Thursday, March 12, 2009

Have You Ever Been to Fort Deseret?

What to catch my attention about something? Tell me it's story or the history about anything, and you have me as a captive audience. For example:
Fort Deseret

Fort Deseret was erected in 1865 to protect settlers during the Blackhawk Indian War. The U.S. Army said they could not protect settlers against Indian threats because of their commitments in the Civil War. They advised the pioneers to either move to a larger, safer city or build a fort. With a great sense of urgency they chose to build a fort.
It was completed in 18 days by 98 men. William S. Hawley and Isaac W. Pierce were foremen and John W. Radford was superintendent. The men were divided into two teams who competed against each other to see who could do their part fastest. The winners were to be treated by the losers to a dance and supper. One group completed their wall in nine days while a second group finished theirs a few hours later. Since part of the first team's wall fell down, it was considered a tie by those two groups and an opening celebration was held July 25, 1865.

The fort was 550-feet square with bastions at the northeast and southwest corners. It had gates in the middle of each side and portholes along each wall. The walls were made of adobe mud and straw mixed by the feet of oxen. A ditch was dug to carry water around the walls. When completed, the walls were 10-feet high, 3-feet wide at the base and 1.5-feet wide at the top. Rough-hewn lumber was used to make portals through which guns could be fired. The walls rest on a three-foot wide lava stone foundation.

In the spring of 1866, the fort proved its worth when Blackhawk and his warriors showed up. They had recently killed several settlers in San Pete County about 60-70 miles to the east, and when they came to Deseret, they stole some cattle and threatened the community. The fort provided security for the settler's livestock while negotiations took place which settled the matter peacefully.

Fort Deseret serves as a landmark of Mormon pioneer history and is the only remaining example of the many adobe forts built in Utah. It's communal construction using materials at hand exemplifies the cooperative and resourceful nature of Mormon settlement.
Yeah, that was just the first little hidden treasure we found. 2 more days of adventure ahead.
PS. Shae asked me to post this for her.
Brinley, Shae misses you!


Ann Marie said...

I havent been their yet!!
Yay!! A fun history Vacay for the family! Hope it's warm and sunny!

Natalie said...

How fun! I love that you are so discriptive and give the facts. I love reading your blog. I learn SO much!

Carrie said...

I'VE BEEN THERE!!! Just because Deseret is where my Grandpa Nelson was born and raised. I didn't appreciate it much though since I was a punk teen!

Me said...

I haven't been there and I probably won't for awhile either. I usually have an agenda and want to get to my destination asap. Maybe one of these days I'll be able to stop and smell the roses along the way. Until then I'll have live vicariously through you.

Cherie said...

I love anything historical and if it's historical and church related I want to be there.
I have not been here yet though - it is on my list.
I am loving all or your pictures, descriptions and enthusiasm!!

Jenice Henrie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J the Saint said...

Have you seen the fort in LV? Also, there are some old mormon mining camps on the outskirts of town that are neat to see from a historical perspective.

T. L. C. said...

We are twinners! I LOVE history. Anything about this nations history and I'm right there too!

This was neat to learn about. I've never heard of this and you give great detailing.

One of these days, I'll have to go there if I ever make it to Utah!

Oh, I tryed to call you the other day, about 1:30pm my time. When is a good time to call?

Take care and have a great Monday!


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