Every July 24, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints celebrate Pioneer Day, commemorating the day the early saints arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, in what is now the state of Utah. 

Along with the traditional parades and other large celebrations getting canceled due to COVID-19, the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, who usually meet once a month, have put their meetings on hold due to the pandemic. 

“Our groups are small enough…but we’re also way over the age range where people don’t want to get together because we’re too old,” said Linda Flamm, a member of Daughters of Utah Pioneers. “We’re just hoping that we’ll be able to meet starting in September.” 

The organization seeks to tell the stories of pioneers who crossed the central United States in the 1840s. 

Flamm is a direct descendant of many key pioneers to the Upper Snake Valley in Idaho, including Thomas E. Ricks, the founder of Ricks Academy, which today is BYU-Idaho. 

With the work that Flamm and other Daughters of Utah Pioneers do, there is a lot of genealogy involved. But, Flamm said, it’s rewarding work. 

“It brings their stories to life,” Flamm said. 

Many of Flamm’s ancestors came to Rexburg, Idaho from Logan, Utah, in carts. The trip took them two weeks, something that makes her more grateful for them in comparison to modern-day methods of transportation. 

“I go to Logan and back in less than 12 hours…it’s so simple to do,” Flamm said.

People in Utah and Idaho owe a debt of gratitude to the pioneers, as many of them helped settle these territories they now call home.

If you want to help bring more pioneer stories to light, the Daughters of Utah Pioneers are available to any woman with an ancestor who entered the Salt Lake Valley before May 10, 1869.

“They did hard things, so we can do hard things,” Flamm said. “That’s part of what we want to teach our children. There are still hard things to be done; they just look different.”

More information about the organization can be found here.