Pioneer Memorial Museum

The Museum has been recognized as one of the world’s largest collections of nineteenth century pioneer artifacts.  It contains Mormon memorabilia, period furniture, and photographs.

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The Pioneer Memorial Museum is a fascinating place to explore Mormon Church Pioneer History David M. Whitchurch

There are hundreds of examples of beds, cribs, and chairs in the museum. Multiple floors house the innumerable donated and collected artifacts. The objects belonged to memorable Church figures as well as lesser known pioneers of the past. John P. Starrs.

This wagon was brought to Utah by Johnston’s Army in the late 1850s. The running gear is original, but the top part was burned, then later restored when placed in the museum. John P. Starrs.

Furniture from the home of President Heber C. Kimball.

The Pioneer Memorial Museum displays clothing typical of early days in Salt Lake City.

Carriages like this were common conveyances in Salt Lake City until the coming of the automobile. David M. Whitchurch.

The cane in the center with the knob at the end is believed to be the cane Willard Richards used to ward off guns at the Carthage Jail doorway when Joseph and Hyrum Smith were killed. David M. Whitchurch

Brigham Young’s uniquely bent cane is also on display in the Museum © by Intellectual Reserve Inc.
Construction commenced on October 17, 1947, one hundred years after the arrival of the first pioneers.

The architectural design is patterned after the historic Salt Lake Theatre that was built several blocks to the southeast at 100 South State Street in 1861–62.


A few of the items that can be found in the museum include:
  • Unique canes of various individuals, including Orson Hyde and Brigham Young
  • Willard Richard’s clock
  • Portraits of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young painted in Nauvoo
  • The main stage curtain from the old Salt Lake Theater
  • Photographs of numerous pioneers
  • Pioneer clothing (including the clothes worn by Orson Pratt the day he entered the Salt Lake Valley)
  • A musical organ transported across the plains by George Careless upon which he composed several hymns sung by the Latter-day Saints today
  • The medical instruments of Dr. John Bernhisel
  • The original wooden eagle from Brigham Young’s Eagle Gate
  • A replica of the golden spike from the celebration when the transcontinental railroads met and linked in Utah in 1869, ending the pioneer era
  • A wagon from Johnston’s Army
  • Hundreds of pioneer histories
  • Thousands of other relics, historic craft-works, and pioneer treasures from Utah’s earliest days
  • On the east side of the museum is a monument by Karl A. Quilter (2001), Lest We Forget, a tribute to those who made the trek and gave lives crossing the plains.