BOUNTIFUL - Take a walk through the city’s pioneer heritage.
The Bountiful Historical Preservation Foundation will be holding their annual Handcart Days tours this Saturday and Sunday, July 26 and 27, at various historic locations throughout the city. The free tours include 45 locations throughout the city, including the Bountiful Tabernacle and the Bountiful City Cemetery, and showcase the city’s rich pioneer history.
“We want the citizens of Bountiful to know how neat this community is and about the ancestors that brought it all together,” said foundation member Tom Tolman.
One tour will focus exclusively on the Bountiful Tabernacle, which celebrated its 150th anniversary last year. The tours will begin at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. They run an hour each, and a short DVD about the history of the tabernacle will be playing for those waiting for the next tour.
“It’s the oldest chapel in the LDS church that’s been in continual use,” said Tolman. “It’s been the focal point of the city ever since it was built.”
Another tour will cover historical sites throughout the city, including the Bountiful Museum and the Willey Cabin. Residents will taken to several locations throughout the city on an air-conditioned bus, with the history of each location covered.
“We cover places from the 1800s all the way to today,” said Tolman.
According to Tolman, Bountiful is the second-oldest city in Utah, though it was originally known as Sessions Settlement.
“Three days after pioneers first arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, Brigham Young sent Peregrine Sessions north to find a place for cattle in the winter,” he said. “The area he settled later became Bountiful.”
The third set of tours, focusing on the lives of pioneers buried in the Bountiful City Cemetery, will only be held on Sunday. The tours begin at 6 p.m., with a new tour beginning every 15 minutes until 8:30 p.m., and focus on the pioneers who helped build Bountiful into the city it is today.
“We have volunteers dress up like pioneers, stand by their graves and tell their stories,” said Tolman. “It’s a really special night.”
During all three tours, volunteers from the foundation will accept donations for the long-planned new home for the Bountiful Museum. The foundation has been working on obtaining a new space for the last several years, and though they’ve met with disappointment they’re still continuing their efforts.
“We got inches away from it twice,” said Tolman, who added that the new mayor and city council are supportive of finding the museum a new space. “We’re still looking for a home.”