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

Friday, September 2, 2016

Reconstructing the View near Jacob's Pool (Day 22)

September 23, 1884 - (near) Jacob's Pools to Soap Creek

Day 22 of 44 - Week 4 (Day 3)
(near) Jacob's Pool to Jacob's Pool to Prairie (nooned) to Soap Creek = 15 Miles: Total Miles = 423
Total Trip Average Miles per Day =  19.2 : Average Miles per Day - Week 4 =  17.3 Miles

September 23 - 24
September 21 - 23

Original Journal Entry (posted above)
23 Hitched up drove 3 miles to Jacob's Pools very sandy - filled our barrals and drove out on the prairie - nooned very sandy - drove to Soap Creek - arrived after dark.  Teams nearly "give out." road very sandy came 12 miles from J. Pools.  Turned the horses up the canyon no feed.

Sep 23.  Drove 3 miles to Jacobs Pools - very sandy, filled our barrels and drove out on the prairie - nooned - very sandy, drove to Soap Creek, arrived after dark.  Teams very tired - road very sandy.  Came 12 miles from Jacobs Pools - turned horses up the canyon - no feed.

Note on Jacob's Pool:  I've seen it written both as Jacob's Pool and Jacob's Pools.  Also mention is made of Rachel's Pool.  I believe it was first named Jacob's Pools after Jacob Hamblin.  Later John D. Lee purchased the property.  He may have called it Rachel's Pool or Pools after his wife Rachel.  

Note on the route taken:  This blog will follow the route taken today following Highway 89A and the dirt road off it between mileposts 557 and 558.  It is not possible to know where they camped the day, before, or where they nooned on the prairie going toward Soap Creek on this day.  

Yesterday the Anderson family camped three miles from Jacob's Pool in a very sandy area.  Today they would noon east of Jacob's Pool on the prairie at another very sandy place.  Perhaps those areas appeared like those located near the signs below.  Both of these very sandy places would not be far from where the Dominguez-Escalante Expedition halted on October 25, 1776, or where the abandoned stone house next to an old corral is located.  Of course the monuments or stone house were not there in 1884.

Dominguez-Escalante San Bartolome Campsite

The road that leads to Jacob's Pools is three-tenths of a mile past milepost 557, which is approximately a half mile east of the San Bartholomew Historic Marker and the Dominguez-Esalante commemorative sign. In several places on the trail to Arizona the Anderson family followed the Dominguez-Escalante route of over 100 years earlier.  I have been on the road just east of the monument in my car and can say that I didn't go all the way to the stone house in (described below) my car because it was very sandy.

The same year (p130) Congress endorsed the Declatation of Independence, a party of twenty explorers set off from Santa Fe, the capital of the Spanish province of New Mexico.  Led by two Franciscan friars, Dominguez and Escalante. They hoped to establish a route to the Spanish mission at Monterey, California.  By October, they were in southern Utah.  Casting lots, the expedition had made the difficult decision to return home, and attempt to blaze a more direct trail back to Santa Fe.  The two roadside plaques (below) commemorate where the San Bartolome Campsite halted October 25, 1776.  From here they followed much  the same route as the Anderson family would travel the next two days to Lees Ferry.    The experience of the two groups at the ferry were much different as  will be discussed in the posting on Lees Ferry. For more information on the Doninguez-Escalante Expedition click here and here
Dominguez-Escalante Expedition 1776-1976
San Bartolome plaque

Today Jacob's Pool is part of
Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. The road to
stone house located between mp 557 and 558

Stone house on the way to Jacob's Pools (today)

Approximately three-tenths of a miles past milepost 557 is an unlocked gate and then a dirt road on the north side of the highway leading approximately two miles north to an abandoned stone bunkhouse and several wooden corrals.  The walls of the stone house are in fairly good condition however, most of the steel roof has blown off along with the doors and windows.  Most of the corral gates and several sections of fence have fallen down and are now lying in crumbled heaps on the ground.(Wayne Tomasi)

This ranch structure is believed to have been built near the turn of the 20th century by B F. Saunders who at the time was running cattle all over House Rock Valley for the Grand Canyon Cattle Company.

Arriving at the stone house (pictures by John and Shirley Bloomfield)

Front of  the house

 Front door of the house
Inside of the house

Looking west from inside at the corral
Shinumo Alter named by Frederick Dellenbaugh because it looked like an alter.  View from the front door of the house
 "Drove 3 miles to Jacob's Pools"

In 1872, John D. Lee begin "to set up headquarters for a cattle ranch at Jacob's Pool.  He had already filed claims on the spring at House Rock and Soap Creek as he had been advised to do.  But the Pools was much larger than any of these others, and located in a sheltered cove surrounded by miles of fine grazing land.  Jacob Hamblin's exploring group several years earlier had discovered this spring, which they named "Jacob's Pools."  To the Lee family it was now "Doyle's Retreat" or simply the Pools." ("Emma Lee," by Juanita Brooks).  

This area was also called Rachel's Pools after Rachel Lee who lived there.  People who are confused over the names Jacob's Pools and Rachel's Pools simply called the entire area The Pools.  The topo map has the location marked at the site of the Saunders' ranch house, which is about a mile southwest of where Rachel's house and the pools are actually located.  (Wayne Tomasi)

The Andersons may have seen some of the remains of Lee's first"home"at the pools(below)
John D. Lee, William (Billy), Rachel, and Amorah stand before the willow shanty that they later replaced with a stone house (Courtesy of Utah State Historical Society, Salt Lake City)
(John D Lee's Cabin at Jacob's Pools (p184)  and  ("Emma Lee," by Juanita Brooks - Plate III)   

"We commenced building a Shelter to shield us from the burning Elements of the Sun.  Rachel Andora and Amorah and I pining and setting the Posts ready to receive the willows, while James and the little Boys were cutting and hauling the willows, and my Daughter Amorah weaving the willows in to form the sides." (John D. Lee Diary - Monday May 27, 1872).

Before they had it finished, they were visited by Professor Beaman, who had been the photographer for the first Powell company on the river.  He wrote an article and published pictures of the half-finished "shanty" as though it were a permanent home, when actually it was intended for a milk cellar.  Lined with Navajo blankets, it was only fifteen by twenty feet.  Later that year, Lee would start a stone house near the springs which was much larger, with cellars, two parlors, two bedrooms, and a kitchen.  But, of course, Beaman's picture became the accepted one of Lee's "home" at the Pools. ("Emma Lee," by Juanita Brooks)

How to reach Jacob's Pools (Rachel's Pools) 

For now I'll call it Rachel's Pools because it probably had her name at least while she was there.  From the parking area at the ranch house, follow a distinct road leading northeast.  The road is drivable for half a mile or so but since it crosses into the Paria Wilderness Area about 200 feet from the ranch house, you might want to leave your vehicle at the ranch and walk.  Shortly after crossing into the Wilderness Area, the road takes a steep dip and descends sharply into a drainage where a 2-inch rusty metal pipe is exposed where it crosses the creek bed.  The road narrows and skirts along a man-made shelf above the creek on the east side.  Sometimes there is a flow of water in the creek.  The crude road ends at Rachel's Pools where there are several stone walls and remnants of Rachel Lee's rock house, however, there is little left of the original structure.  The primary water source for this area is at the end of a bowl-shaped boogie that is overgrown with willows.  The shallow pools at the base of the swamp may be Rachel's Pools.(Grand Canyon Hiker's Archive)  Another description of the route is available  here.

What is left of Rachel Lee's rock house.

The two photos  below show the general area where the rock house is located.

Recreating the View

Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe are photographers.  This video shows how they connected a contemporary picture with the historic image.  I was interested in this also because of the California condor which I discovered had just about become extinct at one time.   I blogged about that in my last post.

Of more interest to me is how Klett and Wolfe  take new photographs that show the same space photographed earlier.  Below is a photograph made in 2010 in the area near Jacob's Pool.
Byron Wolfe is in the photograph. 
This same photograph was taken by William H Bell one hundred thirty-eight years earlier..  This photograph was taken just a few months before the picture of this area was taken by E. O. Beaman of John D. Lee's cabin at Jacob's Pools. I planned to take a photograph in this same place by the time I did this posting, but that didn't happen.  I even purchased a hat that looks much the same.  Hopefully that will happen soon.

The photograph below also by Klett and Wolfe in 2010, is entitled Searching for Jacob's Pool at the base of the Vermillion Cliffs.  I plan to be search for the same place in the near future.

photograph of left insert of the above picture
taken by William Bell, 1872

 photograph of right insert of the above picture
taken by William Bell, 1872 (stereo card)

Enlargement of right half of stereo card

The Anderson family "Drove to Soap Creek - arrived after dark."

Soap Creek (Cliff Dwellers, Arizona)
Soap Creek got it's name when Jacob Hamblin reconnoitered northern Arizona between 1858 and the early 1870s on behalf of fellow church members who hoped to settle in the area.  While he scouted for trails, river crossings and water sources, Hamblin caught a badger in what is now called Badger Canyon.  He boiled the critter in the next canyon downstream.  The intensely alkaline water combined with the fat from the badger, produced soapsuds, which gave the canyon its name

Cliff Dwellers was started when Blanche and Bill Russell established a small trading post here in 1920.  They camped next to Soap Creek where they constructed the unique rock house for which the community received its name.  The cowboys who drove cattle on the AZ strip called the Russell homestead 'Cliff Dwellers' because of its proximity to the Vermillion Cliffs.

Cliff Dweller's Lodge and Restaurant

Cliff Dwellers Lodge upon the hill

Early Cliff Dwellers Lodge Area
chick rock or Pigeon Rock

A unique rock house nearby

This video is from the opposite direction coming into Soap Creek, but it will give some idea of the area.  The video ends just East of the  Cliff Dwellers Lodge near Soap Creek.  This is where I hiked (see video below) down the trail from the outhouse (1:32) at the right of the screen. The lodge is a great place to spend the night.  I always stop at the trading post at Cliff Dweller's Lodge for an ice cream sandwich.  Here is a little more history of Cliff Dwellers.

The canyon (below) in this video is probably where the Andersons turned their 
horses in the evening and again the next morning.  Charles Anderson said
 he went up the canyon the next day (Day 23) for the horses.  I followed his 
footsteps when I hiked up this canyon.  It looks like there was water for the

 Cliff Dweller's Lodge  is the perfect place to spend the night.

The mileage worked out for Day 22.  They traveled 15 miles.  The map has 12 miles from Jacob's Pool to Cliff Dwellers (Soap Creek).  They actually camped three miles West of Jacob's Pool so that would equal the 15 miles.  They would have been just North of Highway 89A shown on the map, but 15 miles works just about right on the map and in the journal as well so I'll take it.

Tomorrow they would go to Badger Creek.  You already know how this canyon received the name Badger Creek (see Soap Creek above)

Zane Grey
Theodore Roosevelt at Jacob's Pool

1 comment:

  1. Your hard work has really paid off with an interesting and fact-filled blog with lots of great pictures. Thanks, Grant. Maybe my ancestors did come this way!