The Beehive State

 

We’ve spent the day in Salt Lake City.  We’d been here before, but only to change planes (as had Mary) so this was our first opportunity to get out and about and explore the city.

 

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Our first destination was easily spotted yesterday afternoon as we arrived.  The Utah State Capitol building was up there on the hill and as you might have gathered from previous posts, we rather like visiting these great buildings.

 

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We arrived around 9 am, expecting to find security and volunteer guides ready and waiting to show us around – but there was none of that.  We had the place to ourselves and though for sure there were people in the building, for quite some time we saw no-one.

 

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So, we made ourselves at home and spent a lovely quite time exploring this wonderful building.

 

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The first thing we noticed was the beehive motif, symbolising the industry of the early pioneers who established the state in the late 19th century.  Of course, once we’d become aware of it, we found it everywhere.

 

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On the elevator floor indicator

 

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On the door of the elevator itself

 

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and on other signs around the building.

 

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There were other, more oblique references too.

 

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One of the reasons we love to explore these state capitols is that often, there’s a collection of artworks on display.  In this case, a selection of works by Utah artists hung on the 4th floor and we spent quite some time enjoying them.  Above is “Morning News” by Alvin Gittins, painted in 1954.

 

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I also liked this one: County Fair 1943, by B.F. Larsen.  I wonder if he had Swedish heritage, because I think there’s quite a bit of the Carl Larsson about it, don’t you?

 

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I think my favourite was The North Face of Zion, by Jim Jones in 2008, probably because the landscape seems so familiar.

 

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There were also some bronzes, including this delightful one of David Abbot Jenkins,  a legend in the world of automobile speed records set at the Bonneville Flats, not so far from here.

 

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And, as we’ve come to expect from these state capitols, there were murals representing significant events in the history of the state.  Here, wearing a white shirt, Brigham Young can be seen, leading the Mormon pioneers from Illinois to Utah, where he sketched the designs for the Temple.

 

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As we explored each floor in turn, we admired some beautiful features.

 

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And puzzled over some notices on the board.  This one made us smile.

 

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Of course, there were always a few more beehives to spot as well.

 

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By this time, things were getting busy and large groups were arriving downstairs, so we felt it was time to move right along.  We left by a different door, discovering that the beautiful sunny morning had clouded over and there was a definite feel of rain in the air.

 

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We headed downhill to the city centre to visit the other principal feature of Salt Lake City and the one we all associate with the place – the Mormon Temple in Temple Square.

 

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Since we’re not members of the church, we couldn’t go inside, but we took a while looking around the visitor centre which was beautifully furnished and had some interesting displays.

 

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We spent a while looking at our family history and then admiring the beautiful gardens which were so well tended.

 

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The importance of the family was evident in many of the bronze statues outside and this particular one appealed to me.

 

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But we were getting hungry and lunch seemed to be a good idea, so we headed across the road to Kneaders, a Utah chain of bakeries, where the temptations were many…

 

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but the choice was sensible!

As we walked back to the car, the heavens opened and a swift decision was made to spend the afternoon indoors.  We explored a little of the Legacy Highway, before returning to the hotel late afternoon to catch up on journalling, reading, organising photographs and continuing the family tree research.

 

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And having enjoyed such a fine dinner last night at The Tin Angel, we returned there tonight, to a warm welcome and seats at “our” table.  What a great place we found there!

Tomorrow, another adventure is planned…

 

(Oh, and by the way, there’s more than one Stonehenge in this area,  in case you’re interested)

The Golden Spike

Before we move on…