"THIS IS THE PLACE" MONUMENT
"This is the Place" monument
The "This Is the Place" Monument is located at the mouth of Emigration
Canyon in Salt Lake City, Utah. In 1937 a state commission comprised of
representatives of various faiths selected Mahonri M. Young, a grandson
of Brigham Young, to design the monument, which derives its name from the
words Brigham Young is said to have pronounced in the foothills of Emigration
Canyon: "This is the right place. Drive on."
The monument was dedicated during Utah's pioneer centennial celebration
in 1947. The granite structure stands sixty feet high and eighty-six feet
long. It memorializes, in bronze sculptures, the Mormon pioneers as well
as the traders, trappers, explorers, and others who were instrumental in
the development of the West. The figures atop the center pedestal are Brigham
Young in the center, Heber C. Kimball to the north, and Wilford Woodruff
to the south. The three were prominent leaders during the early days of
the Mormon Church.
At the base of the center column are Orson Pratt and Erastus Snow, members
of a scouting party and the first to enter the valley on 21 July 1847. To
the sides are the nine horsemen who made up the exploring party.
The wagon of the first pioneer company is depicted in bas-relief sculpture
along the west side of the wings, with Brigham Young visible in Woodruff's
carriage at the rear. Along the east side are high relief sculptures of
six men who were significant figures in early regional history: Etienne
Provost, Chief Washakie, Peter Skene Ogden, Captain Benjamin Bonneville,
Father Jan DeSmet, and John C. Frémont.
The Mormon pioneers followed the same route blazed the previous year by
the Donner-Reed party, depicted on the east side of the center pedestal.
The figures on the south pedestal depict Spanish explorers who came into
the area in 1776. The Dominguez-Escalante expedition came as far north as
Utah Valley in an attempt to find a practical overland route to Monterey,
California. Their account provided the first written description of the
In the 1820s trappers and traders came to the American West to capitalize
on the market for beaver pelts. These men, represented on the north column,
were the first white men to see many of the mountains, rivers, lakes, and
valleys of the West. William Ashley of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company is
the figure sitting astride the horse.