Have a History Treasure Hunt!
A Variety Film Company group posing on the Walker Bank Building, 1920
Wherever you are and wherever you go, you can have an adventure in discovering the past.
And Utah has so many adventures awaiting you!
Here are some ideas:
- Be a detective. Look for clues to the way people lived here 50, 100, or 1,000 years ago. You might find clues in the landscape, in structures and implements, in museums, in conversations.
- Haunt cemeteries. In fact, make it a point to find out-of-the-way cemeteries. You might even try to learn the stories behind the names on headstones. Our database of Cemetery Records can help you find cemeteries or locate where people are buried.
- Brake for historical markers. And actually stop. Instead of just reading the text and hurrying on, get out of the car. Close your eyes and imagine the event the marker tells about. Hear the sounds, smell the smells, see the sights. Our database of Markers and Monuments can tell you about markers near your destination.
- Chat up local people. They can tell you all kinds of things - and what better way to connect with a place than through human connections?
- Get curious about the "other" story. It's all too easy to stick to the history of our "own kind." But how limiting that is! How much we miss if we ignore the experience of other people - other groups, cultures, ethnicities, religions.
- Take detours - planned and spontaneous - off the main highway. See what you can discover.
- Visit the little museums. Most towns have one. Whether it's funky or polished, it can give you a glimpse into the town's values and psyche. And be sure to talk with the person at the desk! (It's usually a volunteer who has lived there a long time.)
- Sleep, eat, and play in the past. Stay in historical inns. Eat in local cafes with a bit of history to them. Visit local pubs or gathering places. Join in at local events. Look for handmade heritage products or other items made locally.
- Make it a family affair. Find family sites—landscapes, dwellings, graves, farmsteads, businesses, etc.
- Get bookish. To really understand a place’s past, read one of the Centennial County Histories published by the Utah State Historical Society and each county. Available in libraries or for purchase from us.