Photos/Tooele Pioneer Museum
Can you imagine traveling across the country hoping to create a new life in a location you’ve never seen? This may seem risky for most people, but many pioneers of the 19th century believed the risk was worth the reward. Although their stories are from a time long gone by, these trailblazers left behind artifacts, photographs and written works about their experiences. You can view many of these fascinating pieces of history at the Tooele Pioneer Museum.
Tooele County has an interesting history, and the Tooele Pioneer Museum is a great place to learn about how early settlers lived day to day. You won’t just find a handful of relics collecting dust; you’ll see an impressive array of tools, memoirs and other illustrations of pioneer life. These historical pieces demonstrate the struggles and successes of those who settled in and around Salt Lake City.
As you walk from gallery to gallery, be prepared to lose track of time. Each display has its own story, and every historical piece interlaces together to form one collective snapshot of Tooele’s past. In just one afternoon, you can learn about how settlers manufactured goods, prepared meals, earned livings, traveled and even raised their children.
Innovation and experimentation were fundamentals for any settler in the 1800s. You’ll see evidence of this in the many tools and pieces of equipment on display at the museum. From sewing machines to drills to hand carts, the trappings of the pioneer era will leave you in awe. If you bring along young children, these items provide a nice compare-and-contrast lesson regarding modern technology.
You and your children can also learn about the early homes of the settlers. Whether you’re interested in the techniques and materials used to build the foundations or you want to know about the living conditions of the pioneer family, the photographs and written details offer a nice glimpse into that world. You’ll even see some pictures of cabin interiors.
One notable feature of this museum is that you can really feel connected to the pioneers of the Tooele region. There are numerous photos of the buildings and structures of the time as well as the settlers themselves. You can even peruse the journals of some settlers and find out what the arduous journey to the Tooele area was like.
You’ll also see replicas of the iconic covered wagons that pioneers used for travel. These models perfectly match the various photos in the gallery, which helps breathe even more life into the stories. If you have any questions about the construction or function of the wagons or any other item in the museum, there are numerous tour guides available to share their knowledge.
The Tooele Pioneer Museum is open to the public between May and September. The hours of operation are Tuesdays from 10 a.m to 1 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 4. p.m. Strolling through this remarkable museum is like walking across the pages of a history book. It’s no surprise that each piece of memorabilia you’ll see represents a time when big dreams resulted in big payoffs.
More information: www.tooelepioneermuseum.org - Tel +1 435-843-0771
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