In Utah, history seeps out of the surroundings. Its national parks preserve rock carvings from the Ancestral Puebloan and Fremont people. Abandoned mines from more recent history rest quietly among trees. And tours inside an infamous figure’s home can be as easy as pulling off the highway and sparing 15 minutes.
Utah has had a varied history, and here are five spots that highlight a unique slice for history buffs:
Rozel Point Peninsula, Great Salt Lake
Robert Smithson sculpted this expansive work of art and entropy in 1970. But instead of chisels and marble, he used a crew of earthmovers and mounds of black basalt rock and earth. The result is an ever-evolving exemplary piece of land art measuring 1,500 feet long and 15 feet wide.
It’s a bit of a drive to Rozel Point, but if you time your visit with low water levels, you’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking view of a historic piece of art.
Wheeler Historic Farm
6351 South 900 East, Murray
This 75-acre farm in Murray traces its roots back to the heyday of pioneer settlements in the West when parcels of land were bought in 1848 and 1853. Today, Wheeler Historic Farm is open to visitors during daylight hours for walks, picnics, and special programs.
Tours of the Victorian farmhouse can be arranged in advance for history seekers. Included in these one-hour tours are accounts of the house’s use during the 1900s, a detailed background on the many antiques found throughout the home, and the chance to view a significant portion of the 6,000 historical artifacts kept in this vintage farm.
Silver King Mine
Once a great source of silver, lead, and zinc ores for industry, the Silver King Mine near Park City is now a collection of old mining buildings. A trail also goes through here where visitors can combine their love of history with the outdoors. The trail surrounding the mine is challenging and is better suited for adults and families with older children. Informal history lessons await these groups at the markers found beside each mining building.
Fremont Indian State Park and Museum
3820 W. Clear Creek Canyon Road, Sevier
The best discoveries are made when trying to achieve something else entirely. While the construction of Interstate 70 was underway, the largest set of artifacts belonging to the Fremont people were found. Rock carvings, baskets, arrowheads, and so much more are now on display in the small museum just off Clear Creek Canyon Road. These give any visitor a clearer picture of the people who made Utah their home long before the Mormons did.
Butch Cassidy Childhood Home
Immortalized by Paul Newman in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Butch Cassidy is a polarizing figure – both folk hero and infamous outlaw. His childhood home in Circleville is now a humble roadside destination, a 15-minute pause from a long drive along Highway 89. If stories of the Wild West have always interested you, the home of the robber once known as Robert LeRoy Parker is worth a visit.
Interested in what other historical aspects Utah opens up for its residents? Contact Team Schlopy at (435) 640-5660 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to find out about historic homes or real estate in places steeped in history.