Utah’s first pioneer burial site marker, on the south-west corner of 3rd south and 2nd west.
Utah’s first pioneer burial site was located just thirty feet west and two hundred feet south of this point.
Here, thirty-three Utah pioneers were buried beginning with three year-old Milton Thirlkill. This youngster from Mississippi drowned on 11 August 1847 in City Creek, three days after arriving in the Salt Lake Valley.
Other pioneers known to have rested here include Caroline Van Dyke Grant (26 Sept. 1847), Eliza Ann Rich (11 Feb. 1849), perhaps Laura Exphena Rich (7-9 May 1849), and other unidentified members of the Charles C. Rich and Vincent Shurtliff families.
Lost to memory for decades, the site was discovered during construction work in 1986. The burials had been placed by the pioneers in the soft earth of a prehistoric Indian mound which, when excavated, also revealed several Native American burials.
The burial site was one block east of the “Old Fort” (now Pioneer Park), Salt Lake City’s first settlement site. The Fort soon expanded onto the blocks to the north and south. The site would have initially served this early municipal area. All surviving remains were scientifically removed and carefully reinterred. Unfortunately, not all the remains could be identified on the basis of existing records. The pioneers are reburied in an appropriate historic setting at Pioneer Trail State Park, 2601 Sunnyside Avenue, Salt Lake City, overlooking the valley they came to settle.