Utah History Alive

Utah History Alive and Hands On
Utah History Timeline
  • Merrill, Yvonne Y. Hands-On Rocky Mountains:  Art Activities about Anasazi, American Indians, Settlers, Trappers, and Cowboys.  Salt Lake City:  Kits Publications, c1996.

Prehistory - Dinosaurs
  1. Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum - Vernal
  2. Thanksgiving Point Museum of Ancient Life
  3. Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry - Price
  4. BYU Museum of Paleontology
  • Ray, Deborah Kogan. Dinosaur Mountain: Digging Into the Jurassic Age. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2010.

  • Brown, Marc Tolon. Buster hunts for Dinosaurs. New York : Little, Brown, c2006. 
    • When his father takes him to visit a national park about dinosaurs, Buster sends postcards to his friends back home telling them what he is learning. 
  • Hartland, Jessie. How the dinosaur got to the museum. Maplewood, NJ: Apple Books, 2011. 
    • "Dinosaurs roamed the earth for millions and millions of years. Museum visitors are awed by the massive skeletons/fossils/creatures on display. But how did the fossils of a colossal diplodocus make the 145-million-year journey from the prehistoric plains of Utah to the Smithsonian Museum of today? Acclaimed author and illustrator, Jessie Hartland (How the Sphinx Got to the Museum), beautifully presents this informative and fascinating history of the diplodocus: from its discovery in 1923 in Utah to its arrival in the hallowed halls of this world-famous museum. Essential reading for junior paleontologists"-- Provided by publisher.

    Paleo/Anasazi/Freemont Indians
    1. Museum of Peoples and Cultures - BYU Provo
    2. Fremont Indian State Park and Museum - Sevier
    3. Anasazi State Park Museum - Boulder
    4. Mesa Verde National Park - Mesa Verde, Colorado
    • Anderson, Dale.  The Anasazi:  Culture at Mesa Verde.  Milwaukee:  World Almanac Library, 2003.
    • Cunningham, Kevin and Peter Benoit.  The Pueblo.  New York:  Children’s Press, 2011.
    • Larson, Timothy.  The Anasazi.  Austin, TX:  Steadwell Books, 2003.
    • Lourie, Peter.  The Lost World of the Anasazi:  Exploring the Mysteries of Chaco Canyon.  Honesdale, PA:  Boyds Mill Press, 2003.
    • Singer, Donna.  Structures That Changed the Way the World Looked.  Austin, TX: Raintree Steck-Vaughn, 1995.  (discusses cliff dwellings)

    1. Utah Renaissance Festival*

    1. Natural History Museum of Utah (NHMU) - Salt Lake City
    2. USU Museum of Anthropology - Logan
    3. Tribal Pow wow’s
    4. BYU’s Living Legends Performance
    5. Sleep in a Teepee - Zions East Gate (summer)
      • Mukuntuweep (435) 648-3011
    6. Hutchings Museum - Lehi
    • Cunningham, Kevin and Peter Benoit.  The Ute.  New York:  Children’s Press, 2011.
    • Gray-Kanatiiosh, Barbara A.  Ute.  Edina, MN:  ABDO, 2004.  
    • Krudwig, Vickie Leigh.  Searching for Chipeta:  The Story of a Ute and her People. Golden, CO:  Fulcrum, 2004.
    • Marsh, Carole.  Utah Native Americans.  Peachtree City, GA:  Gallopade International, 2004.
    • Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation.  Coyote Steals Fire.  Logan, UT: Utah State University Press, 2013.  (ebook only)
    • Ryan, Marla Felkins and Linda Schmittroth, eds.  Ute.  San Diego:  Blackbirch Press, 2003.
    • Shaughnessy, Diane.  Chief Ouray:  Ute Peacemaker.  New York:  Rosen, 1997.  
    • Stevens, Janet.  Coyote Steals a Blanket:  A Ute Tale.  New York:  Holiday House, 1983.
    • Wyss, Thelma Hatch.  Bear Dancer:  The Story of a Ute Girl.  New York:  Margaret K. McElderry, 2005.

    Discovery of Great Salt Lake
    1. Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve Visitors Center
    • Schulte, Mary.  The Great Salt Lake. New York:  Children’s Press, 2006.

    Mountain Men/Explorers
    1. Fort Buenaventura
        • Toole Utah (September 27)
        • Spanish Fork (July)
        • Bear Lake (August)
    2. Colorado River
      • River Rafting
      • Arches National Monument
      • Maurer, Richard.  The Wild Colorado:  The True Adventures of Fred Dellenbaugh, Age 17, on the Second Powell Expedition into the Grand Canyon.  New York: Crown Publishers, 1999.
      • Ray, Deborah Kogan.  Down the Colorado:  John Wesley Powell, The One-Armed  Explorer.  New York:  Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2007. 
    3. Lake Powell
      • Zion's National Park
    • Harris, Edward D.  John Charles Fremont and the Great Western Reconnaisance.  New York:  Chelsea House, c1990.
    • Jones, Charlotte Foltz.  Westward Ho!  Eleven Explorers of the West.  New York: Holiday House, 2005.
    • Nelson, Sharlene and Ted.  Jedediah Smith.  New York:  Franklin Watts, 2004.
    • Marcovitz, Hal.  John C. Fremont:  Pathfinder of the West.  Philadelphia:  Chelsea House, 2002.
    • Graf, Mike. Bryce and Zion : danger in the Narrows, Golden, Colo. : Fulcrum Pub., 2006.
      • Twin brother and sister, James and Morgan, go on an adventurous camping and hiking vacation with their parents to Bryce Canyon and Zion national parks and learn about the history, unusual geology, famous sites, plants, and animals of these two closely situated but very different parks. Accompanying sidebar notes include additional facts about the area and describe the facilities and rules of the two parks.

    1. American West Heritage Center - Wellsville
    2. Ghost Towns of Utah
      • For one of the finest texts on Utah's Ghost Towns, obtain a copy of The Historical Guide to Utah's Ghost Towns Written by Stephen L. Carr and published by Western Epics
      • Ophir - Toole
      • Grafton/Silver Reef - Zions National Park
      • Callao - best preserved
      • Eureka
      • Sego
      • Gold Hills
    • Varney, Philip.  Ghost Towns of the Mountain West . . . Minneapolis:  Voyageur, 2010.
    • Movie: The Searchers (1956)

    1. This is the Place Park - Salt Lake City
    2. Donner Reed Pioneer Museum - Grantsville
      • Favorite place about Donner Reed Party is Sutter's Fort, California
    3. Pony Express Trail (signs only)
    4. Camp Floyd/Stagecoach Inn State Park - Fairfield
      • Best kept secret in Utah- three day civil war reenactment for kids
    5. Cove Fort - Between Kanosh and Beaver
    • Madsen, Susan Arrington, ed.  Growing Up in Zion:  True Stories of Young Pioneers Building the Kingdom.  Salt Lake City:  Deseret Book, 1996.
    • Madsen, Susan Arrington, ed.  I Sailed to Zion:  True Stories of Young Pioneers who Crossed the Ocean.  Salt Lake City:  Bookcraft, 2000.
    • Madsen, Susan Arrington, ed.  I Walked to Zion:  True Stories of Young Pioneers On the Mormon Trail.  Salt Lake City:  Deseret Book, 1994.
    • Walton, Rick.  Dance, Pioneer, Dance!  Salt Lake City:  Deseret Book, 1997.
    • Randall, Alison L. The Wheat Doll 
      • On the nineteenth-century Utah frontier, Mary Ann is heartbroken when her doll Betty is lost during a fierce storm and her sadness lasts all winter long, until spring brings a wonderful surprise. Ages 0-8
    • Cannon, A.E. Charlotte's Rose.
      • As a twelve-year-old Welsh immigrant carries a motherless baby along the Mormon Trail in 1856, she comes to love the baby as her own and fear the day the baby's father will reclaim her. Ages 9-12

    1. Wheeler Historic Farm - Salt Lake City
    2. Park City Historical Society and Museum - Park City
        • Be sure and ride the free trolley
    3. Oquirrh Mining Museum 
    4. Provo Crandall Printing Museum
    5. Mormon Tabernacle Built
      • Tour Tabernacle and Museum of Church History and Art-Salt Lake
    6. Telegraph/Telephone
    7. Pony Express
      • Wilson, Diane L. Black Storm Comin'
        • Twelve-year-old Colton, son of a black mother and a white father, takes a job with the Pony Express in 1860 after his father abandons the family on their California-bound wagon train, and risks his life to deliver an important letter that may affect the growing conflict between the North and South. Ages 10-teens
    • Adams, T. Lynn.  The Lost Curse.  Springville, UT:  Sweetwater Books, 2012.
    • Krull, Kathleen.  The Boy Who Invented TV:  The Story of Philo Farnsworth.  New York: Knopf, 2009.
    •  Barrington, James.  John Browning:  Man and Gun Maker.  Kindle edition only. 

    1. Territorial House - Filmore
    2. State Capital Building - Salt Lake
    3. Governor’s Mansion - Salt Lake City
    4. Welfare Square - LDS donations begin
    • Pearson, Carol Lynn. Summer of Truth
      • Growing up in the new Utah Territory, Sol is faced with a series of decisions which may eventually require him to risk his own life. His love for a horse, Star, becomes a motivating force in making these difficult decisions. Ages 9-12

    1. Railroad
      • Heber Creeper Ride
      • Golden Spike Visitor’s Center (May 10)
      • Durbin, William.  The Journal of Sean Sullivan:  A Transcontinental Railroad Worker. New York:  Scholastic, 1999.
      •  Gregory, Kristiana.  The Great Railroad Race:  The Diary of Libby West.  New York: Scholastic, 1999.
      • McCully, Emily Arnold.  An Outlaw Thanksgiving
        • While travelling with her mother cross-country by train in 1896, a young girl unexpectedly shares Thanksgiving dinner with the notorious outlaw, Butch Cassidy, after their train stalls from snow built up after a blizzard. Ages 5-10
      • Gregory, Kristiana. The Great Railroad Race
        • As the daughter of a newspaper reporter, fourteen-year-old Libby keeps a diary account of the exciting events surrounding her during the building of the railroad in the West in 1868. Ages 9-12
      • Durbin, William.  The Journal of Sean Sullivan
        • In 1867, fifteen-year-old Sean experiences both hardships and rewards when he joins his father in working on the building of the Transcontinental Rairoad. Ages 9-12
      • Yep, Laurence. Dragon's Gate.
        • When he accidentally kills a Manchu, a fifteen-year-old Chinese boy is sent to America to join his father, an uncle, and other Chinese working to build a tunnel for the transcontinental railroad through the Sierra Nevada mountains in 1867. Ages 10-teens
    2. Auto Racing
    3. Television
    4. LDS motion picture studios
      • Phone: (801) 422-6645
E-mail: tma_secretary@byu.edu
    5. BYU  Broadcasting building tours
    6. NOAA weather Station
    7. Hill Aerospace Museum
    8. Young Eagles Free Flight
    9. World War II- Topaz Interment Camp
      1. Topaz Museum, Delta Utah
      • Hughes, Dean.  Missing In Action. 
        • While his father is missing in action in the Pacific during World War II, twelve-year-old Jay moves with his mother to small-town Utah, where he sees prejudice from both sides, as a part-Navajo himself and through an unlikely friendship with Japanese American Ken from the nearby internment camp. Ages 9-12
      • Lee-Tai, Amy.  A Place Where Sunflowers Grow 
        • While she and her family are interned at Topaz Relocation Center during World War II, Mari gradually adjusts as she enrolls in an art class, makes a friend, plants sunflowers and waits for them to grow. Ages 9-12
      • Uchildo, Yoshika.  The Bracelet.
        • Emi, a Japanese American in the second grade, is sent with her family to an internment camp during World War II, but the loss of the bracelet her best friend has given her proves that she does not need a physical reminder of that friendship. Ages 9-12
      • Movie: American Pastime, May 2007
    • Fitzgerald, John D. The Great Brain. 
      • In turn-of-the-century Utah, Tom uses his "great brain" to come up with a series of money-making schemes. First in a series. Ages 9-12
    Thank you to the contributors of this reading list:
    • Laura Wadley, Provo Library
    • LuCinda Gustavson, Salt Lake County LIbrary
    • Patrick Hoecherl, Salt Lake City Library


  1. Kim!!! This is a treasure trove! I am so excited to experience these things as a family. I love it!!! Thank you!!!!! Can't wait to get started!

    Elizabeth Little

  2. Thank you so much for this list. It is awesome! I have been trying to find books for my girl to read this year as we study Utah State History so this is a gold mine! Thanks for sharing all these great resources!


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