Next week, the Sons of the Utah Pioneers will hold its annual national encampment in Cache Valley.
“We are an older generation that still likes to get together and have a good time and learn about history,” said Jeff Barnes, the president of the Sons of the Utah Pioneers Temple Fork chapter, which covers the Cache Valley area.
As part of the upcoming event, he and other chapter members have planned a variety of tours and speakers to showcase the pioneer history of the area to visitors.
“It is a tradition that the hosting chapter comes up with some interesting historical-type tours to go on so that people can learn more about pioneer history in the area where the encampment is being held,” Barnes said.
There are four tours that are part of this year’s encampment.
The first will tour sites around the Bear Lake Valley, including the National Oregon/California Trail Center Museum in Montpelier, the Borglum Memorial and the Paris, Idaho, Tabernacle.
The second includes stops among Logan’s Historic Theater District: The Ellen Eccles Theatre, the Caine Lyric Theatre, the Utah Theatre,the Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre, Cache Civic Ballet and the Logan Tabernacle.
The third option is a tour of the Cache Valley historic area, including the Smithfield Tabernacle, the Franklin Pioneer Museum & Center, the Oneida Stake Academy in Preston and the Bear River Massacre overlook.
Tour 4 will look to the future at USU’s Space Dynamics Lab, and Tour 5 will be at the American West Heritage Center.
“We have lived here most of our lives—we know what is here to see,” said Robert Sidwell, one of the Temple Fork chapter members who helped plan the event. Sidwell said he plans on attending the tour of the Space Dynamics Lab.
Barnes has attended previous encampments and said last year in Southern Utah, the tours were one of his favorite parts.
“Lots of the information that they showed us and told us you normally wouldn’t know,” Barnes said.
The encampment will begin with a welcome dinner and entertainment on Thursday evening. Tours will be at various times on Friday, along with meals and more entertainment. Keynote speaker Kenneth Godfrey and the national board and business meetings will be on Saturday.
For more information or to register, visit sup1847.com.