The Big Sandy River
Long before the Oregon/California westward migration, animals instinctively stopped at the Big Sandy River during their migration process. With South Pass just 35 miles east, the river was also a natural East-West pathway for man.
The pathway, in combination with the river, made the area a stopping place for Native Americans and later explorers, including the Mountain Men. With the advent of travel to Oregon, California, and Utah, it also became a stop for wagon trains on this part of the Oregon/California/Utah trial. The Donner party encamped here on July 24, 1846 having made its fateful decision to try a new shortcut to California beyond Fort Bridger. Seven miles east of here, on June 28, 1847, the first Mormon wagon train with the Prophet Brigham Young met with frontiersman Jim Bridger on the Little Sandy River. The next day, the Mormons rested at the Big Sandy before pushing on to reach the Green River that same day.
By 1858, the Big Sandy Mail Station had developed as a site for mail service between the Missouri River and Salt Lake City. The Central Overland California & Pike’s Peak Express Company, which operated the Pony Express, made the mail station one of the original stops for its famed Pony Express and Overland Stage service. The Pony Express started on April 3, 1860 and operated 19½ months, only to be replaced by the Transcontinental Telegraph service whose telegraph line came through at this location.
Other notable travelers like Horace Greeley, Sir Richard Burton, Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), and tens of thousands of trail emigrants used this pathway traveling either East or West, but mainly West.
G – Its Meaning:
“We were green but we have gradually grown in gratitude toward out parents and school for the grand opportunities presented to us. It signifies that we will not growl or grumpble but will become great through growth in Pleasant Grove.” – Pleasant Grove Yearbook.
In memory of Glen Lloyd and Luretha May Smith Bezzant Dedicated June 20, 1991
Mormon Pioneer Trail, Centennial Trekkers
Mormon Pioneer Trail
As traveled by the Sons of Utah Pioneers, July 14-22, 1947
Schedule of Evening Encampments
Nauvoo, Illinois Monday, July 14, 1947
Garden Grove, Iowa Tuesday, July 15, 1947
Winter Quarters (Omaha), Nebraska Wednesday, July 16, 1947
North Platte, Nebraska Thursday, July 17, 1947
Fort Laramie, Wyoming Friday, July 18, 1947
Independence Rock, Wyoming Saturday, July 19, 1947
Rock Creek, Wyoming Sunday, July 20, 1947
Fort Bridger, Wyoming Monday July 21, 1947
In July, 1947 one hundred and forty-eight descendents of Utah Pioneers called themselves “The Centennial Trekkers” and retraced the Old Mormon Trail in commemoration of the Latter-day Saints’ historic exodus from Nauvoo, Illinois in 1846 and the Pioneer Company’s trek from Winter Quarters in Florence, Nebraska to the Valley of the Great Salt Lake in 1847.
The twentieth century Trekkers’ special guests, Spencer W. and Camilla Eyring Kimball look down on the July 19th encampment from the top of Independence Rock in Wyoming.
Note: A separate plaque lists the “Centennial Trekkers”
Pioneer Industry in Parleys Canyon
This monument is erected for the purpose of paying tribute and honor to those sturdy pioneers who had the courage and fortitude to establish industry in Parley’s Canyon necessary to the welfare of the pioneers who settled this valley.
WILLARD RICHARDS, born in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, June 24, 1804. Died in Salt Lake City, Utah, March 11, 1854 at the age of 49.
Dr. WILLARD RICHARDS, founder of the Deseret News, “The Mountain West’s first newspaper”.
WILLARD RICHARDS, a cousin of Brigham Young, having read the Book of Mormon, traveled 700 miles to Ohio to meet Joseph Smith. He was a dentist and doctor of herbs.
WILLARD RICHARDS was baptized in the Chagrin River, near Kirtland, December 21, 1836, after the ice was broken over the river. One of the first four missionaries to England.
WILLARD RICHARDS was ordained an apostle April 14, 1840 at Preston, England with seven apostles present. Married his first English convert, Janetta Richards.
WILLARD RICHARDS was appointed by the Quorum of the Twelve in England to edit the Millenial Star.
WILLARD RICHARDS officiated at the first baptisms for the dead in the new Nauvoo Temple Twelve Oxen Font, and was the Editor of the Times & Seasons Newspaper published in Nauvoo.
WILLARD RICHARDS, in 1841 was the man Joseph Smith said he had been searching for all his life to trust with his business in all things, “The Keeper of the Rolls.”
WILLARD RICHARDS was General of the Nauvoo legion, Mayor of Nauvoo, largest city in Illinois, and Postmaster of Nauvoo.
WILLARD RICHARDS prepared with Joseph Smith the first three volumes of the History of the Church, for publication in the Times & Seasons.
WILLARD RICHARDS nominated Joseph Smith and his running partner, Arlington Bennett, for President and Vice President of the United States.
WILLARD RICHARDS, on the eve of martyrdom looked west and said “Out West perhaps, in the tops of the mountains, an ensign may be raised to the Lord.”
WILLARD RICHARDS said to the Prophet Joseph, “You didn’t ask me to go to Iowa, or come here to Carthage, but I am here, and I will hang for you if they will not release you.”
WILLARD RICHARDS was with the Prophet and Hyrum when they were murdered in Carthage jail.
WILLARD RICHARDS arrived in the Valley with Brigham Young, July 24, 1847, and was elected to the first Legislative Counsel of the Territory and served as its President.
WILLARD RICHARDS was the first Historian, Recorder, Postmaster and keeper of the Official Seal of the Territory of Deseret, and a member of the First Presidency of the Church.
WILLARD RICHARDS was the first Secretary of State of the established Territorial Organization.