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Category Archives: Participate History

Trail of the West

Free Film Series: Classic Hollywood Cinema and the Imagination of the American West

The Utah State Historical Society, Ms. Naoma Tate, Buffalo Bill Center of the West, and others invite you to celebrate the spirit of the American West through art, movies and events.

The films will be shown on third Thursdays at 7:00 p.m., January – June 2018, at the Fort Douglas Post Theater (245 S Fort Douglas Blvd). See a list of all screenings.

  • January 18, 2018Buffalo Bill (1944)
  • February 15, 2018Ramona (1928)
  • March 15, 2018Ramrod (1947)
  • April 19, 2018Wagon Master (1950)
  • May 17, 2018Brigham Young (1940)
  • June 21, 2018Westward the Women (1951)

The series focuses on Utah’s storied landscapes and how classic Hollywood films used them to create an ideal, imagined American West. Dr. James V. D’Arc, a retired BYU motion picture curator and professor of film, will offer a brief lecture before each screening and lead a post-viewing discussion.

At the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, you’ll find activities from December 2017 to June 2018. Read a booklet of all events.

As part of this effort, join us for Screening Utah, a free, public film series done in partnership with the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.


Parking Instructions: Please park behind the Ft. Douglas Post Theater (taking Ft. Douglas Blvd.). Parking lot 84 is the closest, but lots 77, 78 ,79 are also available. Parking is free at the University after 6:00 p.m. See the map to the left.

NHPA 50 Year Anniversary

Join the nationwide celebration for the 50th Anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) in 2016. This Act transformed the face of communities throughout the United States and Utah by establishing a framework and incentives to preserve historic buildings, landscapes, and archaeological sites.  Coordinated through, the nationwide celebration is designed to inform and engage all ages and backgrounds in this significant law’s effects on local communities and history. Since 1966, the NHPA has shaped preservation efforts on America’s history and culture while generating positive social and economic impacts. In 2015, the Utah State Historic Preservation Office (formed in 1973) gathered stakeholders to organize a year of events and to gather engaging stories and media for the celebration.

This website is a portal to a year of events and activities that cover all corners of Utah.

Events Calendar     Media     Preservation Apps     Links     Partners


Shipwreck at the Great Salt Lake


Utah Archaeology and Historic Preservation Month celebrates Utah’s rich archaeological and historical resources with a month of lectures and hands-on learning. Statewide events include:

  • Open house at the Natural History Museum of Utah with educational activities for (kids and adults
  • Hands-on experiences
  • Lectures and paper presentations
  • Tours of archaeological and historical sites

Printable version of the events calendar is available!

Please note: Updates occur regularly, but may take up to 48 hours to appear. Please note: Jumps may land slightly below their marker. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

Do you have an event? Please email and fill out the Archaeology and Historic Preservation Event Form


Golden Spike National Historic Site

  • Transcontinental Celebration (148th Anniversary)
    Date & Time: Wednesday, May 10 (9am to 5pm)
    Location: Golden Spike National Historic Site, 32 miles west of Brigham City
    For More Information (contact info): 435-471-2209, ext 29
    Sponsors/Organizations: National Park Service

    Admission Cost: Free
    Event Description: Golden Spike National Historic Site will celebrate the 148th anniversary of the completion of the nation’s first transcontinental railroad on Wednesday, May 10th, 2017.  Events marking the May 10th occasion include the recreation of the historic “champagne photo”, a performance by Box Elder High School Band, traditional anniversary program, a re-enactment of the original 1869 ceremony, and locomotive steam demonstrations. This year’s keynote speaker will be Jimmy Chen, Professor of Computer Science & Information Systems, and Utah Advisor of Overseas Community Affairs Council, Republic of China (Taiwan). Full calendar of events can be found here: Press Release




  • Archaeology Day
    Date & Time: Saturday, May 6 (10am to 2pm)
    Location: Museum of Anthropology, Old Main RM 252, Utah State University
    For More Information (contact info): Molly Cannon,
    USU Museum of Anthropology
    Admission Cost: Free
    Event Description: Join the World Explorers Club at the USU Museum of Anthropology. Come explore the wonders of Archaeology with us! Try out our mini dig site, learn about major discoveries in archaeology, and hear “Tech Talks” every half hour showing off the technology used by archaeologists.


  • Hyrum Hydro-Electric Power Plant Tour
    Date & Time: Wednesday, May 10, 6-8pm
    Location: Blacksmith Fork Canyon
    For More Information (contact info): Jami J. Van Huss,, 435-245-0208
    Hyrum Museum
    Admission Cost: Free
    Event Description: Visit Hyrum City’s hydro-electric plant in Blacksmith Fork Canyon! Hyrum Power Superintendent Matt Draper will briefly discuss the history of electricity in Hyrum (one of Cache Valley’s first electrified cities) and the work inovlved with keeping the lights on. Come and see how water is turned into electricty.

  • Guided Tours of Historic Hyrum
    Date & Time: Saturday, May 13 (11am to 1pm)
    Location: Meet at Hyrum Museum, 50 West Main
    For More Information (contact info): Jami J. Van Huss,, 435-245-0208
    Hyrum Museum
    Admission Cost: Free
    Event Description: Guided tours of historic Hyrum will begin at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm. Meet at the museum fifteen minutes prior to your tour time. Since there is limited seating on the bus, please sign-up ahead of time at the museum. Tours will last 35–45 minutes and will be based off the Historic Tour of Hyrum, Utah booklet, which will be provided to all participants. Additional booklets will be available at the museum for those interested in driving themselves. More tour times may be added if needed.


Utah Drawn: An Exhibition of Rare Maps

We are pleased to announce an exhibition of forty rare historical maps depicting the region that became Utah from its earliest imaginings by European cartographers to the modern state’s boundaries.

Original maps shown are from the private collection of Salt Lake City businessman Stephen Boulay, with additional contributions from the Utah State Historical Society, LDS Church History Department, L. Tom Perry Special Collections at Brigham Young University, Special Collections at the J. Willard Marriott Library, and the American West Center at the University of Utah.

The exhibition is curated by Travis Ross and Stephen Boulay. Exhibition designer is Kerry Shaw. See here for other contributors and exhibition partners.

The exhibition will run through mid October 2017.

For an online interactive map detailing the shifting political and cultural boundaries of Utah, see Contested Boundaries: Creating Utah’s State Lines.

Educational Aids are available for teachers and their students to enjoy and learn from the exhibit.

Here is an introductory lesson to help students to observe the features on each map. You can use the maps available below for this exercise.

A visit to the Capitol for the second lesson, which can include the Scavenger Hunt activity to help students be engaged with the maps.

The final lesson entails students presenting what they have learned during the exercises. You can find more resources on map analysis from the Library of Congress. We also provide a brief description of the Public Land Survey System used to divide up land ownership in the Utah.

UHQ Digital Exhibition

The six maps reproduced below are part of Utah Drawn: An Exhibition of Rare Maps displayed in the Utah Capitol Building fourth floor beginning January 27, 2017.

Maps serve many purposes. They represent physical geographies, recording landmarks, routes, and boundaries. But they also reflect varying perceptions, imaginations, values, and aspirations. This is certainly true of the maps presented here. Over five centuries, empires and explorers along with printers and publishers worked first to trace the outline of a continent that was new to Europeans and then, eventually, to fill in its vast middle. These maps show the steady increase of geographic knowledge of the Americas, but they also demonstrate the economic and political interests that produced that knowledge and the individuals who benefited from it. They hint at what map makers and their sponsors determined was worth documenting, identifying, and, in some cases, possessing. They often erase, obscure, and distort. Put simply: maps are more than cartographic representations of known or imagined physical features on the landscape. As you examine these maps, try to determine the purposes for which they were made and any mistruths, omissions, and distortions they may contain.


Title: America Septentrionalis

Creator: Jan Jansson (1588-1664)

Published in: Nouveau Theatre du Monde ou Nouvel Atlas

Place: Amsterdam

Date: 1641

This striking hand-colored map by the Dutch cartographer Jan Jansson (1588-1664) was the first atlas map to treat North America on its own page, separate from the rest of the western hemisphere. Jansson produced this definitive synthesis of the best cartographic knowledge then available. In the process, he helped to canonize both true and false details about North America’s geography for generations. This was not the first map to depict California as an island, for instance, but its widespread distribution helped to popularize that misconception. The eastern seaboard illustrates the French presence along the St. Lawrence River, the English in New England and Virginia, and the Dutch in what is labeled “Novum Belgium.” Though the lake feeding the Rio Del Norte might look familiar to modern Utahns, the Great Salt Lake did not enter the written record until the Timpanogos Utes related its existence to the Dominguez-Escalanté Expedition of 1776.



Title: “Plano Geografico de los Descumbimientos”

Creator: Bernardo de Miera y Pacheco (1713-1785)

Manuscript (Original at Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University)

Date: 1778 (Facsimile, 1970)

Bernardo de Miera y Pacheco (1713-1785) traveled with the Dominguez-Escalante Expedition of 1776-1777 and drew this map as a record of the journey. The party served the Spanish interest in establishing an overland route connecting Mexico to Alta California, which remained an overseas colony of New Spain in spite of its relative geographic proximity well into the next century. In this map, Miera depicted the Rio Colorado with new clarity. This map depicted “Laguna de los Timpanogos” (Utah Lake) for the first time. It also illustrates the “Great River of the West,” a mythical river that tantalized those hoping to find a water passage to Asia for nearly two hundred years. Contrary to later maps, this conflation of Utah’s modern Green River and Sevier River terminated in a lake within the Great Basin. Miera named it Laguna de Miera after himself, but modern Utahns will know it as Sevier Lake.



Title: “Partie du Mexique”

Creator: Philippe Vandermaelen (1795-1869)

Published in: Atlas Universel de Géographie Physique, Politique, Statistique Et Minéralogique

Date: 1827

Drawn by the Belgian cartographer Philippe Marie Vandermaelen (1795-1869), this map depicted the region from Lake Timpanogos (Utah Lake) to present day Colorado and Wyoming. It appeared in Vandermaelen’s six-volume Atlas Universel, published in 1827. As the first atlas to depict the entire globe with a large, consistent scale (26 miles to the inch), the individual maps in this atlas could be combined on a globe approximately 7.75 meters in diameter. The Princeton University Library’s has rendered the resulting globe digitally. The fourth volume focused on North America, he illustrated the Trans-Mississippi West in about twenty sheets.


UTA_Garrett_00333, Mon Oct 08, 2007, 1:57:07 PM, 8C, 8424x7804, (1998+2895), 150%, bent 6 stops, 1/25 s, R70.7, G66.9, B86.1

UTA_Garrett_00333, Mon Oct 08, 2007, 1:57:07 PM, 8C, 8424x7804, (1998+2895), 150%, bent 6 stops, 1/25 s, R70.7, G66.9, B86.1

Title: “Neueste Karte von Mexico … 1850”

Creator: Carl Christian Franz Radefeld (1788-1874)

Published in: Joseph Meyer (1796-1856), Grosser Hand-Atlas

Place: Hildburghausen

Date: 1850

Even if the U.S. government never recognized the expansive state of Deseret, the prolific mapmakers at Meyer’s publishing company Bibliographisches Institut in Hildburghausen, Germany did, if only briefly. Like Young’s map of Deseret in Mitchell’s Universal Atlas, Meyer’s Grosser Hand-Atlas published a rare map of Deseret as originally proposed. That was not a coincidence. Meyer and his cartographer Radefeld relied on Mitchell’s atlas to produce their 1850-1854 editions of the Hand-Atlas.


Title: “Map of the United States of America”

Creator: James H. Young (1792-18??)

Published in: Samuel Augustus Mitchell (1792-1868), A New Universal Atlas

Place: Philadelphia

Date: 1850

Fueled by emerging mass-market interest, atlases experienced a resurgence in popularity in the 1840s and 1850s. Produced for S. Augustus Mitchell’s contribution to that market by his longtime engraver and associate James H. Young, this map captured the territorial expansion of the newly-continental United States in progress. While the eastern United States might look relatively familiar—save the lack of West Virginia as a distinct state—the western territories bear only a vague similarity to the familiar state boundaries that would eventually settle. This map captured an already-reduced Utah Territory that stretched from roughly the Sierra Nevada range to the continental divide.

Note that the map erroneously called that territory by its then-defunct name of Deseret. This particular mid-1850 edition of the atlas had two U.S. maps, with each identifying the new territory by its alternate names. The United States never recognized an entity called “Deseret.” Western political events moved rather quickly at times, so it is understandable that a map prepared in early 1850 and published at the end of the year would not be able to keep up. Nonetheless, the territory which should have been labeled Utah Territory never looked like this.




Title: “California, Oregon, Washington, Utah, New Mexico”

Creator: Samuel Augustus Mitchell (1792-1868)

Published in: A New Universal Atlas

Publisher: Charles Desilver

Place: Philadelphia

Date: 1857

Selling atlases in the mass market was a race as often as it was a contest over accuracy and comprehensiveness. Produced rapidly for Mitchell’s Atlas Universal in 1850 by adding new boundaries to an existing base map from the previous decade, this was one of the first maps to show the new state of California. It had little else going for it. Its intellectual debt to the 1840s meant that Frémont practically authored the Great Basin. The map even identified it as the Fremont Basin to at least the 1855 edition. Over the 1850s, Mitchell updated the map, adding in subsequent editions the cities and counties that had been conspicuously absent in the rushed earlier versions.





UHQ Become A Member

Being a member of the Utah State Historical Society means being a member of one of the oldest historical organizations in the state of Utah.

Members receive the Utah Historical Quarterly—filled with fascinating and illuminating articles—four times each year and are often invited to members-only events focused on the history of Utah.

Choose your membership level:

  • Student/Senior Citizen $25 
  • Daughters of Utah Pioneers Members $25
  • Individual $30
  • Institution/Business $40
  • Sustaining $40
  • Patron $60
  • Sponsor $100
  • Life $500

Join or renew your membership with the Utah State Historical Society, click HERE 

Or complete the membership application and mail it with a check to:

Utah State Historical Society
c/o Membership
300 S. Rio Grande Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84101


Contact Lisa Buckmiller at or at 801-245-7231.

The Circleville Massacre: A Bibliography

Secondary sources

Culmsee, Carlton. Utah’s Black Hawk War: Lore and Reminiscences of Participants. Logan: Utah State University Press, 1973. (pp. 89-91)

Church Historian’s Office. Circleville Ward manuscript history, LR 1738 2, folder 1, LDS Church History Library.

Fullmer, Rollo L. A History of Circleville, Utah. Self-published, Rollo L. Fullmer, 2003. (pp. 16-23)

Martineau, LaVan. The Southern Paiutes: Legends, Lore, Language, and Lineage. Las Vegas: KC Publications, 1992. (pp. 58-59)

Newell, Linda King. A History of Piute County. Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1999. (pp. 82-87)

Peterson, John A. Utah’s Black Hawk War, 1865-1872. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1998. (pp. 243-49)

Weeks, Sue Jensen. How Desolate Our Home Bereft of Thee: James Tillman Sanford Allred and the Circleville Massacre. Melbourne: Clouds of Magellan Press, 2014. (pp. 137-61)

Winkler, Albert. “The Circleville Massacre: A Brutal Incident in the Black Hawk War.” Utah Historical Quarterly 55 (Winter 1987): 4-22.

Primary sources (arranged chronologically)

Journal History, February 18, 1865, letter from Edward Tolton to Deseret News, LDS Church History Library. Tolton provides an update on the Circleville settlement after its first year.

Edward Tolton letter to George A. Smith, March 21, 1865, George A. Smith papers, LDS Church History Library.

Tolton informs Smith that he was elected Probate Judge of Piute County and requests record books and supplies.

Deseret News (Weekly), June 28, 1865, vol. 14: 309. Tolton provides update on the settlement and crops.

Deseret News (Weekly), November 9, 1865, vol. 15: 37. Tolton provides an update on the settlement.

William J. Allred letter to Orson Hyde, November 25, 1865, Brigham Young incoming correspondence, Brigham Young collection, LDS Church History Library. Reports that two-thirds of the cattle in Circleville were stolen by a band of Indians. Men pursued the thieves, and the Indians shot one boy and possibly killed a man that had not been found.

George A. Smith letter to William H. Dame, February 26, 1866, George A. Smith papers, LDS Church History Library. Instructs Dame to have 50-60 men ready at all times to ward off hostile Indians. We wish you to use due diligence to ascertain if a band of hostile Utes is in the vicinity of Circleville or that line of settlements, and if so report the same to us as soon as you can.”

Warren S. Snow letter to George A. Smith, March 14, 1866, George A. Smith papers, LDS Church History Library. Informs Smith of his threats to shoot Sanpitch and his band “for we could not Put up with Killing and steeling enny longer.”

Silas S. Smith letter to George A. Smith, March 29, 1866, George A. Smith papers, LDS Church History Library. Update on his movements in Circleville area.

Silas S. Smith letter to George A. Smith, April 10, 1866, George A. Smith papers, LDS Church History Library. “Black Hawk is reported to be at East fish lake—if he could be struck before he comences his summer raids he would I think be crippled for the season.”

William H. Dame letter to George A. Smith, April 11, 1866, George A. Smith papers, LDS Church History Library. “I have just received this by the hand of Bro John Wimmer, and thought it might be of some interest so I forward, it to you.” [The material Dame refers is previous letter from Silas Smith to Dame dated April 10]

Erastus Snow letter to Daniel H. Wells, April 25, 1866, Territorial Militia records, Series 2210, reel 6 item 1524, Utah State Archives. Report on Indian hostilities in southern Utah.

Jesse N. Smith letter to George A. Smith, May 2, 1866, George A. Smith papers, LDS Church History Library. Mentions that “six Indian prisoners at Circleville made a rally on the guards by whom they were all shot down, and none escaped.”

William J. Allred letter to George A. Smith, May 5, 1866, George A. Smith papers, LDS Church History Library. Detailed letter by Allred recounting the massacre and events preceding.

William J. Allred letter to George A. Smith, May 8, 1866, George A. Smith papers, LDS Church History Library. Discusses instructions received from the First Presidency “that every settlement should be vacated” unless they had more than 150 to 500 families. Many of those from small settlements in the county have moved to Circleville.  Wrote to seek counsel about vacating Circleville.

Jesse N. Smith letter to George A. Smith, May 9, 1866, George A. Smith papers, LDS Church History Library. Discusses the option of evacuating Circleville.

Deseret News (Weekly), May 10, 1866, vol. 15: 183. Letter to Deseret News from Edward Tolton requesting additional settlers and improved mail service.Tolton letter to Deseret News dated April 15, 1866. Discusses efforts to build defenses against Indian raids and also requests additional settlers to increase their safety.

Jesse N. Smith letter to George A. Smith, May 14, 1866, George A. Smith papers, LDS Church History Library. Visit to Circleville; plans to hold meeting to encourage Panguitch settlers to move to Circleville.

William B. Pace letter to A. F. Macdonald, May 27, 1866, Territorial Militia records, Series 2210, reel 26 item 855, Utah State Archives. Military movements and strategy in Circleville region.

Erastus Snow letter to Daniel H. Wells, May 28, 1866, Territorial Militia records, Series 2210, reel 6 item 1527, Utah State Archives. Snow reports on what he has learned about the massacre. He writes: “rumor however has reached me only a few days ago of the slaughter of 15 or 18 Piede prisoners at Circleville. Which I suppose must be those, who were arrested and disarmed by Major Allred of which I acquainted you in my letter from Parowan on the 25th inst., which if the reports, which have reached me, be correct, must have taken place about the time I wrote to you, and though it was at that time in my district and part of Col. Dame’s regiment. I know not to this day, why and wherefore they were slain, nor have I ever learned of any accusation against them beyond suspicion of complicity, or of harboring spies from hostile bands, but whether those suspicions were well founded, I know not.”  Said that he left instructions with Colonel William Dame to see that the prisoners were treated kindly.

William J. Allred letter to Jesse N. Smith, June 1, 1866, Territorial Militia records, Series 2210, reel 6 item 1530, Utah State Archives. Discusses having Panguitch settlers moving to Circleville and the anxiety of many Circleville settlers to leave the area.

Jesse N. Smith letter to Warren S. Snow, June 3, 1866, Territorial Militia records, Series 2210, reel 6 item 1530, Utah State Archives. Recommends that a “force should be stationed at Circleville.”

  1. F. Cownover letter to William B. Pace, June 1, 1866, Territorial Militia records, Series 2210, reel 26 item 859, Utah State Archives. Describes the “unsettled condition” amongst Circleville residents and felt that a directive needed to be issued, from a proper source, to prevent a mass evacuation.

John Franklin Tolton, Memories of the Life of John Franklin Tolton, 1887, typescript, MS 4922, LDS Church History Library. Recounts events of the massacre.

Oluf Christian Larsen, Biographical Sketch of the Life of Oluf Christian Larsen, 1916, MS 1646, LDS Church History Library. Recounts events of the massacre.

Miscellaneous sources

Photo of David Monson


Circleville Massacre

Memorial Dedication

Please join us on Friday, April 22, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. for the dedication of a memorial to the Paiute men, women, and children massacred in Circleville on April 22-24, 1866. The dedication will take place in Circleville Memorial Park in Circleville, Utah, where a memorial has been erected to remember the massacre victims.

CONDUCTING/MASTER OF CEREMONY Michael Haaland, Mayor of Circleville
BLESSING AND REMARKS Arthur Richards, Cedar Band, Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah
SONG Mark Rogers, Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah
STATEMENT ON HISTORY Jedediah Rogers, Senior State Historian, Utah Division of State History
REMARKS Richard E Turley Jr., Assistant Church Historian, LDS Church History Department
REMARKS Dorena Martineau, Tribal Cultural Resource Officer, Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah
REMARKS Toni Pikyavit, Koosharem Band, Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah
CLOSING Mayor Haaland

Governor Declaration

A declaration issued by Utah Governor Gary Herbert recognizes April 22, 2016, as Circleville Massacre Memorial Day.

Brief History of the Massacre


In April 1866, Mormon settlers in Circleville massacred as many as thirty men, women, and children belonging to the Koosharem band of the Paiute tribe.

The massacre occurred in an atmosphere of fear and conflict known as the “Black Hawk War,” a conflict staged primarily between Mormons who, by settling on the best farmlands in central and southern Utah, had cut off Ute access to resources on their traditional homelands. Settlers newly arrived in Circle Valley found themselves in the heart of this conflict. Late in 1865, some Utes raided the town of Circleville—which was ill prepared to defend itself—killing four citizens, including two thirteen-year-old boys, Orson Barney and Ole Heilersen.

Reports had swirled that Paiutes, or Piedes, as they were sometimes called, were in alliance with Utes. A Ute-Paiute alliance seems unlikely; the Ute had long abducted Paiute women and children as part of their slave trade. In 1866 Parowan militia officers decided to “take in all straggling Indians in the vicinity”—Paiutes included—eventually requesting several to come to Fort Sanford, where they were questioned. Fort Sanford, located between Panguitch and Circleville, had been constructed earlier that year as additional protection on the road over the pass to Parowan. The colonizers at Circleville, however, remained ill-prepared to defend against attacks; unlike Marysville to the north, Circleville had no fort or stockade and the houses were too scattered to provide effective protection.

On April 21, an express sent from Fort Sanford to Circleville stated that two formerly friendly Paiutes in the area had shot and wounded a member of the Utah militia. What the dispatch did not report was that one of the Paiutes had already been injured, while the other had been shot and killed by a soldier’s long-range rifle. The fort’s military commander advised settlers at Circleville and Panguitch to disarm the Paiutes encamped near those settlements.

Settlers ​ in Circleville met to decide what course to pursue. They decided to take the Koosharem Band prisoner and sent a messenger to them, directing them to come into town to hear a letter read by the local LDS bishop. Those who complied were directed into the log church meetinghouse. When the settlers told the Paiutes to disarm and they indicated reluctance, the settlers forcefully disarmed them. The local militia quietly surrounded the remaining Paiutes who had refused to come in the first time and directed their prisoners to the meeting house. The men were bound under guard in the church meetinghouse, while the women and children were held in the cellar.

LDS church apostle Erastus Snow received a report from Circleville and returned instructions that the prisoners should be treated kindly and let go unless “hostile or affording aid to the enemy.” The dispatch arrived too late. Unnoticed by the guards, the Paiute men managed to unloose the ropes that bound them. In evening the men sprang upon their captives. In the struggle that followed, the militia men shot and killed all of the Piede Indians. They then proceeded, one at a time, to bring the women and children up from the cellar and to slit their throats. Reportedly, the bodies were taken to the cellar of an unbuilt mill and buried in a mass grave. Three or four children of the Koosharem Band thought too young to bear witness were spared and adopted by local families.


For more information about the massacre, we invite you to this annotated bibliography, which provides both secondary and primary sources of various historical perspectives leading up to the event.



Creating Greater Salt Lake: History, Landscape, Urban Design


Save the Date
Friday, May 13, 2016, 9–4 p.m.
Salt Lake City Public Library
Nancy Tessman Auditorium
210 East 400 South



This one-day interdisciplinary event aims to examine the historical dimensions, design elements, power relationships, and legal and bureaucratic scaffolding that have shaped Utah’s capital city and urban corridor.


We invite practitioners of history, historic preservation, urban planning, land and water management, and other related fields, as well as activists, neighborhood and city councils, planning commissioners, journalists, and the public, to join us for a free symposium exploring the Greater Salt Lake landscape and built environment.


  • We will consider the role of ideas, laws, bureaucracies, and intellectual designs on urban design and transportation;
  • The impact of architecture and design on political, cultural, racial, and other power structures
  • The design, alteration, management, destruction, regulation, and sustainability of a valued natural resource on the landscape; and
  • The challenges and promises of re-imagining and recreating a place where we live, work, and play.


Needham photoWe are very happy to announce Andrew Needham of New York University as the symposium’s keynote speaker.

Beyond the Metropolis: Remapping American Urban History

What are the boundaries of metropolitan America? Scholars have long used the Census Bureau’s unit of Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (SMSA) to understand the historical changes and social dynamics associated with metropolitan growth. In his talk, Andrew Needham, an award-winning urban and environmental historian, will map the effects of metropolitan growth beyond the expected borders of urban history. His address will suggest how expanding the geographic scale of metropolitan history produces new stories about the far reaching changes to human and natural landscapes wrought by the urbanization of the American West and the United States at large.


Transportation and Urban Design: A discussion of the factors—such as laws, technology, population growth, economic pressures, and underlying assumptions—that have affected the development of transit and urban development in Salt Lake City’s greater downtown area.

Water and the Unsustainable Landscape: An exploration of the role of a dwindling natural resource on the built environment. From the lofty Wasatch Mountains to the Great Salt Lake, water has shaped and dictated human interaction on the eastern edge of the Great Basin, contributing to large-scale and perhaps in some cases unsustainable manipulation of the landscape.

Architecture and Power: An examination of the power dynamics reflected in Salt Lake City’s historic and modern architecture. The panel will juxtapose the Salt Lake Temple and the City and County Building, the LDS Conference Center and the Salt Lake City Library, City Creek and the Gateway—buildings and campuses that visually and geographically reflect religious and secular forces at play in Utah’s capital city.

This symposium, presented by the Utah State Historical Society and Utah Historical Quarterly, is free and open to the public but registration is requested. There is a cost for parking in the library parking garage.




The program acknowledges the centennial anniversary of Utah’s State Capital building and the fiftieth anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act.

For additional information, contact Jedediah Rogers (, co-managing editor, Utah Historical Quarterly.

Sponsors for this event are Utah Humanities, American West Center at the University of Utah, and Department of History at the University of Utah


Questions? Comments? Contact Jedediah Rogers at 801-245-7209 or


NHPA 50 Media


Preservation50, in cooperation with private, state, and federal entities have collaborated to create a series of five logos for use in events and activities affiliated with the 50th Anniversary celebration. Images will link you to the website where you can download these logos and accept their terms of use.


Many State and Federal Agencies have highlighted the success of the NHPA through online videos, and most involve aspects of volunteerism and local engagement, which are critical to the success of historic preservation.

Ute Lookout Tower Rehabilitation Project, Uinta Mountains, Ashley National Forest

Edge of the Cedars Museum, Blanding, Partnership of United States Forest Service and Utah State Parks

Payson Lakes Guard Station, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest:

Swett Ranch, Ashley National Forest

Pine Valley Guard Station Rehabilitation, Dixie National Forest

Ogden City’s Redevelopment of the Union Stockyards preserves Exchange Building and brings economic development

Summit Springs Guard Station on the Ashley National Forest in Utah

Swett Ranch on the Ashley National Forest in Utah

Restoring the Pine Valley (Utah) Historic Guard Station

Oral Histories

As part of the 50th Anniversary many partners are attempting to capture the long institutional memory of those people that contributed to the growth of historic preservation in Utah over the last 50 years and these will be posted here and archived for future generations.

Veterans Utah History Project


Where were you when WWII ended?

The Division of State History and the Utah Department of Veterans & Military Affairs have joined together on the Veterans Utah History Project.

Whether you are a WWII veteran and want to document and share your experiences and memories or you want to volunteer to interview a WWII veteran there are opportunities to participate.

Visit the Utah Department of Veterans & Military Affairs website to learn more and get involved to collect, document and archive this important part of our history.