This monument and replica pioneer dugout honors the founders of Manti City and Sanpete County.
The oldest town in Sanpete County is Manti. Brigham Young sent the first settlers to Manti after he received an invitation by Ute Chief Walkara to send people down to the Sanpitch area to teach the Utes how to farm. The original company of 50 pioneer families arrived in the winter of 1849.
The pioneers, whose first camp was established on what is now Temple Hill, spent their first winter enduring hardships of scant food and clothing, hostile Indians, and makeshift housing. Settlers were forced to use wagons and dugouts for protection against the severe cold and the 700 Indians camped about a mile away. About half of their cattle froze to death and they were unable to get more food and supplies from Salt Lake. Winter was not the only problem, as spring approached the ground thawed and the pioneers were faced with hundreds of rattlesnakes. Miraculously not one of the settlers died from snakebite. Isaac Morley, the leader of this pioneer group was given the honor of naming the town. He suggested ‘Manti’ as a good name, and so the name was adopted. Manti is a town mentioned in the Book of Mormon.
Today, a replica of one of the dugouts sits at the site with a commemorative marker detailing their trials. This marker was place to commemorate the Sesquicentennial in 1999. The area is fenced off to protect the site, but you are able to view the area and there is plenty of parking at the location.