SALT LAKE CITY — So your summer plans include a visit to Salt Lake City to see the Tabernacle, Conference Center, visitors centers and the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, along with a trip to the new Deseret Book flagship store. Or maybe you've already seen them but still want to visit Temple Square.
But there are also several little sites to see that blend in or are a little off the beaten path.
Periodically, Mormon Times has printed lists of these not-so-common things to look for in and around Temple Square. Here is a compilation of those lists.
1. Meridian Marker
Location: Temple Square, outside the southeast corner
The Meridian Marker is a sandstone obelisk that serves as the legal center of Salt Lake City. The current marker is a replica of the original (now in the Church History Museum). All addresses in the valley are stated in relation to this marker.
2. Cedar of Lebanon
Location: Temple Square, just to the north inside the East Gate
This majestic tree was only 1 foot high when it was brought from Israel in 1949.
3. South Visitors Center
Location: Temple Square, just inside the south entrance; across from the Assembly Hall
Contemplate your mortality with the artwork on the south wall — a painting by Joseph F. Brickey that shows "Our Heavenly Father's Plan for Families." The painting is read from right to left — backward from normal. Why do you think this is so?
Walk outside the northeast exit and look up a little to see the United States Meridian Base. This U-shaped stone was a telescope base for an observatory built in 1869 and used by Elder Orson Pratt of the Quorum of the Twelve. The observatory is gone, but a replica of the original base remains in the exact same spot.
That observatory was part of a series of similar government observatories across the country that were used to establish local time, and was used to regulate the city's clocks until the end of 1897.
4. Salt Lake Temple
Walk around the Salt Lake Temple. Can you find the Big Dipper on the west side of the temple?
Near the southwest corner is a locust bush that is so large it looks like a tree. It was damaged a little when a freak tornado came through Salt Lake City in 1999, but it still stands — with a little help.
5. Assembly Hall on Temple Square
Right at the entrance there are old boot scrapers. Clean your soles before you go in and clean your soul.
Look at the spires. How many square-tip ones can you find? The square tip served as a chimney in times gone by.
6. Temple Square west exit gate
Very close to the southwest corner of the Tabernacle is a small leaf imprinted into the concrete sidewalk. Can you find it?
Look to the north of the gate outside Temple Square. There is an archway in the wall. Water diverted from City Creek used to flow through Temple Square to run machinery (not the organ as sometimes supposed). This reconstructed arch is a little south of where the original was located.
7. Church History Museum
Location: 45 N. West Temple, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., free admission
The Church History Museum provides an orientation to Utah and Mormon history and some of the notable. Displays include a Book of Mormon manuscript page, iconic artifacts from Mormon history and lesser-known pieces with touching stories. Those include:
Artifacts from the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, including the death masks, two pistols, John Taylor's watch and cane, and a mob member's powderhorn.
A shawl owned by Mary Fielding Smith.
Pots made by Heber C. Kimball.
A grooming kit used by Willard Richards.
A fly-fishing rod brought from England by President Wilford Woodruff.
A pink-patched quilt made for Elijah Sheets, who served as a bishop for 48 years.
A blessing gown made on the pioneer trail in 1863 by Hannah Smith, which was used for 86 baby blessings before being donated to the museum.
The "Presidents of the Church" exhibit contains artifacts from the lives of all the prophets. A Scout uniform owned by President George Albert Smith is on display, as is a re-creation of President Joseph Fielding Smith's writing station, including his typewriter, scriptures, eyeglasses, waste basket and shoes. The ring of Phoebe Woodruff, the wife President Wilford Woodruff, is also on display. Go to the second floor to see a portrait of her with their son Joseph.
The "Mormon Creed" is on a cross-stitch sampler in an exhibit on the first floor. It was a popular saying in early LDS Church history.
In the main art gallery on the second floor on the west wall is a painting of Brigham Young and his family. A deceased daughter was included in the painting. Look at the opulent setting of this painting — it seems like the Young family had it pretty easy, doesn't it? For the truth, take a walk over to the south wall and look at the painting of cabins. The portrait of Brigham Young's family was partially painted there in Winter Quarters. The portrait was an imaginary grand setting that was painted in a log cabin.
Nearby: Just southwest of the museum is the Deuel pioneer log home, one of only two pioneer log homes that remain intact. The structure was once located on Temple Square.
8. Lion House
Location: Temple Square next to the Beehive house on the corner of South Temple and State Street
Eliza R. Snow, who was married to Brigham Young, lived in a small room in the Lion House. Her window was the fourth gable from the northwest corner. The room itself is gone and is now part of a larger banquet room. It is not open for tours — but you can look up from the outside and imagine she is on the other side writing a poem.
Nearby: The Beehive House (67 E. South Temple, next door to the Lion House), which was home to Brigham Young, is open for tours Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Social Hall Heritage Museum (51 S. State), open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., is located inside a glass frame.
9. Brigham Young farm original stone wall
Location: Brigham Young Memorial Park, southeast corner of State Street and North Temple. Walk all the way to the east side of the park, past the water wheel and up the steps.
A 9-foot high wall surrounded Brigham Young's farm. A short remnant still preserves the original curve of the wall. Look for this curve in the model of 1870s Salt Lake City in the Church History Museum.
10. Mormon Pioneer Memorial Monument
Location: 140 E. First Avenue, open daily, free
This is the burial site of Brigham Young, the second president of the church, and Eliza R. Snow, a former Relief Society president. Several blocks east at the Salt Lake City Cemetery (200 North and 'N' Street) is where 11 presidents of the church are buried.
11. Kimball-Whitney Cemetery and Park
Location: Just east of the Conference Center, midway up the block on the east side of Main Street. Follow the brick path between the Kimball apartments and the Deseret apartments.
Heber C. Kimball, Newell K. Whitney and others of the Kimball family are buried in a quiet cemetery and park that is surprisingly close to the Conference Center.
12. Heber J. Grant home
Location: 174 E. South Temple, on the south side of the street
This home was built around 1904 by President Heber J. Grant's wife, Augusta, while he was on a mission in Europe. President Grant lived there until about the time he became president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The home is not open for tours, and is the office of attorney E. Craig Smay, who was restoring the building. Notice the original sandstone sidewalk in front of the home.
13. Wiford Woodruff home
Location: 1604 S. 500 East
This privately owned home is now the site of a monument that was recently by the Holladay chapter of the Sons of Utah Pioneers. The nearby First Encampment Park (1700 S. 500 East) was built in 1997 as a memorial to mark the first area where the pioneers camped in the Salt Lake Valley.
14. 10th Ward Square
Location: 800 E. 400 South
This complex has undergone much change, but is still representative of the pioneer era, when Saints used to worship at the Salt Lake Tabernacle on Sundays and use the ward meetinghouse for everyday life, said Randall Dixon, a senior archivist at the Church History Library. The meetinghouse was both a school and social gathering place. A cooperative store, which has since been torn down, was also located in the complex. The chapel, which President Hinckley used to attend as a youth, was added around 1910, according to Dixon.
15. Gilgal Sculpture Garden
Location: 749 E. 500 South
Now a city park, the quirky garden filled with engraved stones created by Thomas Battersby Child Jr. can be a fascinating and fun place for church members.
16. 18th Ward Chapel replica
Location: 300 N. State, across from the State Capitol
The old 18th Ward Chapel is where Brigham Young's family attended church. The building still features several of the original parts and reflects the simplicity of the early Saints in Utah.
17. Mormon Battalion monument
Location: Ensign Peak
A Mormon Battalion monument is visible just north of the chapel on the Capitol building lawn. Overlooking the area is Ensign Peak, where Brigham Young and some of the apostles looked out over the valley.