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This monument and replica pioneer dugout honors the founders of Manti City and Sanpete County

Sesquicentennial 1849 – 1999

This monument and replica pioneer dugout honor the founders of Manti City and Sanpete County.

At the invitation of Wakara, Chief of the Ute Indian Nation, the Prophet Brigham Young sent Isaac Morley with 224 pioneers to make the Sanpitch Valley (now Sanpete) their home. They arrived in late November 1849. Within days, cold north winds and three feet of snow drove them to this area, where most of the fifty families dug into the hillside for protection. They survived in dugouts that first winter, although half of their cattle perished from cold and starvation. This dugout symbolizes their humility, faith, obedience and willingness to sacrifice all for the building up of the kingdom of God.

Spring brought warmer weather and with it countless rattlesnakes from the ledges above. The serpents found their way into wagon boxes, cupboards and beds. Pioneer journal entries record that the settlers killed hundreds of snakes, yet miraculously not a single person was bitten.

From their meager beginnings in humble dugouts, to modern communities and the beautiful temple on the hill, these obedient saints worked to establish “Zion” in this part of the Rocky Mountains. Inspired by their fervent testimonies of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, these industrious pioneers made “the desert rejoice and blossom as the rose” (Isaiah 35:1).


This historic marker and replica dugout are located at 401 North 300 East in Manti, Utah