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Lehi Fort Wall

Northeast Corner

Lehi was first settled by a group of Mormons in the fall of 1850.  The community was first called Sulphur Springs, the Dry Creek, then Evansville.  Bishop David Evans‘ petition for incorporation was granted in 5 February 1852, making Lehi the sixth oldest community in Utah.  It was also Evans’ suggestion that the town be named Lehi City after a Book of Mormon patriarch.  Early Utah Valley settlers experienced few difficulties with local Native Americans until 1853.  In the fall of that year Mormon Church President Brigham Young warned all communities throughout Utah Territory to “fort up.”   Lehi residents moved approximately sixty cabins to form a hollow enclosure in the present down area of Lehi.  The following year the citizenry decided to enclose the fort within a protective adobe wall.  At this time Bishop Evans, using a pocket compass, carpenter’s square, and line tape, directed a survey of the city.  This survey, which included the log fort , resulted in a play containing sixteen blocks, each twenty rods (330 feet) square, intersected by streets six rods (99 feet) wide.

The adobe wall was immense.  Twelve feet in height in some sections, the 7,425 foot structure had a bottom thickness of six feet tapering upward to three feet at the top.  Portholes, for shooting through, were a rod apart.  After the 1858 arrival of the U.S. Army’s Utah Expeditionary Force in Cedar Valley, the need for a protective bastion in Lehi City was eliminated.   In 1905 the last remaining section of the wall was demolished.

Andrew Fjeld initiated the formation of the Lehi Pioneer Committee to erect a granite monument commemorating the celebrated Lehi Fort wall.  The Elias Morris Company submitted the winning design, and the contract for the stone work was given to local stonemason Arthur Bradder.  The sixteen-foot-high Lehi Pioneer Monument was dedicated 26 November 1908.

The monument remained on the original site, near the Grammar School, until December 1932, when it was moved twenty rods south onto the Carnegie Library property.  A new cement pedestal was installed, surrounded by a protective lily pond.  In the summer of 2000 the Pioneer Monument was once again relocated.  This new move situated the structure in the center of Pioneer Park, which was completed in the summer of 2001.  Interpretative markers are also at the other corners of the historic fort wall: Center/300 South, 300 South 400 West, and 400 West/100 North.  This project was funded by grants from the Utah State Historical Society and Lehi City Corporation.

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