This week marks 167 years since the Mormon Pioneers entered the Great Salt Lake Valley. Here are five things you might not know about Utah:
1. The original inhabitants of Utah were Gosiute, Southern Paiute, Ute, Shoshone, and Navajo tribes.
2. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (more commonly called “Mormons”) began arriving in the Salt Lake Valley in July of 1847. Fleeing religious persecution suffered in Missouri and Illinois, large groups of Mormons, under the direction of their prophet, Brigham Young, trekked west into Utah by covered wagon and handcart.
3. The transcontinental railroad, connecting the Central Pacific and Union Pacific, was completed with a ceremony at Promontory Summit on 10 May 1869. This further opened the country for even more westward expansion.
4. During The Great Depression, more than 116 Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps were set up in the state.
5. Utah became the 45th state in 1896.
Our new, free state guide, Utah State Research Guide: Family History Resources in the Beehive State, has a historical overview and timeline of the state’s history. Additionally, there are links to resources for you to explore when searching for connections to Utah in your family tree. Guides for other states are available in the Learning Center under Free State Research Guides.