertaining to the historically dominant group in the region: the Mormons. After all, these were the very people that founded the city back in 1847, and this is the culture that would remain #1 in Utah for many decades to come.

However, in the intervening years since the arrival of Brigham Young & Co., global industrialization brought many groups to Salt Lake City on its coattails. The 1869 completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad near Tremonton, Utah, not only connected the Utah Territory to the rest of the world - but it also left behind a huge influx of railroad workers in the area. Many of these workers would settle in Utah, naturally bringing with them their cultures and religions.

The mining frenzy of the late 19th Century, too, had its hand in Utah’s diversification. With it, eager prospectors came to Utah’s mountains from around the world. And though mining would eventually dry up, it would leave these folks a permanent part of Utah’s population.

So today, when you’re visiting Salt Lake City’s historic sites, you’ll not only see the enormous and immaculate Temple Square, but you’ll also see influences of other cultures. So consider a stop at the Catholic Cathedral of the Madeleine and St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in conjunction with your tour of the Beehive House. 


Joseph Smith Memorial Building


A $45-million renovation transformed this building from a spectacular hotel into office space for the Mormon Church. Visitors may take guided tours to learn about the building and its uses over the past 70 years. Beyond its history, the building...  Read More


St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral


The Episcopal congregation of Salt Lake dates back to 1858 - a rather impressive fact, given that Utah's first settlement occurred at the hands of Mormons just 11 years earlier. One of Utah's oldest standing non-Mormon churches and the third...  Read More




Local literature praises Bingham Canyon Copper Mine as the "richest hole on earth," and with good reason. More than 3/4 of a mile deep, the mine has yielded about 16 million tons of copper since digging first began. And that's not all - the mine...  Read More


Beehive House


The Beehive House was one of many owned by Mormon pioneer leader, Brigham Young. By visiting this thoroughly preserved home, you will get a glimpse into the life he shared with his family at the time he was president of the Mormon Church and...  Read More




Though the Mormon Church is undeniably the historically and culturally dominant religion in Utah, it certainly isn't the only. This dramatic Roman Catholic cathedral, completed in 1909, was built to mimic Romanesque style on the outside and...  Read More


Governor's Mansion
Photo courtesy of Edgar Zuniga Jr.


In 1902, wealthy Senator Thomas Kearns constructed this phenomenal residence, which is currently home to Utah's governor and family. Located on South Temple Street, this grand home shares its environs with many other grand, historic homes....  Read More


4
Lake Bonneville
Bonneville Salt Flats
Photo courtesy of CountyLemonade


The Bonneville Salt Flats, about an hour west of Salt Lake City (on I-80), are a peculiar natural phenomenon that has earned global fame as the site where land speed records are set. These flats, which occupy roughly 30,000 acres, formed when...  Read More




Built in 1947, this monument marks the place where Brigham Young and the first wave of Mormon pioneers, after months of extremely rugged travel, arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. It was here Young stood on a high vista and told his followers,...  Read More


Utah State Capitol Building
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren


This awe-inspiring building proudly sits high on Capitol Hill overlooking the city. A stately Corinthian, neoclassical revival-style building, the Utah State Capitol Building was constructed mostly of native granite, quarried in the surrounding...  Read More




Salt Lake City has been the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since their arrival to the Great Basin in July 1847. Temple Square itself is the spiritual and symbolic center of this unique religion. Covering 10...  Read More


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Meet Christine Balaz

Christine Balaz began her unexpected writing career in Salt Lake City with her first book on Wasatch Skiing and Travel in 2006. On the subject of Utah, Christine has written numerous...  More About Christine
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