Jeremiah Hatch came to Ashley Valley in 1878 as an Indian agent. Following the Meeker, Colorado massacre of 1879 he was instructed to build a fort as protection for white settlers. Their cabins, with cedar post buttresses between, formed part of the wall. Water was hauled from Ashley Creek. In 1881 first schoolhouse built on this site, C.C. Bartlett, teacher. The fort, called Ashley Center, Jericho, Hatchtown, later named Vernal was abandoned in 1882.