This house was built in 1854 as Brigham Young's family home. Young also kept an office here and entertained church and government leaders on the premises. Young, a lover of New England architecture, utilized much of that style in his house, including a widow's walk for surveying the surrounding desert. Today, visitors can get a glimpse of the lifestyle of this famous Mormon leader by taking a guided half-hour tour of the house. It has been decorated with period furniture (many pieces original to the home) to resemble its appearance when Young lived here, as described in a journal kept by his daughter Clarissa. Young's bedroom is to the left of the entrance hall. The Long Hall, where formal entertaining took place, is on the second floor; it was also used as a dormitory to house visitors. Young's children gathered in the sewing room, where they helped with chores, bathed by the stove, and studied Christian principles. Only one of Young's 27 wives lived in the Beehive House at a time; the rest, with some of the children, lived next door in the Lion House (now a banquet facility and restaurant open Mon-Sat from 11am-8pm) or in other houses. Built of stuccoed adobe in 1855 through 1856, the Lion House was named for the stone lion guarding its entrance.
Before you leave, stop at Eagle Gate, a 76-foot gateway that marked the entrance to the Brigham Young homestead, located at the corner of State Street and South Temple. It's been altered several times over the years, and the original wooden eagle has been replaced by a 4,000-pound metal version with a 20-foot wingspan. Allow about an hour.