Visitors to Manti are strongly encouraged to take a stroll to the Pioneer Heritage Garden, located a short walk west of the Manti Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The garden pays special tribute to those stalwart settlers who braved a myriad of obstacles as they set forth to tame a wilderness. Visitors will enjoy the presentations and thought provoking historical reflections there.
The site includes a reflection pond which illustrates Faith; a small amphitheater represents Education; a beautiful entry and pathway from the Manti Cemetery into the garden helps people show Cooperation; and stories of successful pioneer work in signage explain Industry.
The four principles, Faith, Education, Cooperation and Industry were identified by Dr. John A. Widtsoe, an apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ, as the four principles essential to the pioneer’s success and to success today.
Widtsoe taught people to have faith. Faith will give people courage to face daily tasks; learn, all of life should be a process of education; the future must be built on cooperation; this is a practical expression of love and concern for one another; and the pioneers would not forget industry, be industrious.
These beliefs are learned from John A. Widtsoe’s book, “How The Desert Was Tamed”, Deseret Book, 1947.
The intent of the Pioneer Heritage Center and Gardens is to share the personal stories and events that reveal how and why the pioneers persisted in making a home under such trying circumstances and conditions.
People may be surprised by how timely and relevant the lessons are for people today, which can be learned from the early pioneers. The answers to questions posed, such as the following can be found:
Why did the pioneers come and settle in the arid and less desirable lands of central Utah when they could have gone on to California or returned to the fertile area in the east? What held the pioneers, a diverse collection of immigrants from many nations, together?
The pioneers stayed and worked through the many challenges of settlement. They had an abiding faith in God and a commitment to values that proved to be their success.
Faith and sacrifice were combined in such a way that commands respect and appreciation. Faith, education, cooperation and industry were values central to their success.
The Pioneer Heritage Center and Gardens offers examples and stories of how the guiding values enabled the pioneers to overcome challenges and establish a home.
There is much to gain from a study of the pioneers and today’s people are presented a personal challenge from the pioneers, to apply these same principles today. This is the legacy of the pioneers who settled central Utah.
From the settlement of Manti in 1849, smaller satellite communities were established as circumstances allowed. The first wave of settlements during 1851-54, established Spring City, Mt. Pleasant, Ephraim and Wales. A second wave between 1859 and 1865 brought into existence Fairview, Fountain Green, Moroni, Gunnison, Chester and Centerfield.
All of the settlements experienced challenges and difficulties that tested the mettle of the hardy men, women and children. They all deserve to be identified and recognized for what they sacrificed and accomplished.
One area of the Pioneer Heritage Center and Gardens provides information on the individuals and families who settled central Utah with additional information on where they are buried or specific locations where they lived.