This is considered to be the type site of the Classic Vernal Style rock art, characterized by elaborately decorated anthropomorphic figures. This style may be affiliated with the Fremont Culture and probably dates to the period A.D. 1 to 1200.
The Vernal Utah Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, formerly the Uintah Stake Tabernacle.
On February 13, 1994 it was annouced that the vacant tabernacle would be converted into a temple for the LDS Church.
The Uintah Stake Tabernacle is devoid of Gothic detail common in church architecture and is a more simplified and almost civic variant of the Georgian New England Church form. Of over forty tabernacles built in Utah, it is the only one existing in the eastern part of the state. Built during the years between 1900-1907, it is the most significant symbol of the Mormon culture in the Uintah Basin, one of Utah’s last frontiers to be settled by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Uintah Stake Tabernacle is also on the Utah Register of Historic Places.
September 1886 Samuel R. Bennion was sent here to establish a banking institution called the ‘Ashley Co-op.’ In 1903 the first pioneer bank was opened for business. In 1916 W.H. Coltharp erected this building with Salt Lake City brick. A full car load of brick was used, each wrapped separately and sent Parcel Post U.S. Mail to Watson, Utah by train. From there they were hauled to Vernal by freight wagon and teams. It is known as the ‘Parcel Post Bank of the World,’ with N.J. Meagher, Sr. cashier, this bank has been a great factor in the development of Uintah Basin.
The mining camp of Rainbow was the center of gilsonite mining activity in the surrounding area. One of the most significant mines was the Thimble Rock that can be seen to the east. This was the loading area for ore from numerous mines to be shipped by rail to final destination. About 30 families lived here in company built homes and a school. It its heyday, Rainbow was known as “Queen of the gilsonite mining camps” with strict company rules including “no alcohol.”
In 1911, after the depletion of ore at Dragon, Utah, the Uintah Railway extended its line northwest along Evacuation Creek to the terminus of Watson. From this railhead a toll road ran north to points in the Uinta Basin. The rail extended southwest to the mining camp of Rainbow. Watson became the center of Gilsonite and ranching activity with hotels and stores. Thousands of sheep were sheared and wool shipped from here.
Fort Bridger, Wyoming was established in 1843 by Jim Bridger and Louis Vasquez. It served as a trading post for those who were traveling westward along the Oregon Trail, as well as LDS Pioneers, the Pony Express, the Lincoln Highway, and the transcontinental railroad. The fort was also commonly used to trade with the local Native Americans.
The fort was not very glamorous, it was even a disappointment to most travelers. It was simply two log cabins about 40 feet in length connected by a fence to hold horses. Most visitors complained about insufficient supplies and it being over priced. They did, however, have a blacksmith’s that many travelers took advantage of.
By 1858, Fort Bridger became a military outpost. Today, Fort Bridger is a historic site. Jim Bridger’s trading post is reconstructed, along with other historic buildings from the military. There is also a museum with gift shops available for visitors.
On August 3, 1855, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, concluded arrangements for the purchase of Fort Bridger from Louis Vasquez, partner of James Bridger, for $8,000. Final payment was made October 18, 1858. A cobblestone wall was erected in the fall of 1855, replacing Bridger’s Stockade. A few additional log houses were built within the fort. The place was evacuated and burned on the approach of Johnston’s Army September 27, 1857. A portion of the wall is here preserved. In 1855, Fort Supply was established by Brigham Young six miles south where crops were raised for the emigrants.