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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School


First Advisor

Janet Gritzner


doctrine, cultural landscape, homeland model, Latter-day Saint


Previous geographers of Mormon (a nickname for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) culture wrote much about landscape traits that indicated a predominance of Mormon adherents. Geographers quantified the distributive density of Mormon cultural landscape traits, then used their quantitative data to delineate the Mormon culture region. The problem is that the traits utilized in delineating the region were mundane relics necessary to the lifestyle of people in the past. Furthermore, landscape traits ascribed to Mormons were not unique to Latter-day Saint doctrine. The design of this project is to establish a means to identify cultural landscape traits that are unique to Mormon culture from the region’s Nineteenth Century settlement-era and on to the Twenty-first Century. Field observations of relic and contemporary landscape trait distributions, literary source index searches for landscape trait references, and map study of trait distributions are the methods employed. The overarching result is a landscape driven by unique doctrine and practices that nourish individuals and support families in their efforts to live the ideal Mormon lifestyle. The culture region designation gives way to a cultural homeland, a spatial unit inhabited and regarded as home to a group historically and sentimentally bonded thereto.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Cultural landscapes


Includes bibliographical references (pages 102-131)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright