Mormon Trail Author to Give Free Program at UW American Heritage Center

April 22, 2008

Gregory M. Franzwa, author of "The Mormon Trail Revisited," will present a free program on the route of the National Historic Trail at the University of Wyoming's American Heritage Center, Thursday, April 24, at 2 p.m.

Franzwa will present a 45-minute slide show containing images of the 1,400-mile trail from Nauvoo, Ill., through Iowa, Nebraska and Wyoming, to the Mormon pioneers' home in Utah's Great Salt Lake Valley.

A question-and-answer session and book signing follows the program.
Franzwa, founder of the Oregon-California Trails Association, lives in Tooele, Utah. He and his wife, Kathy, spent three years researching the trail, including several field trips totaling about 10,000 miles along the historic road.

"There were about 2,500 Mormons along the Iowa route with about 500 covered wagons. It had to be the longest single wagon train in American history," Franzwa says, adding that only 143 people were in the pioneer company of 1847, from Omaha to the Great Salt Lake.

"We have located the route of the pioneers all along the way, to plus-or-minus 100 yards," Franzwa says. "Our book presents historical vignettes, as well as driving directions, telling motorists how to reach the route, and that route is almost all gravel."

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