Manti, located on Heritage Highway 89 between Gunnison and Ephraim, was settled in 1849 by Mormon pioneers primarily from the east coast who were sent from Salt Lake City to stake claim to the territory. During the early 1850s, a close-knit community of Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian Mormon immigrants settled in Manti, and later in other nearby towns. Manti was originally called "Copenhagen," but Brigham Young decreed it should be named after a notable Book of Mormon city. The city is best known for the LDS Manti Temple, which blends Gothic and French Revival styles of architecture into a most impressive structure visible from the highway. It is still considered a monument to the faith of the Scandinavian families who not only financed it, but built it as well. Each summer, the Mormon Miracle Pageant takes place on the expansive grounds of Temple Hill.
Culture and Heritage Attractions
On Temple Hill, where the LDS Manti Temple now stands, Mormon settlers spent their first winter, enduring many hardships, scarce food and clothing, conflicts with Native Americans, and the elements. The Manti City Hall has an artistic gallery depicting many of these trying times, as does the Mormon Temple Heritage Center. The annual Mormon Miracle Pageant takes place during the third week of June each year, (866) 961-9040.
In the Vicinity Cultural & Heritage Attractions
In 1854, some Manti residents, joined by settlers uprooted from Allred's Settlement (Spring City) and recent immigrants from Denmark, constructed a fort that ultimately became the town of Ephraim. In 1888, the town became home to Sanpete Academy, later Snow College, which is now a two-year junior college. The Academy was originally housed in the Ephraim Co-op, still a must-see as a restored outlet for handcrafted items and gifts. Memorial Day weekend marks the Scandinavian Festival each year.
Because of abundant salt deposits nearby, settlers in the northern portion of the Sevier Valley named their settlement Salina or "place of salt." The Redmond Salt Mine, just north of Salina, is nearly 100 years old and is still in operation, producing 300,000 tons of salt annually, and has a museum and gift shop on the premises. Other cultural and heritage sites include the Rock Church Marker and Bell, the Burr House/Victorian Inn, and the Black Hawk Arena.