Visitors to Pioneer Village could easily spend a day browsing through its three-dozen-plus buildings. But even if you have only a few hours, there is much to see and enjoy. Here's a building-by-building look (starting with the east alley - Carriage Hall and Circus Tent) and then going clockwise from the Blacksmith shop) at what's in the village with highlights of what you may want to especially look for in each exhibit:
- Carriage Hall has a stagecoach that Lagoon originally built to use to haul passengers around the park. The coach was so pretty, it was put on exhibit.The house also contains various wagons and carriages such as a children's hearse, covered wagon, ice wagon and almost every type of wheeled vehicle used at the turn of the century.
One carriage was owned by William Stanton, the controversial Secretary of War for President Abraham Lincoln from 1862 to 1867. Lagoon obtained it from the Stanton family.
There's a reproduction of a Mormon handcart in the exhibit. (No actual original handcarts are left in the world.
- Circus Tent building is Lagoon's bright, new colorful red and blue exhibit that contains a large miniature replica of a turn-of-the-century to World War II circus. It should within the next two weeks, following some additional painting work.
The late Don Ogdenof Draperspent 40 years creating this marvel of toymanship that's a must-see exhibit. The detail of the miniatures is extraordinary; if you look at them for more than 15 seconds, you expect the figures to move.
"I'm very excited about this," Freed said. "I'm very pleased to have this."
Items from the former doll museum at the other end of the village are also being moved into the Circus Tent building.
- New garden area will eventually open where the old Indian exhibit was. The former building rotted away, and the new structure will allow more covered space for eating in the village.
- Blacksmith Shop depicts how things were in 1858 and is actually a composite collected from seven blacksmith shops. On Saturdays in the summer from noon-4 p.m., George Simmons, a local blacksmith is on hand to show how things were done more than 140 years ago.
- Drinking fountains.
- Old Kaysville Train Station sits at the south end of the village. It could someday also be a working train station when Lagoon adds another train line that will encircle the park. For now, model trains grace its interior.
- Governor Dern Livery Stable and Telephone Pioneers of Utah building: Former Utah Governor George H. Dern's 1885 carriage house now houses old telephone equipment and displays.
- Thurston Cabin contains old furnishings from the 1800s. Wagon rides leave from the front of the cabin many summer days with Clydesdale horses, owned and operated by the Thurston family from Morgan.
- Pony Express Museum contains old saddles, a "cigar-store Indian" and other items. Lagoon plans to put a gourmet coffee house in part of the building. Hot dogs, drinks and fries are currently available.
- Hardware exhibit: Go inside to the far north end to see the Sovereign Jewel, a one-of-a-kind 1889 stove that's true to its name. Pots and other stoves are also on display here.
- Restrooms for Pioneer Village are designed on the outside to fit into the rustic decor of the street.
- Drug store and ice cream shop: There's more to meet the eye here than just the ice cream that's for sale. There are numerous old pharmaceutical items on display, some as old as 1860. Also, notice the lion head at the top of the ice cream bar and the authentic saloon era backbar.
- The China Shop contains dishes from 1830 to 1910, including some of Brigham Young's china. There's also crystal and flo-blue dishes.
- Co-op Shop: Contains many turn-of-the century items. An old general store in Kamas was boarded up for 40 years and when it was finally inventoried, Pioneer Village received numerous items the store had sold, complete with their price tags. A change in the walk-in layout will now allow visitors to see more of its interior.
- Cobbler Shop contains many shoes from 1900 and though this is one of Lagoon's smallest displays, it is set up authentically.
- Deseret News print shop has many presses from the early 1900s. It used to contain the first Deseret News press - the first in the state - but that has now been moved to the LDS Church Museum on West Temple on Salt Lake City. Some of its early 1900s presses are operated on Saturdays in the summer.
- Music shop has a multitude of old pianos, pump organs and other instruments. Some are offbeat, such as a combination bass-fiddle/guitar. There's also a "Multi-phone," the forerunner of the jukebox, and an unusual Swiss music box. This exhibit is only open when a musician, dressed in pioneer attire, is on hand to operate some of the equipment and even sing. Summer hours of operation are: Tuesday to Friday 3-8:30 p.m. and Saturdays 2-8:30 p.m.
- General store: The main source for candies, novelties, T-shirts and souvenirs in the the village.
- Mormon Furniture Exhibit is housed in an 1870s building built in Farmington. Many of the items are on loan from the LDS Church, and some are from the 1850s.
- Token exhibit will eventually be located in the former Doll House. It will feature many old tokens that saloons, dairies and other businesses used 100 years ago.
- Bonzana shooting gallery: A games area to test your rifle skills.
- Pioneer Village Armory is one of the best collections in the West of guns, cannons and crossbows. It has two cannons in front of the building. There's an excellent Browning Arms exhibit inside, as well as some unusual items, such as a combination coffee grinder-gun and a buffalo head. There's a tattered but authentic Mormon Battalion Flag from 1847 here too, as well a real Civil War flag. Dates and references for the firearms have been double-checked for accuracy.
- Town hall contains an authentic jail from Kimberly, as well as a good billy club collection. It also shows how a mayor's office and fire station looked in the old days.
- Bigler Cabin, originally a pioneer structure built in Nephi.
- Davis County Lagoon Holding Jail is a children's favorite in Pioneer Village that was built in 1895. Rowdy Lagoon guests on Friday night were kept here three nights straight until Monday when a county judge was working again - or so they say. Except for the modern electric lights, the rest of the jail is authentic.
- Gingerbread House is a Victorian home built in 1904 in Wanship that has plenty of detail in its interior decorating. A swing chair in front lets visitors relax.
- Erastus Bingham Cabin. It was originally built near the old Bingham Mine in Salt Lake County about 1853. Bingham first discovered the mineral deposits of the area. The cabin contains old beds and kitchen items.
- Old Outhouse isn't used anymore, but it's a three-hole version that Lagoon hopes to restore someday. The story goes that a few Lagoon guests were once caught trying to use it, despite the absence of a door.
- Granite Monument to builders of the Salt Lake LDS Temple was made by the Sons of the Utah Pioneers.
- Rock Chapel was originally built in Coalville in 1863 as a fort against the Indians. Then it was a courthouse/school house and then became an LDS Church in 1869, commissioned by Brigham Young. Lagoon had to dismantle it and reassemble it stone-by-stone. The chapel has recorded music. It is used to host area weddings and church meetings for Lagoon employees who worked on Sunday.
- LDS Temple Exhibit of pioneer craftsmen shows old photographs, tools and blocks of the Salt Lake LDS Temple construction.
- School House is a one-room, 1870s structure taken from Rockport. Note the larger desks at the rear of the room for the older children, the dunce cap and the blackboard writings, done by a modern school teacher. Raccoons have made their home in the attic of the historic building, despite Lagoon's efforts to get them to move out.
- Wanship Cabin was the first two-story building in Summit County. It is from the 1870s. Especially note the wooden rocking chair from 1847 featuring the faces of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, LDS Church leaders, carved in the back. Upstairs there is some antique furniture, borrowed from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. This exhibit at one time toured major cities throughout America and Europe. Look for some furniture with unusual wood grain work here, including a table constructed from scraps left over from Salt Lake Temple construction.
- Smoke House is from the mid-1860s. Lagoon used to actually smoke meat here as a display, but a roof fire halted that practice.
- Water fountain and gardens area are the centerpiece of the north end of Pioneer Village. It's a century-old fountation that was one time a part of the Salt Lake City and County building grounds.
- Log Flume is Pioneer Village's major ride. Riders must be at least 46 inches tall or with an adult.
- Lemonade stand.
- Old Mille sells burgers, fries, drinks and corn on the cob.
- Fort replica and tower.
- Bakery sells cinnamon rolls, fudge, pretzels, cookies and drinks. It also has the first soda fountain in Utah located at the north end of its bar. This fountain opened in 1855 at the southeast corner of Main Street and First South. (The fountain was originally transported across the plains to Utah in a covered wagon.)
- Clock shop contains dozens of old clocks, most from the late 1800s. In the summer, they are wound up daily.
- Meat Shop is a new display. It was donated by the Kellersberger Meat Company from North Salt Lake City and is very authentic - even up to the sawdust on the floor that meat shops of its early 1900s era used to have.
- Post Office: Lagoon officials aren't sure when this display should be dated exactly, but it is probably turn-of-the-century.
- Dentist's Office is another early 1900s office, complete with old foot-pump drills.
- Barber Shop is an 1890s shop, complete with an old tin bathtub. Also note the old personalized mugs on the shop's north wall. Regular customers used to have their own shaving mugs at such shops, with their names on. Be sure to walk upstairs too for the Millinery Dress Shop. Pioneer women went to the hot upstairs for dresses, while husbands had shaves downstairs.
- The Village Cafe sells funnel cakes and lemonade. Also, note the authentic old carousel animals hanging on the inside of the building.
- Lagoon Photo Shop: Truman Carver of Colonial House Portraits of Kaysville contracts with Lagoon to operate this studio, where guests can dress up in frontier, Civil War or saloon attire for a nostalgic black-and-white photo. Two-person prices are $17.95 (plus tax) for two 8x10 photos. Group photo prices are $13.95 for one photo and extra persons cost $1 each in the sitting. Extra prints are $9.50 each. New this year is a $1.75 color wallet-size print option. Cash or checks, but no credit cards accepted.
- Entertainment: There are Wild West Shows with music, drama and dance held daily on the village's main street in front of the bakery. On weekdays, see these shows at 4:30, 5:45 and 6:45 p.m. daily. On Saturdays, they are held at 2:30, 4, 5:30 and 6:45 p.m. The Pioneer Posse also roams around the village, providing entertainment.
- East end of village contains the Village Green, a grassy picnic area and also the Creekside Terrace and Pioneer Pavillon picnic locations.