This Obelisk is the original “This is the place” monument, erected in 1921 to commemorate the arrival into the Salt Lake Valley of the Mormon pioneers. It is presumably nearer to the actual location where Brigham Young halted his wagon and declared, “This is the right place, Drive on.”
The monument has been refurbished and rededicated under the direction of the Sons of the Utah Pioneers.
In commemoration of a most significant historical event, this monument was first dedicated July 25, 1921. It marked the arrival in this valley of the Mormon Pioneers 74 years earlier, and more specifically, the moment when President Brigham Young rose from his sick-bed in Wilford Woodruff’s carriage and proclaimed to all the world: “This is the Place.”
Even in 1921, there was much disputation as to the exact location of the noted event. This monument was located here as the definitive answer as to where the event occurred. This answer came primarily from two speakers, very different in their presentations, but equally convincing in their conclusion.
The first speaker was 83-year-old W.W. Riter. As a lad of 9 years, he and his parents had followed Brigham Young to this valley. W.W. Riter was the living authority for the correct placing of the monument. In his early years, Wilford Woodruff had taken him to the spot and stated that this is exactly where Brigham Young had uttered those important words.
The second speaker was Brigham H. Roberts, age 64, a prolific historian, theologian, congressman, eminent scholar, and a member of the Quorum of the Seventy. He said, “There has been much discussion as to whether this particular spot just outside the mouth of Emigration Canyon was really the place.” Then quoting often from the journal of Wilford Woodruff, Mr. Roberts proved conclusively that there can be no doubt that the spot now marked by this concrete monument is very near to the actual place. In fact, speaking of the question, he remarked: “Seventy four years ago yesterday an incident occurred on or near the spot where we now stand that is destined to live in the memory of men through the ages to come.”
The above comments have been taken substantially from three articles published in the Salt Lake Tribune and three in the Deseret News of the period. The comments came before and after the event.
The project refurbishing the monument was jointly undertaken by the Mills Chapter of the Sons of Utah Pioneers and Zachary Mahoney, a Scout who used his skill and wisdom to make his Eagle Project not only memorable but lasting.
Note: Elder Boyd K. Packer rededicated the refurbished monument in 2007.
See other historic markers in the series on this page for SUP Markers.