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picture19oct08-021

Erastus Bingham, Utah pioneer of 1847 and Mormon bishop, established a farmstead at this site in 1851 and extended the irrigation ditch from 12th Street to this location. In 1853 Brigham Young ordered the settlers of the area, known as North Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to “fort up” for protection from hostile Indians. Bishop Bingham supervised the construction of Bingham’s Fort and expanded the ditch to run adjacent to both the north and south walls.

Each family in the fort completed an assigned section of the twelve-foot high walls. The walls were eight feet wide at the top. The base was made of rock. The walls were made of mud, reinforced by poles and woven willows. The gate of heavy timber was large enough to drive a team through. By 1854 Isaac Newton Goodale recorded 562 people living in the fort. Of the 21 forts on the Wasatch Front, Bingham’s Fort was known for its large population.

Within the fort, Goodale laid out lots. Houses were erected 66 feet from the walls to provide space for livestock. Several mercantile houses and Sam Gate’s molasses mill operated in the fort. A schoolhouse served as the center of community life. Shoshone Indians lived in the fort during the winter of 1854-1855 due to their shortage of food. By 1855 the final dimensions of the fort were 60 by 120 rods, about 45 acres.

In 1856 when peace prevailed, the fort disbanded. The settlement grew and was known as Lynne. The fort walls were completely taken down in 1888. In 1890 Lynne became part of Ogden City. The pioneer ditches, Bingham’s Farm, and Bingham’s Lane (2nd Street) were still in use in 2005.

picture19oct08-020