First Utah Pioneer Cemetery Outside Salt Lake City
In 1848, when the first pioneer death occurred in Holladay, the cemetery knoll southeast of here, overlooking lowland watery meadows of a then meandering Big Cottonwood Creek, was selected as a community cemetery. Tradition has it that the first burial was a baby.
For 127 years, local LDS Church leadership oversaw this 13-acre cemetery in behalf of the entire community. In 1975 the cemetery was sold.
In early pioneer Utah times, burial was generally 1 to 2 days after death. Families themselves often dug the grave 5 to 6 feet deep. The deceased person was dressed in regular clothing or in a burial shroud (a long nightgown-type of burial dress) and placed in a snug fitting wooden box or in blankets and cloth material. Funerals were a community affair, most persons participating one way or another – attended the funeral at church, providing food for participants after the service, or helping the bereaved family do their chores.