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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cove Fort

Outside Entrance to Cove Fort

On of the wings inside the fort walls

The Blacksmith Shop of Ira Hinckley

Wayne and I went to Cove Fort in central Utah a couple of weeks ago. It was freezing and snowy but we decided to venture out to get to see this historic place. This was a fort that was established by the LDS Church in 1869. It was built of volcanic rock and limestone and was used as a way station for pioneers traveling along the Mormon corridor from Idaho to Nevada and also for government business travelers and immigrants. It was connected by a network of roads, telegraph lines and postal routes. Ira Hinckley was called by Brigham Young to take charge of the project so he left his home in Coalville, UT to take up the assignment. When the fort was done the walls measured 100 feet long and 18 feet high. The Hinckley family then moved in.

It was a lively functional fort for 20 years with two stage coaches passing by daily and giving rest to weary travelers, while Cowboys tended to their horses. Many people were treated to dinner each night and ate alongside the family. The Hinckley's were so good to the Indians that trust was established and there was little need for a fort for protection from them.

They were very self sustaining here growing their own food, caring for cattle and weaving their own fabrics.

After they had woven their fabrics, they would make their clothes. When the clothes wore out, they made rugs from that fabric in these looms. When the rugs wore out, they would use the fabric to kindle the fires and when the ashes were gathered they used them to make soap. Waste not, want not.

These are the telegraph wires in the telegraph office

and here is the original telegraph.

Many, many meals were cooked in the stove. This is not the original but an exact copy found in another state.

The toothbrushes were made from boar bristles. The block of soap is like the kind made from the ashes.

The laundry room

More laundry facilities

A original coverlet and as you can see it was woven in 1855

This was the kitchen. Remember those pie safes with the tin punched fronts? Did you know that they always punched the tin from the inside out so the insects wouldn't get in them? Bugs don't like the sharp points on the outside.

There was one room with a large cellar where they stored the veggies for the winter. I still think they are a good idea except I wouldn't go down there. I am too afraid of spiders.

Every bedroom had a fireplace, dresser and pitcher.

This was the dining area with home-woven tablecloth. Sister Hinckley insisted on using good china for every meal. Nobody was turned away who really needed help and a place to rest.

Cove Fort was sold at one time and then repurchased by the Hinckely family who gifted it back to the church hoping that it would become a way station once more. Only this time, as a reminder of sacrifice and obedience, dedication to duty ,the value of hard work and faith and as a reminder of the faith of our forefathers.