State History
Learn about the history of Utah and find fun and interesting things to do and see all across Utah. We've also found the best books, guides, websites, and other resources to make your study of Utah fun and educational.
Things to See & Do in Utah
Natural Bridges National Monument
Natural Bridges protects some of the finest examples of ancient stone architecture in the southwest. Located on a tree-covered mesa cut by deep sandstone canyons, three natural bridges formed where meandering streams eroded the canyon walls. The bridges are named Kachina, Owachomo and Sipapu. At 6,500 feet above sea level, Natural Bridges is home to a variety of plants and animals. Plants range from the fragile cryptobiotic soil crusts to remnant stands of Douglas-fir and ponderosa pine. Natural Bridges was established in 1908, making it the oldest National Park Service site in Utah.
Golden Spike National Historic Site
Completion of the world's first transcontinental railroad was celebrated here where the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads met on May 10, 1869. Golden Spike was designated as a national historic site in nonfederal ownership on April 2, 1957, and authorized for federal ownership and administration by an act of Congress on July 30, 1965.
Old Spanish National Historic Trail
Santa Fe emerged as the hub of the overland continental trade network linking Mexico and United States markets—a network that included not only the Old Spanish Trail, but also the Santa Fe Trail and El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro. After the United States took control of the Southwest in 1848 other routes to California emerged, and use of the Old Spanish Trail sharply declined. Because of its rich history and national significance, the Old Spanish Trail has been designated as a national historic trail.
Utah History Research Center
300 S. Rio Grande St.
Salt Lake City, UT 84101-1182
Phone: 801-533-3535

The Utah History Research Center is a service of the Utah State Archives and the Utah State Historical Society. Search for historical documents, cemetery burial records, manuscripts, newspapers, yearbooks, telephone directories, map, architectural drawings, photographs, and more. Located within the old Rio Grande Depot, the Research Center has been newly designed to meet researchers' needs. It is open to the public Monday through Friday, with additional hours on Saturday.
Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail
Led by Brigham Young, roughly 70,000 Mormons traveled along the Mormon Pioneer Trail from 1846 to 1869 in order to escape religious persecution. The general route is from Nauvoo, Illinois, to Salt Lake City, Utah, covering about 1,300 miles. The Mormon Pioneer Trail travels through five states over both public and private land.
Hovenweep National Monument
Hovenweep National Monument in southeastern Utah protects five prehistoric, Puebloan-era villages spread over a twenty-mile expanse of mesa tops and canyons along the Utah-Colorado border. Multi-storied towers perched on canyon rims and balanced on boulders lead visitors to marvel at the skill and motivation of their builders.
Pony Express National Historic Trail
The Pony Express National Historic Trail was used by young men on fast paced horses to carry the nation's mail across the country, from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California, in the unprecedented time of only ten days. Organized by private entrepreneurs, the horse-and-rider relay system became the nation's most direct and practical means of east-west communications before the telegraph. Though only in operation for 18 months, between April 1860 and October 1861, the trail proved the feasibility of a central overland transportation route, and played a vital role in aligning California with the Union in the years just before the Civil War. Most of the original trail has been obliterated either by time or human activities. Along many segments, the trail's actual route and exact length are matters of conjecture. However, approximately 120 historic sites may eventually be available to the public, including 50 existing Pony Express stations or station ruins.
Poor Richard's Books & Gifts

320-324 1/2 N Tejon St
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Phone: 719-578-5549

This downtown Colorado Springs landmark specializes in good-condition, used books, including current books in 150 categories and classics in every field. They also stock a large variety of new books. Book collectors will find a selection of rare, first-edition and collectible titles. They also carry Colorado trail guides, local and state maps, wildlife/flora books and artistic, funny and quirky postcards.

Pipe Spring National Monument
Pipe Spring National Monument, a little known gem of the National Park System, is rich with American Indian, early explorer and Mormon pioneer history. The water of Pipe Spring has made it possible for plants, animals, and people to live in this dry, desert region. Ancestral Puebloans and Kaibab Paiute Indians gathered grass seeds, hunted animals, and raised crops near the springs for at least 1,000 years. In the 1860s Mormon pioneers brought cattle to the area and by 1872 a fort (Winsor Castle) was built over the main spring and a large cattle ranching operation was established. This isolated outpost served as a way station for people traveling across the Arizona Strip, that part of Arizona separated from the rest of the state by the Grand Canyon. It also served as a refuge for polygamist wives during the 1880s and 1890s. Although their way of life was greatly impacted, the Paiute Indians continued to live in the area and by 1907 the Kaibab Paiute Indian Reservation was established, surrounding the privately owned Pipe Spring ranch. In 1923 the Pipe Spring ranch was purchased and set aside as a national monument. Today the Pipe Spring National Monument - Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians Visitor Center and Museum explains the human history of the area over time. Daily tours of Winsor Castle, summer "living history" demonstrations, an orchard and garden, and a half-mile trail offer a glimpse of American Indian and pioneer life in the Old West.
Old West Books

Phone: 719-260-6030
Email: info@oldwestbooks.com

Old West Books has been in business since 1997 and specializes in books on the American West, Custer, military, Civil War, Indian Wars, cowboys, cattle industry, fur trade, Lewis and Clark, travel and exploration. They stock a mix of rare out-of-print books and new titles. Books are shown by appointment only. Books may also be bought via the Internet, catalogs, and book shows. 

Utah History Fair
The Utah History Fair, Utah's affiliate of the National History Day program, turns kids into historians. It gets them involved in primary historical research and provides a series of competitions where they can present their findings. History Fair students can choose their own topic from any era of history. Based on their interests and abilities, they can also choose the method of presenting their information. There are four presentation categories: students may build an exhibit, write an historical paper, produce an audio-visual documentary, or create a dramatic performance. Participants can advance through a whole network of history fairs. Regional finalists go on to the State History Fair, and state finalists are invited to National History Day, the national history fair in Washington, D.C.
Teaching Tips & Ideas
How I Teach a Large Family in a Relaxed, Classical Way: History
A look at teaching history across several grades using the classical method of education and a rotation of history every four years.
Knowledge Quest
Knowledge Quest offers historical outline maps and timelines designed for the interactive study of world history and geography.
Lesson Plans for the Utah Historical Quarterly
These lesson plans, made available by the Utah State Historical Society, are designed to involve teachers, students, and parents in using the Utah Historical Quarterly to learn more about local, state and the nation's history.
Online Resources
Public PIONEER - Utah's Online Library
Public PIONEER is a service of the Utah State Library Division. Provides databases of magazines, newspapers, Deseret News archives, Salt Lake Tribune archives, and academic journals.
Utah History
This website provided by the Division of State History and the Utah State Historical Society aims to presere and share Utah's past for the present and future. Areas of interest include archaeology, historic preservation, and history programs.
SLCo Sesquicentennial Celebration
A look at 150 years of county services, government, and life in Salt Lake County. Especially fun is exploring the time capsule information on this website.
Utah History for Kids
Learn about Utah history and facts, from prehistory to the present, including American Indians, explorers, Mormon settlement, mining, statehood, the effect of wars and the Depression, and more. The site also includes fun and games, along with homework help.
Salt Lake County Archives and Records Management
2001 S. State Street #N4100
Salt Lake City, UT 84190-1300
Phone: 801-468-2332

The County Archives holds historical records from Salt Lake County dating from 1852. Types of records available include Property and taxation, public health, aging services, public safety, and adminisration records.
Utah History Encyclopedia
The first complete history of Utah in encyclopedia form, consisting of 575 articles and over 200 historic photographs. In the Utah History Encyclopedia, over two hundred contributors write about the individuals, organizations, locations, institutions, and topics important to Utah history. This landmark volume provides an essential resource for anyone interested in the history of the state.
Utah State Archives and Records Service
The Utah State Archives and Records Service is a state government agency that works with records created by other state and local governmental entities in Utah. Records of historical value are housed in our permanent collections and are available for research. We also facilitate good records management practices within agencies.
Utah State Library
Supports Utah public libraries through networking, consultation, training, reference, and educational services; provides library services to the blind and physically disabled; administers grants, ILL services, and contracts for access to commercial databases; coordinates statewide library development planning; works with counties to administer county bookmobile services; collaborates in providing full-text electronic access to stage agency publications; maintains a collection of materials of general interest to Utah state agencies and provides loans and information to libraries, state agencies, and the public.
Utah History to Go
Learn all about Utah state history, including important people and places. Includes history facts and lessons, a state history timeline, and some history vignettes from The Salt Lake Tribune.
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Featured Resources

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