Snowfield Monument “Franciscan Fathers”


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October 13, 1776: “we set out southward from the small river and campsite of Nuestra Señora del Pilar (“Our Lady of the Pillar” – Kolob Canyon of Zion Canyon National Park)…” and “We traveled a league and a half to the south, descended to the little Río del Pilar (Ash Creek) which here has a leafy cottonwood grove, crossed it, now leaving the valley of the Señor San José and entered a stony cut in form of a pass between two high sierra…” “We continued without a guide, and having traveled with great difficulty over the many stones for a league to the south, we descended a second time to the Río del Pilar and halted on its bank in a pretty cottonwood grove, naming the place San Daniel – Today five leagues south.”
Franciscan Fathers Atanasio Dominguez, Sylvestre Velez de Escalante and eight other members of a daring exploration party departed the Misión de Santa Fe, New Mexico on July 29, 1776, in an attempt to establish contact with the Franciscan mission at Monterey, California. Following previous expeditions into the Spanish borderlands they were able to cross the Colorado River near Grand Junction, Colorado, and entered the unexplored regions of the Great Basin near Spanish Fork, Utah. They then proceeded southward along the Wasatch Mountains expecting a westward flowing river that would eventually take them to the Pacific Ocean. Disappointed and facing the reality of winter snows they “cast lots” at a point near Cedar City, Utah, on October 11, 1776, and elected to return to Santa Fe by a southern route. Their encampment here at “San Daniel” represents the first recorded entry of non-native people into Washington County, Utah. The Fathers arrived back at the Santa Fe Mission on January 2, 1777, having traveled over 1800 miles and recording one of the greatest explorations in American history. Their observations and maps were instrumental in the opening of the American Southwest to further exploration and commercial use of the National Historic Old Spanish Trail.

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Early L.D.S. Church


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Early L.D.S. Church

One room of this building, formerly the L.D.S. church, was erected in 1888. Two years later a second room was added. The Bishop was Randolph Stewart; Building Committee: O.W. Warner, who donated the land, Henry Holyoak, and O.D. Allen. Supervisors were Hyrum Allen, hauling of rock; J.H. Standifred, carpentry; W.J. Bliss, stone cutting; Angus M. Stocks, stone and adobe laying. Labor, money and materials were donated and the first services were held in May, 1889.

Located in Moab with DUP Marker #65.  See other DUP Markers here.

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Elk Mountain Mission


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Elk Mountain Mission

In April 1855, forty-one men under the leadership of Alfred N. Billings were called to establish a mission in the Elk Mountains. They left Salt Lake City May 7, 1855, arriving at Grand River June 11, and selected the site for a fort. By July 15, they had built a fort 64 feet square, with stone walls, 12 feet high, 4 feet at the base and 1 & 1/2 feet at the top. Three of the pioneers, James. W. Hunt, Edward Edwards and William Behunin were buried within the fort which was located about 800 feet from this monument.

Located in Moab with DUP Marker #181.  See other DUP Markers here.

Bluff Fort Historic Park


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The site of Bluff Fort in Bluff is full of historic buildings, plaques and plenty to learn about for hours.

Click this map from their page to go see what they have put together there:



Some of the things to see include:

Site of Kumen Jones Home – First Stone Home in Bluff

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Perkins Cabin

Lyman Cabin

Cabin Replicas

John Taylor Monument

Hole-in-the-Rock Pioneers Memorial

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Fort Montezuma

San Juan Co-Op

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Bluff, Utah


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Bluff Posts:

Under the direction of John Taylor, Silas S. Smith and Danish settler Jens Nielson led about 230 Mormons on expedition to start a farming community in southeastern Utah. After forging about 200 miles of their own trail over difficult terrain, the settlers arrived on the site of Bluff in April 1880. (The trail followed went over and down the “Hole In the Rock”, which now opens into one of the tributaries of Lake Powell.) The town was named for the bluffs near the town site. The town’s population had declined to seventy by 1930 but rebounded during a uranium prospecting boom in the 1950s. With the uranium decline in the 1970s Bluff again declined and now remains a small town with about 300 residents.

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The San Juan Mission


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Bluff was the first settlement of the white man in San Juan County and its first county seat. It was founded April 6, 1880, by the San Juan Mission “called” by the L.D.S Church to establish friendly relations with the Indians. A small band of mission scouts found good farm land at this location in 1879 and it was resolved to settle here. Late in October 250 colonists from several southwestern Utah communities began the migration via the Hole-in-the-Rock shortcut across the Colorado River. Contrary to expectations this route proved almost impassable and after nearly six months of the most strenuous effort the exhausted company reached this site. No pioneering band ever overcame greater difficulties in establishing and maintaining a home. The turbulent river proved uncontrollable and for 40 years hostile Indians and various types of white renegades threatened both life and property. In spite of hardships and personal sacrifice the missionaries remained steadfast to their calling until released by the Church. The San Juan Mission is an unexcelled example of the highest type of Pioneer endeavor.

Erected by the National Society, Sons of Utah Pioneers – May 31, 1958
Note: This plaque is attached to a rock formation called “Sunbonnet Rock” due to its shape suggestive of a sunbonnet, and is often referred to by this name.


Hyrum Corey Perkins House


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Hyrum Corey Perkins House

This small, one-story, gable-roofed, vernacular, double-cell type house was originally constructed in the 1890s, by Hyrum Corey Perkins.  H.C. Perkins was the son of Hyrum and Rachel Marie Perkins, who were original members of the pioneering Hole-in-the-Rock colonizing expeditions in southeastern Utah.  A log cabin was originally located on the lot, which was taken down when this double-cell house was built.  Retaining its integrity, the house contributes to the architecture and community of historic Bluff.

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Hobbs Wash


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As a winter storm approached, four nearly starved scouts, George Hobbs, George Morrill, Lemuel Redd, Sr., and George Sevey, sought shelter for the night in this area on December 27, 1879. The scouts were exploring for a feasible route for the 250 Mormon (Hole-in-the-Rock) pioneers to follow from their encampments above the Colorado River gorge 100 miles west of here. George Hobbs: Night overtook us, we camped in this small canyon, this being our third day without food. I cut my name in the rock with the date I was there, not knowing that I would survive the journey.

(Near Comb Ridge and Bluff.)

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William Reed Southwick


Our beloved father, William, 89, passed away at home Tuesday evening, surrounded by his family. William was born July 6, 1927 in Long Beach, California to Archie and Ethel Southwick. His father passed away when William was two years old. His mother raised him and his older brother Archie Ray as a single, devoted mother. His childhood was full of love, adventures and a little mischief (maybe a lot). He learned to fish along the southern California piers and ocean. As a teenager, he purchased and restored a 1929 Ford Model A Roadster which brought him so much enjoyment all throughout his life. He had jobs as a teenager working at the McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Co and the Long Beach shipyards. After graduating David Star Jordan High School, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corp where he served for 2 ½ years.

After completing his service in the Marine Corp, he drove his Roadster to San Francisco where his family had relocated. It was here in 1948 he met the love of his life, Ruth Joy Stone. They courted and became engaged. William was called and served a 2 ½ year mission in the Swiss-Austrian mission. William served with and made many life-long friends during his time as a missionary. It was during this time that he gained his tremendous unwavering testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

William returned from his mission to San Francisco and then married his love, Ruth Joy on March 29, 1952. They were sealed in the Salt Lake City Temple May 22, 1953. They lived and raised their family in the San Francisco Bay Area. We all share tremendous memories of time spent as a family camping, ballgames, the lake house, boating, learning to waterski, fishing, swimming in the pool, reading, and being surrounded by extended family. Our parents provided a blessed life for us.

William was a hard working provider for his family. He worked in sales for some of the major concrete suppliers in the San Francisco Bay Area. After relocating to Provo, Utah he had the privilege of attending BYU for a time which he always considered a fortunate opportunity. He had adventures which brought him to Alaska and Nevada gold mines working with a son’s company. He then worked as a Quality Control Inspector for the Bechtel Corp which enabled him and his wife to travel and live throughout the country. This was a fun, memorable time for both of them.

His life passions included his wife and family and spending time with them. He found great joy in his posterity. He loves the gospel of Jesus Christ. He loved bearing his testimony often and spoke powerfully. He remained steadfast in studying the scriptures. He loved his books and being surrounded by them. He had a vast knowledge and loved learning, studying and teaching. He served faithfully in many church callings throughout his life, being a gospel doctrine teacher was a favorite. Dad had a keen sense of humor, always quick with a joke, a story, or to share a ‘dad-ism.’ He is remembered fondly for these and so many attributes, his patience, kindness and pure love for all of us.

William is survived by his five children, nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, along with four nephews and four nieces. He cherished the title of ‘Uncle Bill.’ He is preceded in death by his father, mother, sister, brother, two nieces and his beloved wife. The joyous reunion he has waited for brings peace to our hearts.

He battled with illness for the last ten years of life, never giving up the fight. He had a strong will and love for life. He was tended to by many doctors, all of whom he considered friends, but none greater than Dr. James Woodmansee who continued to offer selfless, tender service to William until his death. Rod Newman, John Frischknecht and Russell Nelson all provided competent care as Dr’s for his heart. Dr. Martha Glenn at Huntsman and her caring staff worked tirelessly in his behalf. He also benefited from the care and devotion of his home health nurse Mary, with whom he shared a special friendship and trust. On behalf of William, and our entire family, we express our appreciation and gratefulness for all those who had an opportunity to care for him. He recognized all these caring individuals and was thankful for their kindness.!/Obituary

Comb Ridge


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Comb Ridge

William H. Jackson of the United States Geological and Geographical Survey conducted the first formal archaeological exploration of the Comb Ridge area.  Originating in the Colorado Territory, Jackson and his team reached Comb Ridge by following ancient trails along the banks of the San Juan River.  After exploring Chinle Creek (south of the San Juan River) they explored Comb Wash and its tributaries as they traveled neoth to the Abajo Mountains.

In 1880 Comb Ridge presented a major obstacle for the Mormon pioneers who were blazing a wagon road through the terribly rugged terrain between Escalante, Utah and the Four Corners Area.   The 250 men, women and children of the expedition were fulfilling a “call” from their church to establish a settlement along the banks of the San Juan River.

When they reached the base of Comb Ridge, the Pioneers traveled south down Comb Wash to the San Juan River.  At the juncture of the San Juan River (four miles south of here), they labored on a road over the southern slope of Comb Ridge which they named San Juan Hill.  Weakened by past barriers and nearby six months under the most trying of circumstances, Comb Ridge proved nearly too much for their worn out wagons and teams.  Charles Redd recorded, “By the time most of the outfits were across, the worst stretches could easily be identified by the dried blood and matted hair from the forelegs of the struggling teams.”  Within days of crossing over Comb Ridge, the pioneers began to establish their settlement, Bluff City.

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