The Conestoga wagon pictured with this article is only one of the many exhibits, collections, photos and memorabilia on display at the Tooele Pioneer Museum, which is set to open this Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and every Friday, Saturday and holiday from now until Sept. 24.
If you haven’t enjoyed the museum in a while, now is the time to peruse the treasures to be discovered from the time of Old Lake Bonneville, to the original Native American and newer white pioneers, to the inventions that brought on cell phones, modern surgical methods and even body soaps and shampoos.
Lee Nix’s assembled findings of arrow, spear, and atalatl heads as well as other artifacts from the Goshute and other tribes paint a picture of how unbelievably difficult it was to eke out a living from Tooele’s west desert from the time of man’s earliest migrations here. Things became marginally better in the late 1800s with the advent of Mormon pioneers and others. On display are tools, building materials, transportation and even early bathrooms from that period. Under the directorship of Tim Booth, the collection of old pioneer photographs from mining, smelting, farming and just everyday living is growing each day. It’s time to rediscover your heritage and those who made it so great to live here as we do today.
Not only does the building at 50 E. Vine Street in Tooele house what visitors from other cities, states and countries have called “an unknown gem of a museum,” but it also is home to the Tooele County Historical Society, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Tooele Women’s Community Club, Back Country Horsemen, Tooele Gem and Mineral Club, Disabled American Veterans, My Hoops Al-Anon, Daughters of Utah Pioneers and Sons of Utah Pioneers. That’s a lot of variety in a wisely-used and centrally-located facility. The museum thanks Tooele City for use of the old Tooele City library building and grants from Tooele County that allows these programs to be brought to you free of cost.
Docents are on hand to answer questions, guide you through the museum, or you may elect to just mosey around yourself and take it all in. Either way, it will be a wonderful and educational time for you and your family. The facility is open every Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., or call Tim Booth at 435-882-1902 for other appointment times, and be sure to visit the web site tooelepioneermuseum.com.
Darrell Smith volunteers time as the publicity director of the Sons of Utah Pioneers Settlement Canyon Chapter. He also works as a docent at the Tooele Pioneer Museum. Smith can be reached at email@example.com.