Hole N” The Rock


, , , , , ,


Travelers along U.S. Highway 191 in Southwestern Utah are amazed to discover this historic 5,000 square foot home which began taking shape almost a century ago by the Christensen family. What began as a small alcove for the young Christensen boys to sleep in at night grew into a man-made engineering marvel 20 years in the making. A fireplace with a 65′ chimney,14 rooms arranged around huge pillars and a deep bathtub built into the rock delight visitors who visit this most unusual home in the dessert. Original furnishings, Alberta’s paintings, Gladys’s doll collection and many of the tools used to create this home remind you of the past.

In a 12 year period Albert excavated 50,000 cubic feet of sandstone from the rock. During this time he completed his famous painting Sermon on the Mount and his sculpture of Franklin D. Roosevelt on the face of the rock above his home.

When Albert died in 1957, the home was not complete. Gladys’s in keeping with his wishes & lifelong dreams continued to develop the property, opening a gift shop and giving tours of her home until she passed away in 1974. Gladys is laid to rest next to Albert in a small cove within the rock near the home.

Church Rock


, , , , ,


Church Rock is a solitary column of sandstone in southern Utah along the eastern side of U.S. Route 191, near the entrance to the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park.

With majestic Colorado and Green River canyons, Canyonlands, this 200 foot roadside oddity near Monticello is called Church Rock. It seldom attracts more than a casual glance as visitors head toward Newspaper Rock State Historic Monument and the Needles district or drive between Moab and Monticello.

One of the interesting pages of 1930’s myths tells about Church Rock, and how the gumdrop shaped rock earned its name. The story is that Marie Ogden’s Home of the Truth, an Utopian community, was erroneously responsible. Ogden was a spiritualist during the 20’s, giving lectures across the U.S. on spiritualism, until she came to San Juan County, Utah. She allegedly called San Juan County and Church Rock “the spiritual center of the universe.” With a small band of followers, Ogden’s group moved onto a tract of barren land along Utah’s Route 211 in 1933, calling it the “Home of Truth.” Members turned all their worldly goods to Ogden to join her Home of Truth, abiding by a strict code of conduct, were expected to work for the common goals of the settlement. Women tended to the domestic chores and men worked the arid farm acreage. Not far from Church Rock are the remains of Ogden’s ghost town. A few buildings and a small cemetery are all that remain of the Home of the Truth community, found on a ridge called Photograph Gap. After the community broke up, Ogden stayed in Monticello and became the owner and publisher of the community newspaper, The San Juan Record, in the 1940s. She died in the 1975 and is buried in Blanding.

The three-tiered sandstone rock is located not far from the Home of Truth, but is only one of several in the area (Sugarloaf and Turtle Rock among others). Part of the myth is that the group set upon a grand plan to hollow out the entire center of the sandstone monument, by hand, to build a church. In fact, the sandstone formation was owned by a local rancher, Claud Young of Monticello. Young owned about 2000 acres of land, for cattle range, before the highway came through the area known as Dry Valley.

The only evidence of the myth, and the apparent basis for the assumption of turning the rock into a ‘church,’ is the 16 by 24 foot opening chiseled into the rock. In fact, that ‘opening’ was contracted out by the owner, Claud Young. The opening was dynamited and cut out of the stone during the late 1940s to store salt licks and feed for the cattle. The rock is still owned by the Young family, in equal shares by the two daughters and two sons of Claud and Inez Young, their surviving spouses, and/or surviving grandchildren owning their percentage of ‘the rock.'(*)


Echo Church and School


, , , , ,


Echo Church and School –

Constructed C. 1876, this building served protestants
as a church and school until 1880 when it
was sold to the Echo School District. Latter-day
Saints then obtained permission to worship here
and bought the building in 1913. The chapel served
until 1963 when it was closed due to Echo’s
declining population. The young adults, L.D.S
youth group, reopened the chapel in 1974 and
placed this marker in 1976.

Clay Hills Pass


, , , , ,


Clay Hills Pass – D.U.P. # 305

In 1879 the L.D.S. Church sent missionary families to San Juan Country to make settlement and better relations with the Indians. These pioneers led by Silas S. Smith and Platte D. Lyman came through the Hole-in-the-Rock. The company consisted of 83 wagons, men, women and children. Passage was often cut through solid rock or sandstone. On March 5, 1880 they reached the top of this hill, camped, and worked eight days building a road three miles long to bring the wagons safely to the bottom, a drop of 1,000 feet.

Ticaboo, Utah


, , , ,


Ticaboo gets its name from Ticaboo Creek, which was named by Cass Hite in the 1880s, for a Paiute word meaning “friendly.”

The Ticaboo townsite is a master-planned community that was organized in the late 1970s to both provide housing to the then booming uranium mining industry in southeastern Garfield County, and tap into the tourism potential of nearby Lake Powell. The Ticaboo Resort was developed to provide accommodations to guests visiting the remote area as well as to encourage the development of a tourism base outside of Bullfrog in the northern Lake Powell area.

The first inhabitants of Ticaboo were Kayenta Anasazi. In October 1981, the Division of Utah State History conducted an excavation of a small settlement known as the Ticaboo Town Ruins, located directly west of the town of Ticaboo.

Ticaboo Resort is one of many master development lease holders tasked with the development of Ticaboo by the Utah School and Trust Lands Administration (SITLA). Previous master development lease holders have included mining companies who also owned mines in the Henry Mountain Complex, or the Shootaring Mill. Originally established in 1977, Plateau Resources Limited was the master development lease holder and constructed the infrastructure that still exists today for electric, water, and wastewater.


Maidenwater Spring


, ,


Maidenwater Spring – The desert oasis is the focus of life for many living creatures.  They are attracted to the spring in their continual search for food and water.  These plants and animals live in a tight interlocked association with their environment.  Protect and enjoy their home.

Just south of here is Maidenwater Canyon, slot canyons and amazing areas to explore.


N 37.90736 W 110.57301