Friday, September 25, 2009

Town #34: TORREY est. 1880s

Torrey is the only town so far that I haven't been able to find an establishment date for. All the sources that I have been using just say that it happened sometime in the 1880s. That is all I got from the Torrey website too. It is named after a Colonel Torrey, who served with Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders during the Spanish American War. Torrey is one more small farming community that has expanded to include tourist accommodations. It sits about 10 miles west of Capital Reef National Park.

Capital Reef National Park is one of the lesser known national parks in Utah, but it has some really nice hikes. This is a picture of Hickman's Bridge.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Town #33: REDMOND est. 1873

The next few towns are from another quick Thursday night trip to see parts of Utah. This time we left our children behind and took John's parents. Here John is on the outskirt of the town of Redmond on the northern border of Sevier County. There were a bunch of water birds in the pond behind the fence when we pulled up. I think John scared them all off. He is SO SCARY!

Redmond was named after three red hills nearby. This is a picture of an old service station in town. John's grandmother owned and operated this station with her first husband in the late 1930s and early 1940s until his death from an infection after some dental work. Dentists were even scarier back then.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Town #32: SALINA est. 1863

Salina was our last stop on our trip down to Cedar City and Zion National Park. It is one more small farming community. Salina was named for the salt deposits that the original settlers found near the town site.

We stopped at this cafe for dinner. Mom's Cafe is one of the oldest cafes in Utah. It has been in business since the 1920s. The food was very good. We gladly indulged in some of their slices of pie. The only thing we could really complain about is the ugly facade from the 1950s or 60s that no doubt covers some much nicer brickwork.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Town #31: MARYSVALE est. 1863

Marysvale is on the northern end of the Sevier Valley. This little town has connections with the mining industry. In the late 1800s there were gold mines up the canyon to the west of Marysvale. Marysvale sneaks up on you when you are driving because it is just on the other side of a ridge. One minute it isn't there and the next it is.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Town #30: JUNCTION est. 1880

Isn't that just a cool old sign? Junction has several cool old things about it like the old county courthouse and an art deco gas station that is hiding in a grove of trees. We drove thru Junction on the last day of their Butch Cassidy Days. I was sad to hear that we missed out on the parade.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Town #29: CIRCLEVILLE est. 1864

Just across the Piute County line, we came to the little town of Circleville. Its biggest claim to fame is that the outlaw Butch Cassidy grew up on a ranch just south of town. His family cabin still stands in a grove of trees, but it isn't marked as such. We stopped at one of the strangest antique shops here. It was housed in a shed, and our presence was announced by a howling pack of dogs behind a fence next door.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Town #28: PANGUITCH est. 1864

Panguitch is the largest town in Garfield County. It doesn't take much to get that distinction. Panguitch is a Piute word for 'big fish'. No one has ever explained to me why they named the town Big Fish. Are there huge fish in the local river? Maybe the settlers just liked the way that Panguitch rolled off the tongue. The town's big festival is the Quilt Walk Festival, which celebrates when 7 men crossed the snow covered mountains using quilts to get supplies to the starving settlers the first winter. I'll have to remember that the next time I am trapped by snow with only a couple of quilts to my name.

Panguitch caters to the tourists who come to see Bryce Canyon National Park which is not too far away in the mountains east of town. This is Byrce as the sun is rising. It is quite spectacular.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Town #27: HATCH est.1872

Driving north along highway 89, we next came to the little town of Hatch. It was named after Meltiar Hatch who settled here with his two wives. Because of flooding problems with the Sevier River, in 1901 to 1904, the town site was moved one and a half miles and combined with other small communities. I like that in this picture you can start to see the red rocks of Red Canyon behind me. We were coming on Bryce Canyon country.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Town #26: ALTON est. 1907

Alton is a little town tucked away in a mountain valley a few miles from Highway 89. It was a beautiful little place, but I bet it gets really cold in the winter. I didn't even know that it existed before we drove up there. As you can see, all the kids wanted to get out of the car to have their pictures taken this time. I guess they were inspired.

I thought it was nice that the town posted its own history right below the welcome sign. Now I don't have to try to dig up any information about the town for this post. If you want to know, just read the sign like I did. Now you know as much as I.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Town #25: ORDERVILLE est. 1874

The small town of Orderville lies just north of Mt. Carmel along highway 89. It was named after the United Order which was a church sponsered communal living society that was experimented with there when it was first settled. All the settlers donated their property and money to the Order, and each family was given a responsibility in the community for the betterment of all involved. I'm not sure that I explained that very well or that I understand it correctly, so don't quote me on that. Several communities in Utah experimented with the United Order at that time, but Orderville had the most success. I have a great-great grandfather who loved the idea and moved his family to Orderville. He was in charge of the orchards. Unfortunately, he didn't consult with my great-great grandmother before he sold their home snd store up north out from under her. She did not like living in Orderville. When the United Order started falling apart, they left Orderville to start new out in Giles, a ghost town near Hanksville.