Category Archives: Sevier County

MPNHA Photo Contest – $25 Prize

We know that you have some amazing photos, and now it’s time to share them! The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area is hosting a photo contest. It’s time to dust off the camera, phone, whichever you use to capture special moments and share some great pictures. You probably have some on your hard drive somewhere too!

To enter, users must upload their images to the MPNHA Facebook Page and submit a form (below) for each image that they enter into the contest.

Rules:

  • All photos must be be property of the entrant and an original work. If you are submitting for someone else, permission must be obtained before uploading the image.
  • All photos must be taken inside the boundaries of the MPNHA.
  • Photo enhancements are allowed.
  • The entry can be used on the MPNHA’s social media channels, website, etc. and will be credited to the entrant.
  • If people are included in the image, a release is required for entry.
  • All entrants must submit a short entry form in addition to uploading the image onto the MPNHA Facebook page.
  • The final date to enter is July 21, 2017 at midnight, mountain time.
  • The winner of the contest and $25 gift card to a retailer of their choice will be selected by the number of likes on their image. Ask your friends to vote for your image! In the event of a tie, the images with the same number of likes (loves, etc.) will be assigned a random number and then picked at random. The winner will be chosen and contacted on July 31, 2017.
  • There is no age limit to participants (under 13 years of age must have parental permission) or limit to the number of images that are allowed, as long as every image has been submitted into the form below.
  • Voting starts when you upload your image, so enter earlier for your best chance.
  • Those who work for the MPNHA are not eligible to enter/win.
  • Have fun.

CCC/POW Camp Restoration in Salina Tells Incredible Story, Needs Public Support

MPNHA-Press-Release-CCC-POW-camp

For more information: Monte Bona Director, Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area 801-699-5065 Email: montebona@hotmail.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 7, 2016

Thanks to dedicated volunteers, a former Citizens Conservation Corps/Prisoner of War camp near Salina in northern Sevier County, the site of what is known as the Midnight Massacre, is being restored to near-original condition.

The impetus for the project came from Salina Mayor Dustin Deaton, who had the dream of turning the buildings (which were being used to store city property) into a museum.

“It’s an important part of our history and it shouldn’t be forgotten,” Deaton said.

Built to house CCC employees during the Great Depression, the camp gained notoriety during World War II when it was being used to as a POW camp for 250 German prisoners.

(At that point, all but three of the original CCC buildings had been moved to the Japanese internment camp at Topaz, near Delta.)

On July 8, 1945, two months after the war ended in Europe, Private Clarence Bertucci, a guard stationed at the camp, opened fire with a .30-caliber machine gun on 43 tents where the POWs were sleeping.

In 15 seconds Bertucci peppered the barracks with 250 rounds because, he later said, he “just didn’t like Germans.” He killed six POWs and injured 23, three of whom later died at the Salina hospital. Bertucci was later was declared insane by a military panel and sent to a New York mental hospital.

Deaton dismisses criticism from people who consider the incident a stain on the history of Salina and say the camp shouldn’t be restored.

“The individual who created the problem wasn’t from our area; he was just stationed here. What needs to be remembered about that night is that the citizens of Salina pulled together and carried the injured prisoners seven blocks to the hospital and cared for them there,” he said.

Deaton approached Dee Olson, a retired engineer and someone with a reputation for getting a job done right, to spearhead the project.

So far, Olson and his trusty band, including his daughter Tami Clark who has a degree in interior design and has studied historical preservation and restoration, are exceeding all expectations.

Over the past several months, the group has transformed the buildings from glorified storage sheds to near-original condition. Their goal is to have the project finished by July, but it all depends on the donations that come in.

The first building to be restored was the commander’s quarters and office, which included a kitchen, shower, bedroom, dining area and office space. It will be staged like it was originally. A display honoring the POWs who were shot during the July 1945 incident will be placed in the kitchen.

The second building, originally a bunk house for CCC crews and later a barracks for guards at the POW camp, will contain a model of what the camp looked when it housed the POWs as well as an area to show a movie about the camp’s history.

Work is just beginning on the third building, which was a motor pool and repair shop. The group has already restored an original WWII Jeep and Army truck to be displayed there.

Of the $103,000 needed for the project, the team has received about $70,000 in donations from groups and individuals, including $25,000 from the Snow College Foundation and Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area (MPNHA). Salina is located in the heritage area.

“Energetic Great Depression-era young men from crowded cities across America came West in response to President Roosevelt’s call to conserve America’s great natural resources,” MPNHA Director Monte Bona says. “They ate, slept, laughed, worked and played in these important buildings, which are being restored to help tell their story.

“Those young men, many of whom served in WWII, would have never imagined that this place of memories would become a POW camp, a place where enemies of war would wait out the great conflict. History and our heritage are full of irony.”

As a small rural city, Salina hasn’t been in a position to donate funds, Mayor Deaton said, but instead has donated labor in the form of crews who have worked on the project many times.

Donations have come from unexpected places including a recent $10,000 check from the family of Bert and Doris Olsen, formerly of Axtell, a town just north of Salina.

If local volunteers get the remaining funding in time, they can probably get the job done by their target date, Tami Clark said. It’s just that the team’s focus and skills are on restoration, not on fundraising. The volunteers do have a Facebook page, and the city is accepting donations at city hall.

As the group prepares to bring the museum to life, they need of items from the period, including office furniture and equipment, WWII uniforms and items related to the war, tools and other items for the motor pool building, and anything related to the CCC.

At present, the only thing the group has representing the CCC era is a hat with a CCC logo, local historian Norm Rollingson said.

Once it’s finished, the museum will be open for tours by appointment and on city holidays, Deacon said.

“There’s a lot of history in these small towns to participate in and learn about,” he said. “It’s a great family event to be able to go see theses historic buildings and teach the children about what happened there.”

Tours for media outlets may be arranged by contacting Linda Petersen at (801) 554-7513. For more information, contact Tami Clark at 817-903-1710 or MPNHA Director Monte Bona at (801) 699-5065.

To donate or lend items for the museum, you can contact Norm Rollingson at (307) 413-6498.

The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area includes 400 miles of glorious scenic byways, a vast array of wildlife, the best of western living, cattle and sheep ranches, and colorful mountain vistas, all within a trip on Utah Heritage Highway 89.

Railroad Resorts Bring Sevier County’s Railroad Past to Life

MPNHA-Press-Release-Sevier-Railroad

The Denver & Rio Grande Railroad is being resurrected in an unusual way in the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area. Partners David Grow and George Jones of Environetics have built a caboose and railroad village at Big Rock Candy Mountain, north of Marysvale in Piute County. In February they received a 50-year lease of the old Denver and Rio Grande Depot from the city of Mt. Pleasant to build a similar resort there.

Jones, a retired railroad union executive with an interest in historic railroading, began collecting cabooses several years ago. About six years ago he approached Grow with the idea of turning them into a unique resort.

After several years of planning, last year the pair opened the Track 89 Caboose Village Resort at Big Rock Candy Mountain with three railroad cars. This year they have seven and next year they hope to have 10. The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area recently awarded the project a $25,000 grant for landscaping and parking.

Grow said it is unlikely the Mt. Pleasant facility will be open this season since major work needs to be done to prepare the site and move the railroad cars into place. He is very excited about the location, however.

“We’ve always loved that old depot and looked into moving it further down Highway 89 but found it was too expensive,” Grow said.

In 1977 the building was rescued from demolition by a group of local citizens who wanted to preserve it and had it moved to its present location from 500 West and Main.

The new location is ideal, Grow said. “It has great visibility, right on Highway 89. We will make sure that no lodging will block the beautiful view of the terrific old depot.” Grow said the Mt Pleasant site could eventually have as many as 15 rail cars.

He said they plan to incorporate several historic elements into the resort, but they have not yet determined if that will be in the setting of a small museum or as enhancements to the railroad cars themselves.

While some have suggested that the pair open a similar resort in Thistle in Utah County, Grow said that the Utah County planning department is not open to the idea.

“It would be like trying to push a river upstream,” he said.

MPNHA Director Monte Bona sees these two resorts as a first step to bringing about a railroad museum and interpretive center in the area, one of the goals of the MPNHA’s management plan.

“The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area reached the high threshold for national designation by articulating the thesis that Mormon colonization played a major role in the development of the West. The coming of the railroad era had a signifi cant impact that needs to be interpreted, displayed and conveyed as a crucial part of the Mormon country story,” he said.

The railroad first came to the Sevier Valley in 1893 when the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad expanded its line from Chester to Manti , connecting it with its Valley Line at Thistle Junction via Mt. Pleasant and from Manti to Marysvale.

At its peak, the line ferried passengers to Richfield where tour companies would meet the train at Marysvale and take tourists to Bryce Canyon and the Grand Canyon’s North Rim. For several decades it spurred economic growth in the area, especially in the livestock trade.

However, as automobiles grew in popularity, the railroad began to wane. In 1949, D&RGW dropped passenger service in the area. From then until the Thistle mudslide of 1982 shut down the line completely, the line primarily carried freight. Aft er the mudslide the D&RGW determined it would not be cost-effective to restore the line, which had been operating at a loss for decades.

Now, with the Environetics projects, railroad buff s and families will have a unique opportunity to experience a taste of the rich railroading history of the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area.

For more information, contact or MPNHA Director Monte Bona at 801-699-5065 or David Grow at 801-375-9090.

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The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area includes 400 miles of glorious scenic byways, a vast array of wildlife, the best of western living, cattle and sheep ranches, and colorful mountain vistas, all within a trip on Utah Heritage Highway 89

Here’s The Ultimate Terrifying Southern Utah Road Trip And It’ll Haunt Your Dreams

Here’s The Ultimate Terrifying Southern Utah Road Trip

And It’ll Haunt Your Dreams

from www.onlyinyourstate.com by Katherine Rees on February 25, 2016.

Although not all of the locations listed are in the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area, many have connections with the heritage area.  Of the nine featured by Only In My State. Rees identified Salina, Sevier County, Marysvale, Piute County, Kanab, Kane County, and Grafton, Washington County in the Under The Rim Heritage Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area in Southern Utah that are reportedly haunted.  To check out the additional featured location visit www.onlyinyourstate.com.

Follow my road trip on Google Maps, and feel free to add a few extra spots, if you’d like.

The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area Has 4 Best Main Streets

These 13 Towns in Utah Have the Best Main Streets You’ve Gotta Visit

There’s just something about the Main Street in any town. It’s often part of the town’s historic district, and typically features some of the oldest buildings in the area. The best Main Streets are bustling, vibrant places where members of the community, along with visitors, shop, eat and mingle. Here are a few of Utah’s best Main Streets; maybe you’ve visited some of them recently!

Which Main Streets did I miss? Share your favorite in the comments.

There’s Something Incredible About These 8 Rivers in the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area

For a desert state, Utah has a surprisingly large number of rivers! This is by no means a comprehensive list; I’ve tried to include a sampling of rivers from all parts of the state.

Did I miss your favorite Utah river?

RICHFIELD LITTLE WONDER CAFE MAKES THE 12 AWESOME DINERS IN UTAH LIST

In an article posted in Utah October 17, 2015 by  entitled 

These 12 Awesome Diners in Utah Will Make You Feel Right at Home,

The Little Wonder Cafe was listed as one of the twelve 

There’s just something about diner food, especially when the temperature starts to cool and comfort meals like meatloaf, mac ‘n cheese and pot roast really hit the spot. Here are just a few of the awesome diners you’ll find in Utah.

As I was compiling this list, I noticed that 8 of the 12 diners are located on their town’s Main Streets! Diners really are the heart of their communities. What’s your favorite diner?

“The Soul of the Native American Artist” to share Native American Perspectives, Heritage

The Soul of the Native American Artist” to share Native American Perspectives, Heritage

MORMON PIONEER NATIONAL HERITAGE AREA (MPNHA)

“The Soul of the Native American Artist” to share Native American perspectives, heritage

Linda Petersen Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area

801-554-7513

Email: linda@bpmedia.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 16, 2015

RICHFIELD—The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area (MPNHA) will showcase Native Indian artist David K. John in a special two-day event, “The Soul of the Native American Artisan,” at the Richfield City Building, 75 East Center, on Friday, Oct 23 and Saturday, Oct 24.

This free event is open to the public from noon to 5 p.m. on Oct 23 and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 24.

John, a member of the Navajo tribe, is a 1982 Richfield High School graduate who has maintained many ties to the Richfield area. Through his art, John will share with participants the culture and heritage of American Indians, in particular the Navajo tribe.

With this program, the MPNHA seeks to share with the public John’s unique perspectives regarding the natural environment, the earth, cosmos, animal life, aquatic life, dwelling structures and his connection to a deeply holistic spiritual life.

Throughout the event, interactive discussions with the public will be led by project director Emery Polelonema, John and locally known archeologist Craig Harmon, who will give scientific and historical context to John’s native art impressions.

Along with the exhibit and discussions, from noon to 3 on Saturday, Oct. 24, Navajo students from Richfield will share an artistic display of dance.

“We want to educate the public about who we are as Native Artwork in this press release are some examples of the art that will be at the event.

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Americans and what we can contribute to the arts and humanities,” said Polelonema, a Native American and an official with the Six County Association of Governments.

“In popular culture, there is a misconception of the Native American artist as a ‘blanket Indian,’ one who returns to the reservation, who cannot stay out in the mainstream,” he said. “That is a complete misnomer.”

Richfield Mayor David Ogden will speak at the opening of the event at noon on Oct. 23. “We are really excited about David K. John coming back to the Sevier Valley,” Ogden said. “He has some amazing talents which he has put to use and has created beautiful pictures of the world and of Native Americans.”

“We feel so fortunate to have him come back and share it with us here in Richfield. We encourage everyone in the area to come enjoy his artwork and success.”

Organizers hope that this exhibit/showcase will supplement and enhance existing Utah pioneer history with Native American historical information and promote an understanding and appreciation for the rich Native American heritage of the area.

“The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area’s Management Plan places great emphasis on the rich heritage of Native Americans. Their deep appreciation of our mountains, streams and landscape constitutes the essence of what we stand for as a heritage area,” MPNHA Director Monte Bona said.

“We are especially pleased that our partners at the Utah Humanities Council are participating in this important program.”

This project is sponsored by the Utah Humanities Council and the MPNHA. For more information, contact project director Emery Polelonema at 435-201-9603 or MPNHA director Monte Bona at 801-699-5065.

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About the MPNHA: The Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area is a federally designated area of central and southern Utah running along the beautiful and historic U.S. Highway 89 — including the All-American Road Utah State Route 12, and Capitol Reef Scenic Byway Utah State Route 24, which both intersect with U.S. 89 and together form the MPNHA’s Boulder Loop. The area includes the counties of Sanpete, Sevier, Piute, Wayne, Garfield and Kane.

About the Utah Humanities Council: The works to empower Utahns to improve their communities through active engagement in the humanities. To accomplish this, through its programs and grants it partners with individuals and groups across the state who want to put humanities ideas into actions that have a positive impact on their communities.

PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN AND THE MORMONS SHARE A RICH HISTORY

Bryon C. Andreason author of Looking For Lincoln in Illinois series has a new addition to his collection with his newly published book, Looking For Lincoln In Illinois; Lincoln And Mormon Country .  This new book introduces the rich history of the early Mormon leaders and Abraham Lincoln.  This edition contains over thirty amazing stories that connect President Lincoln with the Mormon community and members.

Lincoln and Mormon Country by Bryon C. Andreasen
Lincoln and Mormon Country by Bryon C. Andreasen

It is an honor for the Mormons and the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area to be recognized by the Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition and the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area with the publication of Andreason’s latest addition to his popular series.

Andreason amply tells of the great generation of the nineteenth century pioneers and of the Latter-day Saints,  in Nauvoo to the state capital of Springfield.  Included in this publication are maps, historic photos, Mormon expeditions, descriptive battles, interesting events of his travels, the now famous inns in which Lincoln visited.   Also included in the edition are Brigham Young and various Mormon apostles of the time.
The book also includes colorful and engaging looks at key figures such as Brigham Young, various Mormon apostles, and more. Anyone inspired by Lincoln, as well as Mormon and Illinois history enthusiasts, will appreciate this look back at a long-past, but not forgotten, landscape.

 

Those with any interest in the history of the nineteenth century history, Abraham Lincoln, and Mormon history will sure be pleased with his latest publication.

Legends, Lore, & True Tales in Mormon Country Edited by Monte Bona
Legends, Lore, & True Tales in Mormon Country Edited by Monte Bona

There is another interest that the Looking For Lincoln and the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area have in common, it is the recently published book Legends, Lore& True Tales In Mormon Country.  This insightful book was edited by Monte Bona, Director of the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area.

It contains contributions from authors Christian Probasco, Steven J. Clark, Eileen Hallet Stone, James Nelson, Jack C. Billings, Ed Meyer, Jack Monnet, Jason Friedman, and Shirley Bahlmann. These gifted authors have brought to life the exciting life and times in the Mormon Country.

Interesting and beloved stories of Brigham Young, Hiram Bebee, Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid, Maude Adams, Chief Walkara, Chief Black Hawk , and Zane Grey’s ghost and numerous other stories. This book is a wonderful addition to your library, our family truly enjoys learning between myth or fact in our new home.

These books are a great Christmas gift for all that have an interest in the Mormon Country, and in President Abraham Lincoln.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area “Discovery Road” to air on UEN

MPNHA-Press-Release-Discovery-Road-Hi-Ways-and-Byways

Linda Petersen

Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area

801-554-7513

Email: linda@bpmedia.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 2, 2015

Utah Education Network TV (UEN) will begin airing “Discovery Road,” a series that grew out of a desire to tell the stories of the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area and its people, on Saturday, Oct. 10 at 6 p.m. UEN broadcasts on Channel 9 in most parts of Utah.

Conceived in 2012, “Discovery Road” is an ongoing series of half hour shows featuring a ‘55 Pontiac affectionately named “Love Me Tender,” which hosts James Nelson and Maryda Nicole Gallo drive along U.S. Highway 89, All-American Road State Route 12 and Scenic Byway State Route 24.

Using music, storytellers and the characters in the communities along the way, the hosts present the history, scenery and culture of the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area in an entertaining and educational manner. “

The whole idea behind the show is to get people to do what they used to do on Sunday afternoons — take a drive,” said MPNHA Executive Director Monte Bona.

UEN-TV Program Manager Kyle Anderson said “Discovery Road” is a great fit for the station. “At UEN our main purpose is to reach to the statewide community,” he said. “Discovery Road is a good local resource with a lot of good stories about Utah and Utah history. It’s very well done and entertaining.”

James Nelson and M. Nicole Gallo driving “Love Me Tender”, a ‘55 Pontiac, outside Spring City on Heritage Day.

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The show’s times lot at 6 p.m. on Saturdays is great for people who are coming in from the outdoors and want to be both educated and entertained, Anderson said.

October schedule: Oct 10, 6 p.m. “Don’t Let Them Be Forgotten”

This episode tracks the Blackham family, who were barely subsisting working in the cotton mills of England’s industrial revolution in the latter 1800s, to joining the LDS church and migrating to Sanpete County. They paved the way for current-day descendents, who are farmers, att orneys, business leaders, musicians, teachers, and politi cians, including present-day mayors of two Sanpete cities.

Oct 17, 6 p.m. “Music Is the Reason”

Welsh pioneers to Zion were sent to Sanpete County to develop a “Coal Bed” (the original name of Wales Town in Sanpete County), bringing with them their native gift of music. The coal ran out, but these musical miners produced both the world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Osmond Family, to name just two.

Oct 24, 6 p.m. “The Heritage Experience”

A busload of travel writers heads north from Zion’s National Park along Heritage Highway 89, visiting historic stops along the way, including Mom’s Café in Salina and Clarion, the short-lived Jewish settlement west of Centerfield.

Oct 31, 6 p.m. “Mormon Trail: Black Experience”

Returned Mormon missionary Marcus Ewell discovers his family history includes an ancestor who served in the Mormon Batt alion and another who traveled the Mormon trail. The Discovery Road crew visits Marti ns Cove, Winter Quarters and many other places on their journey to the past. As the visit to yesterday plays out along the trail, a mystery unfolds about who might have been with the Ewell family every step of the way.

**Upcoming shows:

Nov. 7 Mormon Trail – The Forgotten Ones

Nov. 14 Mormon Trail – The Disabled Ones

Nov. 21 Nati ve Americans and Sacred Water

Nov. 28 Filmmakers Shootout in Kane County

Dec. 5 Garfi eld County*

Dec. 12 Scandinavian Show*

Dec. 19 The Dreams I Left Behind* Merrill Osmond joins “Discovery Road” as a guest in “Music is the Reason.”

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After airing on Saturdays, each show will air again at noon the following Wednesday.

“Wherever we go while producing Discovery Road episodes people ask where they might be able to see the shows. When we tell them UEN, they nod approval and tell us that’s a place for good programming. We agree. The programming is diverse, educati onal and entertaining. We are delighted to be a part of it,” said Discovery Road Co-host Maryda Nicole Gallo.

In addition to airing on UEN, “Discovery Road” is running on several stations in central and southern Utah, including CentraCom Interactive’s Channel 10, Manti Telecommunications’ Channel 3 and KTTA in Monroe.

Interested viewers may find out how to access UEN-TV at http://www.uen.org/tv/translators/

*December programming is tentative as Discovery Road has several more episodes in production which may take the place of currently scheduled shows.

** Descriptions of these episodes may be found on the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area, www.mormonpioneerheritage.org/discovery-road-videos.

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About the MPNHA:

The Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area is a federally designated area of central and southern Utah running along the beautiful and historic U.S. Highway 89 — including the All-American Road Utah State Route 12, and Capitol Reef Scenic Byway Utah State Route 24, which both intersect with U.S. 89 and together form the MPNHA’s Boulder Loop. The area includes the counties of Sanpete, Sevier, Piute, Wayne, Garfield and Kane.

About UEN: The Utah Education Network was established more than 20 years ago by the Utah State Legislature to coordinate telecommunications technology for public and higher education. UEN infrastructure serves public education, higher education, applied technology, libraries, government, and other public entities by providing networking, application and support services, serving a vital role in anticipating and meeting the educational needs of our state.

The Most Beautiful, Charming Small Towns In Utah for 2015

Here Are The Most Beautiful, Charming Small Towns In Utah

Utah has grown by leaps and bounds in the last few decades; once small towns have grown to medium-sized ones (at least by Utah standards). Of course, you can still find many beautiful little towns across the state. This list isn’t meant to be a “Best Of.” It’s simply a list of a few small towns we think are great (in no particular order!). We chose towns with populations between 612 and 5,130, though many residents living in towns with populations of 10,000 or even 20,000 might enjoy that small-town atmosphere.

 

Memorial Day Honoring Family and Traditions

mt. Pleasant Cemetery graves

Memorial Day has always been a family tradition.  No matter where we moved,  we always went to the family cemetery to honor our family.  Decorating the graves was a responsibility my father would say “someday you will take on this responsibility and teach it to your children.”

Well, here we are as grandparents taking our wonderful grandchildren to the graves of family members to honor them.  What I saw this year was a wonderful example of the past and the present.  Grandchildren reverently placing flowers on the graves of family members that are six and seven generations past.

This year there was more joy as we spent the day together talking to the children, telling them stories.  We focused on the living and the funny family stories of the past.  We still missed those who have preceded us, but it was a sweet remembering this year.  What does bring tears to my eyes is the respect, reverence, and the United States flags flying high to honor our fallen military men and women.

Cadets, alumni and volunteers from St. Thomas Academy worked with Fort Snelling National Cemetery staff to put up hundreds of American flags ahead of the Memorial Day weekend,  on Wednesday,  May 21,  2014 . (Pioneer Press: Scott Takushi)
Cadets, alumni and volunteers from St. Thomas Academy worked with Fort Snelling National Cemetery staff to put up hundreds of American flags ahead of the Memorial Day weekend, on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 . (Pioneer Press: Scott Takushi)

There is truly something amazing beyond description that seeing lanes lined with the United States flying.  I am proud to be an American, I am proud that my father was a WWII Veteran.  I am proud that my husband was a Viet Nam Veteran.  I am proud of all those who have offered their lives for the freedom our country represents.  I am proud of those who continue to fight for our freedom, and pray that someday they will all come home.  I pray that we will be able to continue to represent a land of opportunity, one where we all live in peace and in times of peril, there will continue to be brave men and women who feel as deeply as those of past days and take their ranks in the military.

I pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America; and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.

Mt Pleasant flags

I am so grateful that the cemeteries in the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area, no matter how small that they might be, flew the United States of American Flag proudly for those who gave their lives for all that this great nation!

 

Legends, Lore and True Tales in Mormon Country (American Legends) By Monte Bona

 

legends lore and true tales in mormon country

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monte Bona, along with the collaborative efforts of talented professionals have given us an authentic view of those brave men, women and children who left their homes, family, wealth, and country to establish the communities in South Central Utah.

The powerful stories of the early settlers in the region that is now identified by the Congressional designation as the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area, are touching, informative, and compelling

These pioneers certainly left a legacy that illustrates a structure that was steeped in  codes of conduct, traditions, and  principles that everyone embraced for the sole purpose of succeeding in a somewhat hostile environment.  Their stories come to life as you read of their inventiveness, cooperation,  conscientiousness, and pure resilience.     You will also be moved stories of with miracles that occurred..

Many may be interested to learn that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormons were not the only secular group that assisted with the settling  of Utah.   Jewish settlements, and contributions of a Presbyterian Minister, were instrumental.   There were great sacrifices, large doses of humility, and traditional morals that were all combined to make their efforts a true success.

I have a great appreciation for the time intensive work completed by Monte Bona that has gone into producing Legends, Lore and True Tales in Mormon Country (American Legends).  It is commendable that such an undertaking has been made to tell their stories. What a great job he has done!

The pictures are an added bonus, they help to recreate the trials, tribulations and the triumphs of  the early pioneers.  Mr. Bona has done a tremendous job in compiling this must have book for those who seek to find their family history, and a great resource for future generations.  Without a doubt this is a book that you will read, reread, share, and  retell the stories, legends, lore and true tales to everyone.  I highly recommend this book to all who seek the true tales in Mormon Country.

 

Native American presence in the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area – Press Release 12/31/14

December 30, 2014

For immediate release

WHAT: Native American presence in the MPNHA.

WHEN: Deadline not specified

WHERE: Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area

CONTACT: Monte Bona, MPNHA Exec. Director – (801) 699-5065

EMAIL: montebona@hotmail.com

WEBSITE: http://www.mormonpioneerheritage.org, www.uen.org.

FACEBOOK: Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area

Native American Heritage and Presence

By: Steven J. Clark

Richfield, UT: A trip down the Mormon Pioneer Heritage Highway (U.S. Hwy 89) not only puts travelers in touch with rural settings that harken back to the earliest days of our pioneer roots, but also allows travelers a brush with history that extends much farther back.

Monte Bona, Executive Director of the MPNHA, says that the Highway 89 corridor is home to a rich Native American history, dating back thousands of years. “We want to view the Native American influence in the MPNHA not just in its historical context,” Bona said, “but also in the context of how their culture and traditions contribute to our society today.”

Fairview Museum, Fairview Utah, Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area

Just one block east of Highway 89, at Fairview, UT, is the Fairview Museum that houses, among other things, the huge skeleton of a prehistoric Mammoth, found during the excavation of Huntington Reservoir. The skeleton is the centerpiece of the museum, but in the surrounding halls is one of the state’s best collections of pictures and artifacts detailing the presence of a significant population of Native Americans, primarily Paiutes, in Sanpete Valley.

Native American Fremont Tribe Pit House Entry Utah Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area

Further south, the Sevier Valley has both an ancient and a modern Native American history. The ancient part is preserved at the Fremont Indian State Park, located on Interstate 70, a few miles west of the Highway 89 turnoff to Panguitch. The museum houses artifacts and presents displays of the ancient Fremont’s living conditions, while the park’s hiking trails lead to preserved petroglyphs and the ruins of ancient building structures. Fremonts are thought to have inhabited the area at approximately the same time the Anasazi cultures flourished further south and east in Arizona and New Mexico.

Sevier Valley’s contemporary Indian history is reflected by the presence of the Koosharem Band of Paiute Indians, who occupy two communities in the county. The first is a collection of homes found right in the heart of Richfield City. Were it not for the sign on the east side of North Main Street that declares the presence of a small, subdivision-size reservation, few would even know of its presence.

Travelers on Interstate 70 at Joseph, UT see a collection of seven or eight homes on the west side of the freeway and assume it’s just a far-flung subdivision someone from Joseph decided to develop. But it’s actually reservation land, and the homes are occupied by Koosharem Band Paiute families.

Mystic Hot Springs Monroe, Utah Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area

There are special places near the town of Monroe, in Sevier County, where hot mineral water bubbles out of the ground. They are marked from a distance by the yellow and gold colored soil and rocks that show the mineral traces left by the hot springs over millennia. One spring is commercially developed and calls itself Mystic Hot Springs. The other is only slightly developed, with soaking tubs and a fire pit.

Historians say that prehistoric Indians considered the unique water features to be sacred, as evidenced by the rock art, artifacts and ruins found in the area. In more modern times, Mormon pioneers used the water for soaking pools, with many users claiming that the water had special healing properties.

According to Bona, the MPNHA, is consulting with Native Americans in the area regarding the organization’s intent to develop an interpretive center at one of the hot springs. “Native Americans used these hot springs long before Mormon pioneers arrived,” he said. “We want to be sure we treat them with the dignity and respect they deserve, not just from our viewpoint, but also from theirs.”

At the extreme southern end of the MPNHA, Highway 89 Alt, brushes past the Kaibab Paiute Band Reservation at Kanab, Utah’s sister city, Freedonia, AZ, while the regular Highway 89 route through Page, AZ, crosses into to the vast Navajo reservation and skirts the Hopi reservation that is completely surrounded by the Navajo homeland.

Bona says that he hopes the MPNHA signs placed along Highway 89 will put travelers in mind of the fact that there is not just a Mormon pioneer history in the area, but also an important native peoples’ history as well.

(Uncropped, unenhanced images are available upon request in electronic format (.jpeg)). MPNHA is if federally recognized, non-profit organization dedicated to education and historic preservation within the MPNHA)

Pioneer Day ‘Birthday Bash’ Celebrates Mt. Pleasant’s Founding Fathers and U.S. Highway 89 Designation

DATE 03/13/2007 12:41 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Pioneer Day ‘Birthday Bash’ Celebrates Mt. Pleasant’s Founding Fathers
and U.S. Highway 89 Designation

Mt. Pleasant City is throwing a party March 24 for its founding fathers and to celebrate the designation of U.S. Highway 89 as a national historical designation.

“Every year, we honor the people who made this city what it is today with a special Pioneer Day luncheon,” says Joann Winward, a member of the Mt. Pleasant Historical Association, which sponsors the annual event.

“This year, we have another thing to celebrate: the passage of the National Mormon Pioneer Heritage area, which recognizes the historical significance and heritage of U.S. Highway 89. So we decided to make the highway the theme of this year’s party.”

The theme of the luncheon is “Keep on Truckin’ Down U.S. Highway 89.” The event starts at 11 a.m. with a box lunch at at noon at the South Ward “Yellow Church,” 295 S. State Street in Mt. Pleasant.

U.S. Highway 89 has a rich history in Sanpete County, Winward says. It was the route the region’s early settlers used in 1860 to take cattle for the winter to Sevier Valley. In 1862, oats were delivered to Ruby Valley by wagons and oxen teams via this route, and it soon became the main road for mail delivery.

In July of 1861, Brigham Young authorized spending $4,000 from tithing funds to complete U.S. Highway 89 so that it ran from Sanpete County to Spanish Fork, and it officially opened to the public in 1882.

Today, the cities and towns in the six-county area are the best remaining example of how Mormon pioneers colonized the west. A bill establishing the National Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area was signed into law by President George W. Bush last fall. Many local residents spent years working on the measure and even helped draft the original bill.

The national designation recognizes the history, architecture and culture along “the heritage highway,” and includes U.S. Highway 89 from Fairview to Kanab, the Boulder Loop (state highways 12 and 24), the All-American Road (highway 12) and the six counties through which the route passes: Sanpete, Sevier, Piute, Wayne, Garfield and Kane.

“In my time, boys could hitch hike along U.S. Highway 89 to visit girls in the surrounding towns of Fairview and Spring City,” Winward says. “By the time we graduated form high school, we would ‘drag’ the highway in our cars.”

People are invited to swap stories about the highway, and the region’s history in general, during the Pioneer Day luncheon. The event will also include a reception, silent auction, bake sale, and musical performances by the Snow College L.D. Singers. Cost for the box lunch is $7. There will also be copies of Mt. Pleasant history books for purchase.

“There is a little bit of something for everyone,” Winward says. “It’s a way for us to honor the pioneers who settled the area. We invite anyone who has ever lived in Mt. Pleasant to attend, and anyone who is interested in Mt. Pleasant to attend.”

The annual celebratory lunch is one of the two main programs supported by the Mt. Pleasant Historical Association. The group also looks after Relic House, a museum that displays relics ranging from pioneer quilts and clothing to blacksmith shop tools and equipment. Relic House was one of the first homes in Mt. Pleasant to be built outside of the fort that housed the area’s first settlers. It was built by William S. Seely, who was the first LDS bishop and also the town’s first mayor.

Mt. Pleasant City was officially founded in 1859. Nearly two-thirds of the city’s earliest settlers were Scandinavian pioneers who immigrated to Utah from Canada, the United States and England.

# # #

For more information Contact:

Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

Six Public Meetings Scheduled For The Central Utah Area Wildfire Protection Plan

DATE 102/20/2006 7:15 AMFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Six Public Meetings Scheduled For The Central Utah Area
Wildfire Protection Plan

Salt Lake City, UTAH …
Six public meetings have been scheduled for the Central Utah area Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). The regional plan, which encompasses Juab, Millard, Piute, Sanpete, Sevier, and Wayne counties, will provide an overview of the wildfire risk in Central Utah and the framework for future county and local planning efforts to protect human life and reduce property loss due to wildfire. The goal of the meetings is to offer an opportunity for the public to review the draft risk assessment and identify those places and natural areas that are of special value to the community.

“The meetings provide an opportunity for the public to learn about wildfire risks and to help us identify which areas need additional planning efforts,” said Fred Johnson, Central Utah area fire management officer, “Identifying the focus of public concern will help us prioritize future plans.”

Meetings are scheduled in Central Utah county seats as follows: Fillmore-October 25, Nephi-October 26, Junction-November 1, Loa-November 2, Manti-November 8 and Richfield-November 9. The meetings will be held at the County Courthouse, with the exception of Richfield, which will be held at Snow College. Each meeting will begin at 6:00 P.M.

For more information on the plan, the public meeting schedule and agenda, or to fill out a comment form online, go to www.UtahFireInfo.gov

# # #

For more information Contact:

Janet Guinn
Project Coordinator
SWCA Environmental Consultants
257 East 200 South,
Suite 200 SLC, UT 84111

801-322-4307

President Signs Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area Bill

DATE 10/19/2006 7:15 AMFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

President Signs Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area Bill

A bill establishing the National Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area has been signed into law by President George W. Bush.

“I’m extremely pleased that after years of moving this bill through the legislative process President Bush has signed the National Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area into law,” said Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, who sponsored legislation to create the heritage area. “This is a fitting tribute to Utah’s pioneers and one that will help promote economic development and preserve our unique heritage for future generations.”

The national designation recognizes the history, architecture and culture along “the heritage highway,” and includes U.S. Highway 89 from Fairview to Kanab, the Boulder Loop (state highways 12 and 24), the All-American Road (highway 12) and the six counties through which the route passes: Sanpete, Sevier, Piute, Wayne, Garfield and Kane.

Many local residents, including Monte Bona, executive director of the Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance, and Gary Anderson of Utah State University’s Extension, spent years working on the measure and Bona even helped draft the original bill. Bona called Bush’s signing “An important and historic event. It’s very rewarding to see the Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area officially established.” The initiative underwent several renditions in the past six years and survived three sessions of Congress.

Bona says that the cities and towns in the six-county area are the best remaining example of how Mormon pioneers colonized the west. “The heritage area includes countless examples of rich cultural and architectural history shaped by the early settlers,” he says.

The bill specified that up to $10 million may be spent on development of the heritage area, including activities such as historic preservation of buildings and signage, but no more than $1 million per year. Funds are matched on a 50 per cent basis.

# # #

For more information Contact:

Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area Bill Approved

DATE 07/28/2006 7:15 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area Bill Approved

Call it serendipity. As Utah was celebrating it’s heritage on Monday, July 24, with Pioneer Day celebrations, the U.S. House of Representatives was passing a bill establishing the National Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area.

The national designation recognizes the history, architecture and culture along “the heritage highway,” and includes U.S. Highway 89 from Fairview to Kanab, the Boulder Loop (state highways 12 and 24), the All-American Road (highway 12) and the six counties through which the route passes: Sanpete, Sevier, Piute, Wayne, Garfield and Kane.

For many Sanpete County residents, the bill’s passage was indeed a historic event. People like Mt. Pleasant’s Monte Bona, executive director of the Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance, and Gary Anderson of Utah State University’s Extension, have spent years working on the measure and Bona even helped draft the original bill.

“It’s very rewarding that the bill establishing the Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area was finally approved, and the fact that it happened on Pioneer Day makes it an even more momentous,” says Bona. The bill underwent several renditions in the past six years and survived three sessions of Congress. “Now we can really move forward to honor our pioneer heritage,” he says.

Bona says that the cities and towns in the six-county area are the best remaining example of how Mormon pioneers colonized the west. “The heritage area includes countless examples of rich cultural and architectural history shaped by the early settlers,” he says.

Bennett also expressed joy over the bill’s approval, saying it will mean increased economic opportunities for many Utah communities along Highway 89, as well as heightened recognition “of the remarkable and inspiring stories of the Mormon pioneers.”

There are 27 such designated areas in the country. Traditionally, areas that attain national heritage designation enhance their heritage tourism opportunities.

The bill specified that up to $10 million may be spent on development of the heritage area, including activities such as historic preservation of buildings and signage, but no more than $1 million per year. Funds are matched on a 50 per cent basis.

A management plan must be written and submitted to the U.S. Department of Interior before major projects are started, Bona says. The Heritage Highway 89 Alliance will be working to forge partnerships with local governments, businesses and private organizations to achieve the goals of the heritage bill.

The bill, which whose chief sponsor was Sen. Bob Bennett, passed the Senate last July, now goes to the president for signature. Rep. Chris Cannon helped see the bill through the House.
# # #

For more information Contact:

Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

New Loan Program Opens Doors for New B&B, Other Projects in Rural Utah

DATE 10/28/2005 11:38 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

New Loan Program Opens Doors for New B&B, Other Projects in Rural Utah

The opening of the Slot Canyons Inn, a new bed and breakfast in Escalante, was a significant event on many fronts. Not only did it fulfill a life-long dream for owners Jeff and Joette Marie Rex, it’s also another indicator that Utah’s small towns are increasingly becoming tourist destinations. In addition, the new inn is an example of how a new, unique loan program is helping rural areas.

The Slot Canyons Inn was supported by the new “One-Doc” program, a simplified loan guarantee program designed to assist lenders making business and commercial loans in rural areas. It’s is financed through a combination of U.S. Department of Agriculture Funding, Utah Business Lending and the Five County Association of Government’s Revolving Loan Fund.

“This is an unusual pairing of three lenders on the front end of a project,” says Gordon Holt, president of the Utah Business Lending Corporation. The One-Doc program reduces some of the risk to make a rural loan because the USDA can guarantee loans up to 90 percent.

“It allow lenders to make more rural loans because the guarantees do not count against the lender’s lending limit,” Holt says. The loans are for construction of business buildings, business acquisitions, purchase of machinery and equipment, remodeling projects and working capital.

The Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance and Utah State Extension Service are working closely with Holt’s organization to identify businesses in Sanpete, Sevier, Piute, Wayne, Garfield and Kane Counties that might benefit from the program.

“In particular, this program will help Sen. Robert Bennett in his efforts to assist businesses along U.S. Highway 89 through the creation of a national Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area,” says Monte Bona, a member of the highway alliance. The designation would mean that the six counties involved would receive funds for projects designed to retain and enhance the area’s natural beauty and promote heritage tourism. Heritage tourism is known as one of the fastest-growing segment in the tourism industry in America.

The Slots Inn is a perfect example. The new bed and breakfast incorporates the area’s history, heritage and natural beauty. The Inn is surrounded by Monument, Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands. It’s 40 miles from Bryce Canyon, the Dixie National Forest is adjacent to the property, and the Aquarius Plateau, the highest plateau in North America, is located 17 miles above. Three major canyons, the Escalante River and North Creek also come together at the site. “We have wanted to develop this 160-acre parcel of land since we purchased it several years ago,” says owner Jeff Rex.

“We believe this spot is unique to Southern Utah and have chosen to build an eight-room Pueblo-style inn to fit with the significance of the site,” he says. A 110-year-old pioneer cabin built by Isaac Riddle and rebuilt in 1999 will also become part of the guest accommodations.

For more information about the loan program, contact Gordon Holt at Utah Business Lending, (801) 654-2213.

# # #

For more information Contact:

Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

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