Remembering those along the way.

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“Let us never forget the cost of our faith.” Gordon B. Hinckley

The Memorial

Thousands of pioneer children walked, rode and camped their way through more than 1,300-miles of trail from Council Bluffs, Iowa to the Land of Zion in Utah. It was an adventure for most. They played and argued like most children. They picked berries, slept out under the stars, and danced. Most made it to Utah no worse for the wear. Tragically, however, 684 of them died on the trail.

The Days of '47, Inc. and This Is The Place Heritage Park, with the help of generous donors, have created a striking, new Pioneer Children's Memorial to honor the 684 children who lost their lives while making their way to Zion on the pioneer trail in the mid-1800’s.

The new memorial is located at This Is The Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City, Utah, where the names of the children are etched in stone so they will never be forgotten. Their stories are told through a variety of innovative, time-honored, artistic expressions that bring them and the trail to life. Come and see for yourself. The stories are tender, you’ll feel connections and your heart will be touched.

About the Memorial
Photo of the site
Pioneer Statue
The Statues

Artistic creativity and symbolism

Over thirty bronze statues tell the stories

Artistic creativity brings the children’s stories to life in more than 47 bronze statues at the new Pioneer Children's Memorial. Each statue represents multiple stories in a unique way. On the surface, the larger-than-life bronze sculptures portray the trail history, but on a deeper level they symbolize the grit, resilience and what handcart pioneer Jens Nielsen called (stickity-to-ity) stick-to-itiveness, – the qualities they used to make the western desert “blossom as a rose.” Artist sculpted the statues in conjunction with the Metal Arts Foundry in Lehi, Utah.

Featured Story

Emily Hill

When 16 year old Emily Hill was growing up in England, she learned of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the gathering of the Saints in "Zion." Despite fierce opposition, she and her sister Julia determined to leave their home and family and somehow make their way to America. After sailing the Atlantic in May 1856, they traveled by handcart with the James G. Willie company to...
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Have a fascinating story to tell?

There are many stories hiding in attics, old trunks and on computer drives waiting to be told. Search your own ancestry. Do you descend from ancestors who lost children along the trail? You can add their stories to the website too.

In addition to your story, please include such things as Birth Date, Family Search ID number, Parents' Names, etc. Anything that will aid in our verification process. Thank you for your stories.

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Visit The Memorial

Please visit This is the Place Heritage Park. for location and hours of operation.
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Home Visit Statue

“Children of the Trail” Newsletter

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Find Your Family

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Learning about your ancestors will help you better understand who you are. It will create a family bond linking the present to the past, and will build a bridge to the future. We invite you to bring your ancestors to life and tell their stories on the Pioneer Children’s Memorial website. For more information on how to find them, follow the link below.

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