DAYS 25-28 ......................................................................................................................................................... FROM LEES FERRY TO NEARLY TO CEDAR RIDGE

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Eggs and Mom's Cafe - Salina (Day 9)

Eggs Were Purchased In Gunnison

September 10, 1884 - Fayette to Gunnison (nooned) and Salina
Day 9 of 44 - (Week 2)
Fayette to Salina* = 22 Miles (Trip Total = 188 Miles)
Total Trip Average Miles Per Day = 20.9;  Average Miles per Day - Week 2 = 22.3  
*two miles South of Salina camped by river 

September 10 - 11, 1884
September 9 - 10, 1884

Original Journal
"We left Fayette went 5 miles Gunnison bought some eggs - went into the field turned out our teams.  Most of the grain not cut then we went to Salina which is a very salty place, from which it has derived its name, went to the river two miles from Salina and camped turned out our teams, on good feed - traveled 22 miles that day."

Final Journal Entry
"went 5 miles to Gunnison, bought some eggs, noon in the field, then to Salina for night, a very salty place.  Camped by the river south of Salina 22 miles from Fayette."

Gunnison and Eggs
Back on Hwy 89
Went to Gunnison from Fayette and bought eggs

Nooning in the Field
Nooned in a field - Centerfield ?
Centerfield today is next to Gunnison

From Sanpete County to Sevier County

Highway 89 to Highway 70
(Highways 24 and 118) Detail on Map

Redmond just before Salina

From Eggs to Coconut Cream Pie
Nothing better than homemade coconut cream pie
I can have eggs for breakfast
My favorite place to noon
posted on their Facebook page


The Sevier River was 2 miles south of Salina
The Andersons camped at the Sevier River

A Map of the Day

Google Maps and Research Tips

According to google from the corner of West Main and North State in Salina it is 1.8 Miles to the spot marked on this map near the Salina River. 2.0 Miles could mean anything over 1.5 Miles to 2.4 Miles due to rounding so this is a middle spot just barely on the other side of the river.  So they did camp "by the river" probably close to where the map shows.  They traveled 22 miles from Fayette so due to rounding the map could be off slightly, but we really don't know the exact path they took then.  Close enough for me.  I would say the odds are they camped on the South side of the river, but you could argue otherwise.

"Every family has a story that it tells itself, that it passes on to the children and grandchildren.  The story grows over the years, mutates, some parts are sharpened, others dropped, and there is often debate about what really happened.  But even with these different sides of the same story, there is still agreement that this is the family story.   A. M. Homes

The next post will help illustrate this quote by A. M. Homes.

When I was looking for "Cedar Ridge" where the Anderson's will noon tomorrow, I could not find a town by that name.   It made my day when I found a place with a sign that said "Cedar Ridge Station," and something on the door caught my attention..  In thinking about the next blog my mind could not help but wander.  If you grew up in St. Johns, I'm sure you will remember a St. Johns tradition.  Did it start at "Cedar Ridge"?  :-)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Palmer House - Fayette (Day 8)

The Palmer House
September 9, 1884 - Levan to Little Salt Creek (nooned) and Fayette
Day 8 of 44 - (Week 2)
 Levan to Fayette = 26 Miles (Trip Total = 166 Miles)
Total Trip Average Miles Per Day = 20.8: Average Miles Per Day - Week 2 = 22.5

September 9-10, 1884
September 8-9, 1884

The purpose of this blog is to take us through territory we are aware of now with a late 1800's perspective.  It is the same route my great grandparents, Charles and Anna Anderson, followed in 1884 from Grantsville, Utah to St. Johns, Arizona. Although this journey is about them, I hope the readers won't mind when I insert my experience in finding out about their journey.  It is my desire that in doing this, the reader may also find clues to researching their own family history. 

Original Journal Entry
"It rained, and was very muddy.  we went to Little Salt Creek, filled our barrals - went out a
waze on the prairie made a dry camp - then went to Warm Creek (Fayette) 26 miles from Levan paid 40 cts a span for feed at the Palmer House.  We got to the Sevier River 5 miles north of Fayette. It was very cold the ground was white in the morning and snow on the mountains."  

Note: 40 cts a span was the most they paid for feed on the trip with the exception of Lee's ferry where it was $1.00 per span.  They had paid near Mona (30c) and  at Levan (35c).  I like to compare filling up the animals then with feed to filling up the car now with gas. Both were vital for the journey to continue.  

Final Journal Entry
"it rained and was very muddy, we went to Little Salt Creek, filled our barrels, made a dry camp for noon, then went to Warm Creek (Fayette).  Paid 40c per span - very cold and frosty.  Traveled 26 miles."

No big story today, but for me it was exciting to actually find Little Salt Creek and The Palmer House.  I didn't think I would find either when I began.

Little Salt Creek

Turn left near this house when you are going South
to go to Little Salt Creek
Road to Little Salt Creek up the canyon

Turn left (going south) at this sign to go up
Little Salt Creek

Little Salt Creek was a difficult place to locate.  It is six miles South of Levan. This is where they filled their barrels.  They made a "dry camp" which means they suffered for water and green feed.  But they had water in their barrels for drinking and cooking.  Judging by the miles they did not go up the canyon to the head of the creek, but filled their barrels near the road and made a "dry camp" nearby.

Watch for these signs on both sides of the road.
This is where the creek ran and was likely
close to the wagon trail (SP 22-23)
They probably stopped near here on the road
where the creek ran to fill their barrels rather
 than going up the canyon for water
(SP 22-23)


  From Little Salt Creek they traveled to Fayette, Utah

Fayette was named Warm Creek first

Fayette--See History of Fayette
The name was changed from Warm Creek
to Fayette, honoring the place where the
LDS Church was first organized.

Palmer House
The Palmer House (pg 2) was a large adobe house (at that time) at the north end of Fayette.  It was at this place the stagecoach and Pony Express stopped.  Additional information on the Palmer House can be found in this book by James Rodney Lundwall

Google maps show if you go to the designated spot of Little Salt Creek, it is 42.2 Miles from Levan to Fayette.  The Journal showed the distance to be 26 Miles. If you deduct the 17.0 Miles to and from Little Salt Creek on the map, the distance becomes 25.2 Miles.  This suggests they were able to fill their barrels near the trail and did not go to the spot designated on the map which would have been out of their way.  Taking into consideration rounding to the closest mile, their mileage for this day was very accurate.

The challenge of this part of the trail was to find Little Salt Creek and the Palmer House.  The edited (typed and available online) journal did not include the Palmer House, but the original journal (posted here) did.  It took time, but the effort was finally rewarded.  I apologize because I can't remember the names of those who assisted me in Fayette to find the Palmer House.  I even forgot to write down the name of the book that recorded the Palmers built this home.  I have to remind myself continually to always record my sources and remember (write down) the names of those who help along the way. I don't know how many times I've been guilty of this.   Now it's so easy just to take out your iPhone and  type what you want to remember.   Fortunately the family who assisted me, copied pictures from their book which are included below.  At least I have something to help prove this was the Palmer House.

List of Owners ("Palmer's built" - bottom)
Palmer House (3rd right) 

Today when we travel, "good" food is a major part of our trip.  We try to find good "nooning" and "camping" places close to eating establishments.  So far nothing has been said about buying food by the people on this journey.  Tomorrow (in their time) an actual food item will be purchased.  What do you think it will be?  Comment if you will.  Don't let the picture below mislead you.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

A Surprise at Burraston Ponds(Mona)- Levan (Day 7)

Levan, Utah photo by Kirt Fairbank

September 8, 1884 - Mona to Nephi (nooned) and Levan
Day 7 of 44 - (Week 2)
Mona to Levan = 19 Miles (Trip Total = 140 Miles)

The purpose of this blog is to take us through territory we are aware of now with a late 1800s perspective.  It is the same route my great grandparents, Charles and Anna Anderson, followed in 1884 from Grantsville, Utah to St. Johns, Arizona. Although this journey is about them, I hope the readers of this blog won't mind when I insert my experience in finding out about their journey.  It is my desire that in doing this, the reader may also find clues to researching their own family history

In this and following posts, the items will be in green which can be clicked to find more information.

September 7 - 9, 1884

Original Journey Entry
"8 Sep. We left Mona traveled 8 miles to Nephi nooned - then traveled 11 miles to Levan camped at Rasmus Sorensons paid 35 cents per span it rained all night."

Final Journal Entry
"Sep. 8.  We left Mona for Nephi - nooned and traveled to Levan by night 19 miles - paid 35c for feed per span, rained all night."

Once again the price per span is mentioned.  This time it went up to 35 cents per span.  According to the inflation calculator  (click) 35 cents in 1884 would be worth $8.17 in 2016. This might buy ice cream for a family, or about three gallons of gas.

It was fun to see the lavender fields in the last post which today are near where the Andersons camped, but it didn't look like that then.  In fact the "news" in 1884 was it had "rained all day" the day before so they "could hardly travel."  Then on this day it had "rained all night," and the next day "it rained," and to say the least, "It was very muddy."  In fact back then there were probably no lavender fields at all.  The scene would have looked more like this:

It rained on September 7, 8, and 9
This certainly doesn't look like a lavender field

The journal doesn't mention Burraston Ponds and the Andersons may not have gone there, but this is historically significant.  It is only about 1/2 mile off the route leaving Mona.

Let's assume it had stopped raining and the area around Burraston Ponds looked more like this.  Of course the plaque had not yet been placed there yet.

I found  Fathers Dominguez and Escalante  were in Spanish Fork September 23, 1776, and here they were four days later. This isn't the last time the Anderson would follow their route. 

Black Hawk who is buried in Spring Lake which the Andersons passed two days ago used this campsite as a meeting place. We will hear about Black Hawk again up the road.

What else I read on the plaque fit right in with the trip I was taking today!

"James Burraston Managed a large cattle operation for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." My surprise came when I read "In 1878, over 1000 head of cattle taken from this ranch, provided funding for the Mormon Church's purchase of what is now Snowflake and St. Johns, Arizona." In 1879 Solomon Barth had agreed to sell land in St. Johns. My Great Grandfather in 1884 WAS ACTUALLY GOING THERE and just over a month later for $25.00 would purchase a city lot from the land possibly originally purchased from the cattle of the ranch near Burraston Ponds! 


Family Fun at Burraston Ponds Today

Perhaps the Andersons nooned near Old Mill Park in Nephi

They camped in Levan at Rasmus Sorensens

Perhaps they passed by this brick home built
 in Levan - 1871

Rasmus Sorensen

 Rasmus Sorensen (1831-1907). Mentioned in the journal. Born in Denmark. After Rasmus returned from a mission to Scandinavia in 1890. He was involved in "creating a campground on his property that fronted a much used highway. He played the accordion and harmonica to .......travelers staying in the campground (Missionaries to Scandinavia (click) -- 1872-1894). It was in what would become his "campground" where the Andersons may have camped  when they passed through Levan.  Later I found out more (see below)

1880 Census showing Rasmus and Mary Ann Sorenson in Levan, Utah

The Google map shows the distance from Mona to Levan as 20 miles.  
It shows Burraston Ponds which is about 1/2 miles off the route, or about a mile round trip to and from the ponds and back to the trail.  This would leave us at 19 miles. The Journal shows 19 miles from Mona to Levan. I'll take that anytime.  

Don't forget to ask the local residents for information

Gaydean's Sweet Art Bakery
15 South Main Street, Mona

A research tip I would include would be to ask the locals what would be of interest to see if they were only going to be in the area half an hour? In Mona there is a place to stop for BYU Creamry ice cream and other treats.  Never a lack of places to noon along this route (and ice cream is always there it seems).  I asked the question and didn't only enjoy a treat, but received very useful information.  I was told to go to Buraston Ponds.  I am glad I made this stop.  It was just off the road, and before I had just driven by it.

Levan - "The Old Store"

In Levan, the locals were also very helpful.  They located a history book of the area. I wanted to ask more questions but did not have the Journal with me at that time, and could not remember the things I needed to know.  If I had been prepared at that time I could have asked if they knew any descendants of Rasmus Sorensen, or where the camping place might have been that "fronted a much used highway."  Perhaps it is still there today. Don't forget to be prepared to ask questions when you stop to "noon" or "camp."  I nearly always find people are more than willing to help.  The name of this store just invites you to ask a question while you are passing through.

Sometimes you have to go back more than once to get what you need.

I had another chance to pass through Levan, and this time I went back to "The Old Store" prepared to ask question about things I had learned about Rasmus Sorensen.  The following book was still in "The Old Store."  I looked through it more carefully this time. 

I saw the map (below). I didn't have time to check the maps in the book closely, but Brent Aagard, the owner of "The Old Store," told me to take the book home.  After I arrived home, I saw the name Mary Ann Sorensen at the very bottom of the map.  She was the wife of Rasmus Sorensen!  The Livery Stable was next to her home, and would have been of use to the travelers as well. The Livery was also owned by the Sorensen Family (Page 2 of Early Settlers of Levan).  I'm not sure what year the map was made.  Perhaps Rasmus was off on his mission to Denmark, or had passed away by that time, but his wife was listed.  It also stands to reason that the camping place would be by the livery.  The above quote that he did have a campground that "fronted a much used highway." was accurate. It was right on Main Street!  The quote said this was after his mission in 1890, but he could have also had it before, and it likely would have been in the same location.  I never expected to find this.  

Bishop Niels Jensen Aagard at the time lived next to the Town Square (it is difficult to see, but Bishop Aagard lived just left of the rectangle on the map marked Town Square). Bishop Aagard was the Great Grandfather of Brent Aagard who so graciously loaned me the book.

Full Map of Early Levan Utah

Close up of the map above showing The Livery Stable and Mary Ann Sorenson home (wife of Rasums Sorenson)

Area of the Livery Stable
Area of Mary Ann and Rasmus Sorenson home
where the Andersons camped`
Grave of Rasmus Sorenson in Levan, Utah

Annie M - first wife of Rasmus Sorenson
"Remember me when you pass by.
As you are now so was I.
As I am now so you must be.
Prepare yourself to follow me.

Note:  See reply below from Amy Archibald:  Amy's 3rd great grandfather, George Henry Pierce moved to Levan in 1868.  This link about her family in familysearch.org is interesting.   From the link I also learned this trivia that "Levan is navel spelled backwards since Levan is very near the center of the state of Utah the name was appropriately given.  I also found a little more history of Levan in another  link

Levan, Utah photo by Kirt Fairbanks
The Journey Continues

Slagtown (not shown):  Fairfield (Day 2) to Levan (Day 7)

The Palmer House - Fayette (Day 8)

I am grateful for my great grandfather's original journal.  It told me of a house I wouldn't have known about.  It is still there today!    I hope he doesn't mind for history's sake that I included it even when he left it out of his revised journal.

Palmer House


Kathryn Sorbe - present owner of the Sorensen Home
After I had published this post, I had the opportunity to go through Levan again.  This time I  when the present owner, Kathryn Sorbe was home.  She does not usually live here so I was very fortunate to catch her.  Kathryn spent her childhood in this home and remembered it was purchased from the Sorensen Family, and the livery was next door.  Had a nice visit with a great lady who is serving in St. George as a missionary and is a retired High School teacher.  We even talked about which trees might have been there in 1884.  Thank You Kathryn for taking time to visit with me with I was just passing through on my way to Arizona.  I feel now I have come full circle from the time my ancestors were here in 1884 and probably met Rasmus Sorensen to when I passed by and met Kathryn Sorbe in 2016.