|Free! Screenings of Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area Discovery Road Videos. Free! Featured at:The Historic Casino Star Theatre
78 South Main
Now approaching its 50th year, the Mormon Miracle Pageant on Temple Hill in Manti continues to draw thousands of visitors to Manti every year to witness the story of the miracles that came together with the Mormon settlement of Sanpete Valley. Since starting time for the Pageant is 9:30 p.m., travelers often ask for suggestions to occupy their time during the afternoon’s wait.
Obviously, Manti has its historical sites and sidewalk sales, and the Wasatch Plateau to the east provides canyons for exploration and exercise. But this year, the historic Casino Star Theatre in Gunnison is partnering with the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area to add to the list a series of videos to interpret and bring to life stories from the settlement history of Heritage Highway 89—especially Sanpete County. The Casino Star will screen these videos, free of charge. The Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area produced these videos that are aired on Since its creation in 2006, the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area has made a priority of bringing to life the history of settlement and accommodation in this relatively undisturbed—and wonderfully scenic—area of Utah. Other projects include historic preservation projects, including the 1912 Casino Star Theatre that will host the screenings.
The daily schedule runs from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. for a total of four hours per day on June 18-20 and June 23-27, the Pageant days. A total of two hour-long and eleven half-hour programs will be rotated through the eight afternoons, with specific schedules posted online and in ads and posters.
There is no charge to patrons, and concessions will be available for purchase. Descriptions of the videos and a daily schedule are included below.
Alphabetical List of Programs
“The Apostle and the Outlaw”
Some tales, some facts about Apostle Orson Hyde, one of the leaders of the Sanpete settlement, and Hyrum Beebe, a notorious outlaw who may have been the Sundance Kid.
“Don’t Let Them Be Forgotten:
Tracks the Blackham family from subsistence living in the cotton mills of England’s industrial revolution to Sanpete County, preparing the way for farmers, attorneys, business leaders, musicians, teachers, and politicians—including present-day mayors of two Sanpete cities—among their progeny.
“The Dreams I Left Behind”
The discovery of relatives in England through a new acquaintance with the same surname led Robert Graham, a native of Fairview now living in Salt Lake City, to wonder about “the ones who stayed behind.” His invitation to Grahams on both sides of the Atlantic resulted in a “reunion” of distant cousins—by both geography and generations.
“The Forgotten Ones”
The Mormon trek includes myriad heart-wrenching stories of loved ones of all ages who perished along the Mormon Trail and its many tributaries. A special visit to the Pioneer Cemetery at Martin’s Cove, Wyoming, reveals details.
“Manti Temple Hill”
This video begins with the building of the Manti Temple, the Pioneer Dugout, and Temple Hill as a childhood playground, as told by descendants, and includes visits to the Corner Station in Mt. Pleasant and the home of the late Big Daddy (Rat Fink) Roth.
Utah’s most famous actress, the original Peter Pan in James Barrie’s stage play, made her stage debut at the tender age of six months. Discovery Road wonders whether they can find traces of her career among the restored theaters of Sanpete County.
“The Mormon Trail: The Disabled”
Innate or acquired—at birth or along the way—disabilities present additional challenges, yet pioneer travelers along the Mormon Trail developed wheeled chairs, crutches, splints, and other devices to ease the way for friends and family members who needed support.
“Music Is the Reason “(Wales)
Welsh pioneers to Zion were sent to Sanpete County to develop a “Coal Bed” (the original name of Wales town), bringing with them their native gift of music. The coal ran out, but these musical miners produced both the world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Osmond Family, to name just two.
Stories of western expansion include hundreds of water-war episodes, based on the view that water is a commodity and nature’s bounty can be improved by harnessing its power through dams and canals. Native American scholars explain the contrasting perspective of their cultural and religious principles.
“Passing Along Utah’s Heritage Highway”
A busload of travel writers heads north from Zions National Park along Heritage Highway 89, visiting historic stops along the way, including Mom’s Café in Salina and Clarion, the short-lived Jewish settlement west of Centerfield.
Scandinavian Days celebrates the heritage of “Little Denmark” every Memorial Day weekend, with Scandinavian foods, stories, games and music re-created by descendants of the Hansens, Jensens, Petersons, Larsens, Nelsons, and dozens of other –en and –on families who settled came to Sanpete in 1852. Sanpete’s famous oolite limestone and Spring City’s Heritage Days are also featured.
Narrator Spence Kinard travels Highway 89 from south to north, telling the stories Hole-in-the-Rock, the Panguitch Quilt Walk, Capitol Reef and Fruita, on the way to Sanpete County. While I-15 brought population and “progress” to the Interstate side of the mountains, Highway 89 folks looked to their roots.
“Utah’s Blackhawk War”
An hour-long rendition of the assumptions of European immigrants with notions of private ownership and fences, dams and canals, and formal gardens colliding with a nomadic culture subsisting within nature’s, not man’s, boundaries.
The Historic Casino Star Theatre
78 South Main
(Occasional substitutions may occur)
Thursday, June 18
1:00 p.m., “Scandinavian Days”
1:30 p.m., “Native Americans and Sacred Water”
2:00 p.m., “The Dreams I Left Behind” (Graham Family)
3:00 p.m., “The Apostle and the Outlaw”
3:30 p.m., “The Forgotten Ones”
4:00 p.m., “Utah’s Blackhawk War”
Friday, June 19
1:00 p.m., “Manti Temple Hill”
1:30 p.m., “Maude Adams”
2:00 p.m., “Stories from Highway 89”
3:00 p.m., “Don’t Let Them Be Forgotten” (Blackham Family)
4:00 p.m., “Music is the Reason” (Wales)
4:30 p.m., “Scandinavian Days”
Saturday, June 20
1:00 p.m., “Utah’s Blackhawk War”
2:00 p.m., “Music is the Reason” (Wales)
2:30 p.m., “The Mormon Trail: The Disabled”
3:00 p.m., “Stories from Highway 89”
4:00 p.m., “The Forgotten Ones”
4:30 p.m., “Manti Temple Hill”