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

Friday, July 29, 2016

"So You Are the Lucky One" - Sink Valley (Day 17)

September 17 - 18, 2015

September 18, 1884 - Meadow (Asay Creek ?) to Sink Valley

Day 17 of 44 - Week 3
Meadow (Asay Creek ?) to Sink Valley = 20 Miles: Total Miles = 330 Miles
Total Trip Average Miles per Day = 19.4: Average Miles per Day - Week 3 = 15.8*
*During this week (except for Sunday where they didn't travel) they have averaged about 20 miles per day. 

Original Journal Entry
Thursday Sep 18 Found our horses all right - hitched up drove up on the Summit - nooned in a fine meadow - hitched up and drove down through the canyons Heber J. Grant and John W Young pased us they were going to Orderville - We drove to Sink valley - turned out in an open pasture drove 20 miles.

Final Journal Entry
Thursday Sept. 18th.  Drove up to the summit  - nooned in a fine meadow - afternoon drove down the canyon.  Heber J. Grant and John W. Young Passed us, they were going to Orderville.  Heber J. Grant said to me "So you are the lucky one" to be called on that mission.  We drove to Sink Valley, turned out in a pasture, traveled 20 miles.

Note: This is one of the longer longest journal entries so far

Summit (Long Valley Junction)

Just before the Summit enter Kane County

There was a place for gas as well
The Summit is a place to noon for the traveler today.

A Place to Noon

Did they noon near mp 103?
They nooned "in a fine meadow"

Heber J. Grant and Joseph W. Young passed them going to Orderville

General area where Heber J. Grant passed the Anderson
family - probably between mp 99 and mp 103.
They probably passed shortly after the Anderson family nooned before they turned off the main road for Alton (which didn't exist at that time) to Sink Valley.  This would be between mp 103 and 99. The Grant party were on their way to Orderville, about 13 miles away. (See research tips - they went to Upper Kanab first before going to Orderville)

Heber J. Grant was on a two week swing through southern Utah where conferences were held.  They expected the meetings at Orderville would be difficult.  He called "Upon the people to express their feelings freely as to whether they wished to continue in the United Order or not."  The issue was resolved peacefully and by a unanimous vote.  He said "My mission to Orderville will always be one of the events in my life which I can recall with feelings of satisfaction and pleasure." Heber J. Grant by Francis M. Gibbons (pg 64-66)
Heber J. Grant

John W. Young
Brigham Young, Jr

The Journal of Charles P Anderson said John W. Young accompanied him, but Francis M. Gibbons said it was Brigham Young Jr. who was with him.   Who was it? (see research tips below).  Both were sons of Brigham Young. 

Heber J. Grant born the same year as Charles P. Anderson (1856)  Heber J. Grant was called to be the Stake President of the Tooele Stake at the age of 23 while Charles still lived in Grantsville.  President Grant said at the time: "I was without experience, and I felt mightily my weakness."  Heber J. Grant thought at the time he would stay in Tooele all the days of his life, but at the age of 26 was called to be an Apostle. He was an Apostle when he passed Charles on the road and said: "So you are the lucky one," to be called on that mission.
In The Journal of Charles P. Anderson is a letter from President Grant (Journal pg. 4). He also wrote about being present at the meeting where Heber J. Grant was chosen to be Stake President.  


The Anderson family went through the area called Alton today.  It was not a town until 1908.

mp 99 is where you turn to go to Alton
The sign for Alton
"Welcome to Alton"
sign abt 3 miles from junction
Jonathan Heaton, who became known as "the father of Alton," owned the land known as Oak Flats.  He hired Lysander Porter to survey the land into nine ten-acre blocks, dividing each into four lots or thirty-six two-acre lots.  Jonathan donated the central block for the community's town square.  The first house in town came in the winter of 1907 when James Glover moved his Sink Valley ranch house three miles up the valley into the newly established town site.  Ira Heaton built the first new home in 1908.

The town of Alton was named after a Norwegian fjord town that had similar severe winters and high altitude.  Alton was dedicated by Apostle Francis M. Lyman in the newly completed one room school house on Saturday, September 1, 1908.  The information came from this source.  

A "Stop" sign in Alton

Sage Grouse sign about 4 miles from junction on road to Sink Valley

Sink Valley -  Sage Grouse or Coal Mining?

Sink Valley is about three miles southwest of Alton at the head of Sink Valley Wash.   The valley is a partially enclosed area that is about two miles in diameter.

Times have changed.  When the Anderson family came through here they "turned out in an open pasture."  Their main concern was rest and nourishment for themselves and their animals.  Today the concern in the area is whether to allow coal mining which might threaten the very existence of the sage grouse.

Federal officials say a move by Alton Coal onto 3,600 acres controlled by the Interior Department could decimate the tiny population of sage grouse there.  State officials say the mine's growth would create sorely needed jobs, with displaced sage grouse easily flying to another spot nearby.  More can be read about this controversy here.  Also an article called "Alton an Sink Valley Sage-grouse Monitoring can be read" here
Mining Coal
Sage Grouse
MY main concern in driving through here were the detours.  I had to estimate the driving mileage through here for the post and the next one because of the detours around the coal mining areas

detour around sink valley road where coal is being mined

Was Charles Anderson mentioned in Heber J. Grant's Diary on September 18, 1884?

If you didn't know already, sometimes I want too many details.  I discovered Heber J. Grant kept a diary so I wondered if Charles P. Anderson could have been mentioned in his diary on September 18, 1884 since he spoke to Charles.  Also was interested in any details about Heber J. Grant during that time period.

 I visited the Church History Library to request permission to see the diaries.  I filled out a request form and felt very fortunate to receive the response below the very next day!

So Charles P Anderson was not mentioned here in Heber J. Grant's Diary.  At least I know. However, after his party passed Charles P Anderson, they went to Upper Kanab (near Alton).  The next morning at 4:30 AM, they left Upper Kanab and arrived at Orderville.  About a week later,  September 24, Heber J Grant mentions traveling to Upper Kanab with President E. D. Woolley and spending the next day reading and writing.  In 1882 E D. Woolley had moved to Upper Kanab to manage a church-owned cattle ranch.  In 1884 E. D. Woolley became the President of the Kanab Stake.  It was likely E.D. Woolley's father who was Bishop of the 13th Ward in Salt Lake City and whose barn a young Heber J. Grant threw the baseball at to strengthen his arm.  

Another questions was answered from this request.  On Sept 22 and 23.  "President Grant she he and John Young were there to assist them in doing whatever the people desired."  So Charles P. Anderson was right   It was John Young and not Brigham Young Jr. who accompanied Heber J. Grant on this trip (see pictures above)

The google map is right on.  It says 21 miles, and if you go to 110 one more mile further (see Day 16) , the mileage would come out to 21 miles exactly (hp 131-110) as they may have camped at mp 110 a mile from Asay Creek? I will look at this a little closer on my next trip to that area.  This is not an exact science due to rounding to nearest miles, and route change between 1884 and today.  That map for this day says 21 miles, but if they came one mile further from Asay Creek to mp 110, then it would be exactly 20 miles, which is what Charles said they travelled this day.

When you drive through Johnson Canyon today,  you can quickly see why Hollywood used this beautiful canyon as a backdrop for several movies.

But in 1884 the Anderson family were not so interested in the scenery.  Their journey through here was not pleasant.  The long 26 mile trip from Sink Valley to Johnson presented many challenges.

1 comment:

  1. I can't imagine how hard it must have been for them traveling through these areas. I always wonder how often they encountered rattlesnakes and other such critters.

    Like you, I like the details because they allow me to really imagine how it might have been for them and it's the details that make it interesting. As always, an interesting post.