Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Town #6: Price est. 1879

For our next set of Utah towns, we headed southeast. Our first stop was Price. Price is the county seat for Carbon County. Carbon County is named for all the coal mining that takes place within it. Price started out as a small farming community that had the typical irrigation problems that plagued so many early Utah settlements. The character of Price changed 4 years later when the railroad was completed because all of the sudden, Price became the center for the growing coal mining industry. Immigrants from Europe poured into Price to supply the mining demand. Price is still very much connected to the coal industry, and we often see long trains full of coal rolling out of Price.
John here is standing in front of the only welcome to Price sign that we could find. It was alittle scary taking this picture because we had to pull off the side of highway 6 to take it.

Here is a picture of downtown Price. It is still a busy viable downtown. We are always glad to see old buildings still being used. We tried to find a cafe here to eat at, but the only one that we found that wasn't a bar didn't serve dinner. Dang!

One of Price's current claims to fame is their Prehistoric Museum. It was too late to see it this time, but we have visited on previous trips here. This is a picture of two of our children three years ago, the last time we took a look. It is a good museum with plenty of things to keep the kids interested. The museum is connected with the College of Eastern Utah which is also in Price.
The dinosaurs came out of the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry south of Price. We drove out there once too. It is in some of the most desolate country I have seen.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Town #5: Lynndyl est. 1904

Lynndyl was our last stop on our trip to the Great Stone Face. Lynndyl is different from the other towns that we had stopped at that day because it wasn't started as a farming community. It started as a railroad station. The trains didn't even stop here at first unless they were flagged. The town was called Lynn at first, but they had to change the name when they established a post office since there was already a Lynn, Utah. So they added the "dyl" to the end of it. Residents lived in tents for several years. I'm not sure how they managed that in the heat. It was really hot when we stopped for this picture. It reached 107 degrees in Delta that day.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Town #4: Oasis est. 1860

Our next town, Oasis, we found by accident. On our way back to Delta from Hinckley, we saw a sign pointing south to Oasis. Neither John nor I had ever heard of Oasis. (See I told you it would help to do a little preparation before these trips.) We did a quick turn, and after a few miles, we found ourselves in the very small town of Oasis or what was left of it. There was not much there. You can tell from the picture of the green sign that it doesn't look much like an oasis. We were glad that we could even find a town sign. We weren't sure that we would find that.

Then, on the north side of town, we found this great old wooden town sign with the zip code on it. Isn't that a handy thing. We knew that this was the sign that we had to get our picture taken by. It is a great picture of the sign, but not such a wonderful picture of us. The building behind us was the seed plant.

Here is what is left of downtown Oasis. I later found out that Oasis was in 1914 the biggest community in Western Millard County. At that time it had a bank, two hotels, two lumber yards, two confectioneries, three stores, a big railroad station and a seed plant. It was a big stop on the railroad between Salt lake and Milford. The Oasis State Bank served the whole area until the Depression when it went under like so many other banks. This store and the seed plant were pretty much the only businesses left in 1950. Now those are gone, too.

Here is one of the homes in Oasis. I took a picture of this because it still has an outhouse in the back. Do you suppose that they still use it? While drove thru town, a man came out of one the houses bare chested and sporting a long shaggy beard. I think I have now had my first bigfoot sighting.

By the way, I have been getting my information about these Millard towns from a book called Milestones of Millard which was put out by the Daughters of Utah Pioneers in 1951. It has been a very helpful book. I wish I had a book like this for each county in Utah.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Town #3: Hinckley est. 1876

Hinckley is north of Deseret and west of Delta. It is another sleepy farming community, but it has a great town sign. This is where the Pioneer Days celebrations are held every year for all the local communities. At least that is what the tourist brochure says. It was a big educational center for Millard county for awhile when they built the Millard Academy here in 1909. I don't know if the building is still standing since when we were there, we didn't know that the highway did not go along Main Street. If we had known that, we would have probably driven around Hinckley some more to find it. There wasn't much to see by the sign but a gas station and a few farm houses. Sometimes it would be nice to go to these towns with a little bit of knowledge beforehand.

p.s. Since I first posted this, I have discovered that the Academy building does still stand and is now in the process of being restored. I am sorry that we missed seeing it. John and I love to see old buildings. John is a 'old building hugger'. For more information on the restoration project click here.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Town #2: Deseret est. 1860

Deseret was our next town. It is a small farming community southwest of Delta, and it was one of the first places settled in the area. The Sevier River runs close by, and in the early days, the people of Deseret ate a lot of fish. Just north of town is an alfalfa cubing plant. Our oldest daughter thought it smelt like grapes when we drove by. Our youngest daughter didn't like the smell. Deseret doesn't have a fancy welcome sign, so we had to take our picture by the small green town sign. Our son elected to stay in the car. B is standing on one leg because she said that the dry grass made her leg itch.

Here is the Great Stone Face. It towers over an old lava flow southwest of Deseret. This is what we drove down south to see. It does indeed look like the face of Joseph Smith just like everyone says. That is pretty cool! Look at it closely, and you can see him smiling. In the 1950s, there was a local 65-voice male chorus named after it called "The Desert Sentinels".

Something else we saw while near Deseret was the old Fort Deseret. It sits just south of Deseret. It is an adobe fort built by the settlers during the Black Hawk War in 1865. They were afraid that the natives were getting restless. They built it in 18 days. The work force was spilt into 2 groups each with one half of the wall to build. There was a deal struck that which ever team could build their section of wall the fastest would be treated to dinner and entertainment by the losers. One group won by half a day, but when part of their wall collapsed it was call a draw. They had a big opening celebration on July 24, 1865. Not even hostile neighbors can stop a party.

This is the monument erected in the 1930s about the fort. I like it because of the variety of rock in it including a piece of petrified wood. Each rock was donated by a descendant of one of the builders of the fort.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Town #1: Delta

Our first town was Delta. We found this welcome sign as we neared the town. I say neared and not in because we could barely see Delta in the far distance. Delta must be one of those towns that is optimistic about its expanding real estate. This was the most impressive town sign we saw all day. Delta is the largest town in the vicinity, but we found out at the Great Basin Museum in Delta that it was one of the last towns to be established (in 1907).

Here is Delta's old welcome sign as it looked in 2004. The new sign is more impressive but less informative. I'm not sure what John is holding in his hand.

Oh, by the way, Delta is in Millard county in western central Utah. At some point I hope to include a map of Utah with these posts so that it is more obvious where we are at in the state.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Here We Go!

Our family loves Utah, and we love to take slow leisurely road trips where we can stop to see all the interesting things along the roadside that most people miss. We like to be able to say, "Yes, we have seen that!" As we were driving down the highway towards Delta, Utah to see the Great Stone Face, I was thinking about those people out there who try to visit every county in the United States. Okay, we don't have the time to try that, but what about something on a smaller scale. Over ten years ago, during the state centennial, my husband and I visited all the counties in Utah, so I felt like we had done that. What about all the cities? We like to travel the lonely back ways and see all the small towns. Why not make a record of all that we visit? There is something interesting about all of them. We had done this a little before, but I decided that if I make a log of our adventures maybe we will make our goal. Now, we have another excuse to see all that is out there in our favorite state.
We will not include ghost towns because although we love to see ghost towns, they are often too hard to drive to and don't have nifty welcome signs to take pictures by. Someone has to actually live in them to make our list.