THE LAND OF THE SLEEPING RAINBOW
AN EARLY HISTORY OF
1878 TO 1930
RESEARCHED AND WRITTEN BY IRENE WILSON K.I.
|Blind Lake with Pear Lake far right|
My story begins in the year of 1878.
Nicoll Johnson and August Nelson had explored the top of the flat-topped mountain, so early spring they came with 500 head of cows from the Richfield area in Sevier County. During that summer, they discovered an old coral which they were curious about. Who could have camped there long enough to need a corral?
A few years later the work of Major Powell and company wrote about making corrals. Then people realized that these were the men who must have made the corral. Today there is scarcely a trace of the corral. But the flat is still known as “The August Corral Flat.”The next year of 1879, the word had spread about the good feed on the mountain top. So A.K. Thurber who lived in a little town named after him, and Beeson Lewis of Richfield came with another 500 cows. These were co-op cattle belong to the LDS Church. Usually called “tithing cattle” by the cowboys. By the next year George Baker came, so he and Lewis leased the co-op cattle. By the following year, Lewis had cattle of his own which George Baker leased to run on the Boulder Mountain. Frank Haws came and leased the Johnson cattle. In 1886 Willard Brinkerhoff, will Meeks and August Nelson came to the mountain with cattle. The next year in 1887, John King and Wise Cropper of Filmore and Mack Webb of Oak City brought 300 head of horses. Alma Durfey of Wayne County brought 40 horses. Amasy Lyman and Seth Taft brought 60 horses and Will Bowns 150 head. There was a total of 550 horses grazing the mountain.
The most important event that happened this year of 1887 was the discovery of a little valley on the south slope of the mountain with four streams of water running through it, “Boulder Valley”. George Baker and Willard Brinkerhoff went to explore. They found traces of old ditches they decided must have made years ago by Indians. Why the Indians had left the area, they couldn’t imagine.
Everyone went home in the fall, but spring of 1888 found them all coming back to the valley. George Baker and Willard Brinkerhoff made application for homesteading 640 acres each on a desert entry. Promptly making use of the old ditches. Brinkerhoff took 640 acres in the south valley, and George Baker took his on the west and south side of alongside the largest creek.
This same year Amasy Lyman living in Thurber, heard of the valley, so he came to look. He loved hunting and fishing so now he found both. He filed for a 160 acre homestead and was happy. The three homesteaders went home for the winter and returned in the spring to work. So much work had to be done each year to keep the claims current.
|Max Robison at Fruita|
Rosanna was a large woman, very handsome with dark curly hair and hazel eyes. She was ambitious, big hearted and motherly. Her children were raised in poverty as far as money was concerned, but they had much gaiety, song and laughter in their home. Many people stopped to visit because of so much fun happening around them.
The year of 1889 was a busy one in the valley. Besides Frank Haws, Nicoll Johnson came. He took up a homestead just north of the Haws- right up to the ledges on each side of the boulder Creek. Two men also came to homestead in a little valley seven or eight miles the west of the other homesteads. Mack McGraff and a Dutchman called Jlbaeurs, who soon called Joe Bowers. They named the place Salt Gulch because of the alkaline water. McGraff filed on 160 acres but Joe went across the road and filed on 29 acres only. He explained to people, “I don’t want all the work and land.”
Joe was a big tall man with a grey shaggy beard, but he was a gentleman who impressed everyone. He was noticeable among the people because of his clothes were always neat and very clean. He loved to laugh and joke with people. He liked Gene Baker. When he heard Gene was about to marry Roda Cotton of Escalante, he quipped, “Oh too bad, too bad, Shene was a hell of a nice fellow.” Joe also loved tobacco. When George Baker brought some for him, Joe said, “When I have tobacco in mine pocket, I don’t need it much, but if I don’t have it, I need it all the time.”
Benjamin Mack McGraff was almost an opposite of Joe. He was a very small man, very reserved, and didn’t make friends with anyone. Many people thought, from the comments the two had made, that they were deserters from the army, but no one knew for sure.
Also during the year of 1890 two men came with cattle and horses and took up homesteads on the Escalante River and up along the trail to Escalante. They were Sam Boyington and a man everyone called Phipps. They were building a cabin and the word went out that they had an Indian girl living with them. But if so, she never did go any place with the two men. That fall everyone left for winter again except for Boyington and Phipps.
Early next spring, 1890, the Lymans got ready to move to their own homestead to stay. They loaded their household goods on a wagon, put seven children on top of the load, and started out. The team was very thin and weak from the long winter without much food, so they soon “gave out”, and couldn’t pull the wagon. Amasy was forced to leave about half their load at Oak Creek. There were no roads or trails to follow. It was a slow, hard trip just finding ways to go forward. They jolted over rocks, through lava beds, across a big flat, and through Aspen Groves. Then they went down through big ponderosa pines and more rock. When they finally arrived at the wonderful homestead Amasy had filled on the year before, Rosanna was astonished. It was a high cold rock bench covered with black boulders, oak brush, scrub pine, cedars and sage brush. She could hardly believe her husband had filed on this land, especially after she got on a horse and went south to see some of the other homesteads.
|over the mountain|
They built a cabin of logs—14 feet wide 18 feet long. The roof was three long ridge poles 18 feet long, covered with dirt. There was two windows and one door. At the other end, Rosanna built a big rock fireplace. Rosanna was a big woman with a big belly. As she built the fireplace, she used her belly as they set the rock and mud. When it was completed, the fireplace was the shape of her body, pushed back, but it was also the best for drawing and giving heat. So the whole family was very proud of their mother and her fireplace.
This winter was the first year anyone spent the winter in the valley. They ran out of flour and had very little money, so Amasy went to Escalante on horseback to get flour. After waiting many days for his return, Rosanna sent her son, Vern to go and see if his father was there and get some flour. Vern was 12 years old and very dependable. He left very early in the morning and walked via the horse trail to the Escalante River, up through Phipps Pasture and on to Escalante. He had walked the thirty miles in one day. As he went to the center of the town, he could hear his father’s fiddle, so he went to the music, where people were dancing. His father danced as he played the fiddle. He turned, saw Vern, and rushed over to him. “This is a hell of a way to treat your family!” Vern wouldn’t listen to his father trying to explain he got paid to play the fiddle and also had a day job, so he was doing fine. Vern simply walked away and went to Riddles Store on the same street. He went in, nodded to Sam Sheffield and asked Mr. Riddle, “Will you let me have a sack of flour and get your money from my pa, Amasy Lyman.?”
If you were to take this same trip in your car as you can now, you would be amazed and your heart touched too that a twelve-year-old boy could make such a trip on foot carrying 50 pounds of flour.
Spring came again and the loaded wagons came early moving more supplies to the homes in Boulder. It was a very rugged trip from Escalante to the new homes. After they made the last climb up and over the hogback and on to the Home Bench, the wagons stopped for a rest. Mrs. Baker called to everyone as they started to travel again, “Here we go to Boulder.” All the children were delighted with the name. So, Boulder was soon the name of the valley everyone called home.
At this time, Gil McNelly decided he would like to have a homestead in Boulder, but he was sure he could find an easier way to travel. If he went by Pine Creek road and around the mountain. After a few days, he came to the road from Wayne County to boulder. He never recommended to anyone that they go around the mountain to reach Boulder.
Gil went south until he came to the sandy homestead of Sam Sheffield. Sam offered his homestead, so Gil took it and started to build a cabin of logs. Sam went north almost to the Lyman ranch and homesteaded 160 acres. There was a lot of rocks and black boulders, so Sam started making rock fences. He built a rock coral on the west side of Deer Creek. Then west of the coral, he built a very neat rock cabin to live in.
Gil started clearing the deep sand on his homestead, and there all alone he decided he didn’t like the sand or the location or anything about Boulder. So he just packed up and left for home.
Although Claud Haws was born 4 April 1891 in Thurber to Frank and Minnie Smith Haws, they decided to move to Boulder for good that spring. They bundled their baby, moved to Boulder and started building as soon as they arrived. They moved into a log cabin on the baker place while they were building their own cabins.
Frank was a “Dandy”, he had a mustache, a lot of hair and was dressed just perfect. He never, never left his bedroom until he was dressed in a white shirt, and pants in his boots. His children never once saw their father without a tie. He always wore a tie, even when branding calves. It didn’t matter what he was doing, he was always dressed up. He was a “dandy” through and through. A very colorful person- always laughing and joking.
He played the banjo and the violin. He had the finest banjo that money could buy. They always had a lot of things going on in their home, and of course they were pretty well-to-do by this time.
In 1894, Willis and Louie Thompson moved to Boulder and went north to homestead, just north of Sam Sheffield and south of Lyman’s. This is now the Niel Jepson Ranch. The Thompson’s brought a rug loom with them which Willis used to make rugs from rags. This loom is still in Boulder in active use, now owned and operated by Doyle Mooseman. Doyle’s mother, Mary Mooseman, for many years ran this loom. At one time she told me that as near as she had been able to count since she started keeping track, she had woven 3,500 rugs.
This year of 1894, John Safely, who had married the widowed mother of Frank Haws, and his son-in-law, Fred Simmons, came to Boulder and took up homesteads directly west of the Lyman homestead, over a little hill about a mile away. The homesteaded the area which is now called the Ormand Ranch.
On October 1894, Rosanna Lyman gave birth to a tiny 2 ½ pound son. Her husband Amasy, had gone to drive a band of horses to Green River. Rosanna was all alone. She sent one of the children to get Louie Thompson to help her. Louie had a bunch of children of her husbands. She had never had a child of her own, or had ever seen a birth. She was very frightened and ineffectual, but she did her best under the direction of Rosanna and cared for the baby while Rosanna lay and almost lost her life from hemorrhaging. The baby was named Amasy, after his father. They felt, of course, that he would die because he only weighed the 2 ½ pounds, but he surprised everyone, was very vigorous, and survived to become the first living white child to be born in Boulder.
In the year 1895, the Caleb Gresham family moved to Boulder. They camped all summer by the little lake in the middle of Boulder. In the fall, Mr. Gresham bought the Jlbaeurs place in Salt Creek Gulch and Joe left the country. Gresham’s wife, Josie was the sister of Sam Sheffield.
All through the years after Sam came, there was speculation as to why he came to Boulder. No one ever found out. He would never say. He would just laugh and pass it off or joke about it.
The year of 1895 was the first year hay was raised in Boulder. Henry Baker put up hay on the Henry Baker Ranch. In the fall of this year, Henry Baker’s family moved back to Richfield. Henry Baker had come to live on George Baker’s ranch on a partnership basis to help him run the ranch.
|Sarah Sariah Durfey Smith Jack Smith|
These were the main ones who built who built the school house. It was agreed that each man would furnish a desk or a table and a chair for each of his children. All during the year, the work was done on the schoolhouse so that it would be complete and ready for school by next fall. It was a one room log house with a big potbellied, black heater in the middle of the room. The stove pipe went through the very top.
Frank Haws, the fancy and rich man, made a very fine planed bench for his children. The three girls sat side by side. Then on the back he extended out a seat for Henry and made a desk over that seat for him. This was quite original, no one else had ever thought of anything like this.
In April 1896, Mary and Chris Mooseman decided to move to Boulder. Mary was a blue-eyed blond, a sister of Willis Thompson, who was already living here. Her husband, Christian Mooseman, was the son of a Swiss Italian, he was very dark, had dark hair, dark eyes, and dark skin. He was a small agile man who always stood very straight and always dressed neat and flashy. He owned fine horses and always rode a horse proud and tall in the saddle. He was an expert teamster with a fine big team.
There was a saddle horse trail from Boulder to Escalante that was used by anyone wanting to go to Boulder when the mountain was covered with snow. Chris flounced with a good outfit like he had, thought he would be able to take his team and wagon across the trail. The mountain was still snowbound in April when they started to Boulder to homestead.
When they came to where the trail dropped down to the Escalante River, there just wasn’t enough room to take a wagon along the ledges. After searching vainly, they finally decided they would have to lower everything over the ledges to the canyon below. They had some brand new horse blankets of canvas. So using these, they lowered all the household goods, dismantled the wagon, and lowered it into the canyon below. By using the team and saddle horse for a pulley, they were able to do this without breaking anything.
Bill Osborn had decided to come to Boulder to homestead as had had a dream about a certain hill in which to build a dugout for a house while he cleared his land. So, he had come along with Chris and Marv to drive their milk cows. Now he came in very handy and helped lower everything into the canyon. When all was at last at the bottom of the canyon, they rode their horses down the narrow steep trail. They had their two children Wilburn and Francis with them.
|George Baker family|
Finally on top and after another day of travel, they arrived in boulder. It had taken three days to go thirty miles. They went north to the foot of the mountain, north of the Lyman homestead in the Upper Valley and here started their homestead of about 160 acres. They cleared land as fast as possible, but were unable to raise any hay the first year. So, Chis traded one milk cow to George Baker for three ton of hay to last him through the winter.
Soon after the Mooseman came on 22 May 1896, Edna Baker was born to the George Bakers. The Haws have been claiming that Mina Haws was the first white child to be born in Boulder, but Edna was born before Mina. This fact I thought most interesting. Also, remember Amasy Lyman was a 2 ½ pound baby who lived.
|Fruita School House|
Poverty was stalking the valley for many. The Thompsons were having a very hard time making a “go” of things. The Thompson children came to school in canvas britches. Their lunches was usually corn bread and molasses. They always drew off to themselves, so the others wouldn’t see what they had to eat. Sadie Thompson who wasn’t old enough to go to school, rode a horse every day down to the Baker Ranch with a two gallon crock with a snap-on lid tied to the horn of the saddle. Mrs. Baker would fill the crock with
milk, and Sadie would ride the fore miles back home.
The fall of 1896, Andrew King came to Boulder from Fillmore. He was the brother of John King. He stayed all winter, working here and there, while he courted the school teacher. He married her in the spring and they left Boulder.
In November, just before the heavy snow fell, Henry Baker moved his family back to Boulder from Richfield. He had moved out before and here he came back and brought his brother-in-law, Jim Ramsey, as well as a load of building materials for a new home on the George Baker ranch. This was to be a big, new frame house. With the help of Jim Peters, they started building the house as winter came.
The schoolhouse was now used regularly for church each Sunday and for many dances and parties.
Indians still roamed here and there and regularly came to Boulder which they still claimed was their land. To make peace with them George Baker gave one Indian a horse which was to trade for his place. One Indian called, “Old Teawald” shouted at Jim Peter’s wife fiercely when she didn’t hand over food as he demanded.
Jim Peters moved his family to Boulder from Richfield this summer. They came through Wayne County, around the mountain and arrived in Boulder on the 4th of July. Jim planned the event carefully because he had brought a dozen small flags. Everyone had gathered together at Boulder Creek to fish and celebrate the 4th of July. Jim arrived during the celebration with flags waving from the horse’s bridles and harnesses and bells were attached here and there. The horses pranced and pawed as they trotted in amongst the celebration with bells ringing.
|School and Church in Monticello|
Andrew King had married the school teacher, Violet Cottom, in the spring, so the school board hired Ronda Cottom, Violets sister to come and teach at the school.
Gene Baker came with his father, William George Baker, to the valley. They came into lower Boulder because Willard Brinkerhoff sold his entry to Jim Peters, William Baker and Victor Bean. He had 640 acres and sold his full entry to these three men, so each one had 219 acres of land.
|the Late Jim Haws|
The year of 1900 was the big year for the Frank Haws family. They had Ash Gault come to Boulder and build a frame house for them. This was the first frame house in Boulder. All the materials had to be hauled in from Richfield. The home he built was very well constructed. It still stands today, very sturdy—even after years of neglect. Gault was a fine carpenter. He built the house and barn. He spent the whole year building in Boulder.
Also this year of 1900, at the invitation of John King, everyone went to Salt Gulch to celebrate the 4th of July on the John King Ranch he had homesteaded. There was still snow on the mountain, so some of the men went up and got snow so they could make ice cream by putting bucket of custard in the snow and ice and turning the bucket back and forth. Every little while the bucket would be opened and the frozen custard would be scraped to the middle in order some more would freeze. Finally the whole bucket would be frozen. The main fun was liking the spoons after each stirring.
In the course of this celebration, they decided to have a shooting contest. Nethelia King was so afraid of guns, she cried as loud as she could each time someone shot. Many were disgusted with her.
In the spring of 1900, Joe Hutchingson brought the first saw mill from Wayne County to Boulder. He later left the country and left Will and Jack Smith, Bob Kitley and Vern Lyman to run the mill.
Also this year, Amasy Lyman was appointed to get a flag pole for the 4th of July. He found one fifty feet tall, straight and slender. It lasted for many years. Standing in front of the school, they always had a flag to fly on special occasions.
In March 1901, Grandma Safely, mother of Frank Haws, lay dying. With her last breath she asked that she not be buried in Boulder. She had married Old Safely and came to Boulder, but she wasn’t happy. She was sixty miles from Thurber her former home. The mountain was still covered with deep crusted snow, but to fulfill her wish, a hand sleigh was built, her body placed on it, and a party of young men started over the Boulder Mountain. There was young John Safely, Charlie Haws, and two Jensen boys, Ed Thompson, Will Peterson and Vern Lyman. They pushed and pulled the sleigh over the mountain by foot while Frank Haws, his wife and daughters, went around through Escalante by team, up over the Escalante Mountain, through Grass Valley, over Parker Mountain and back to Thurber where everyone met for the burial.
In 1902, Fred Simmons sold his farm to George Ormond for $300.00. George paid this with 36 head of cows and calves. George went ahead then and made the final proof on the homestead.
Also this year of 1902, John Safely sold his homestead to Joe Robinson. It was this year that Charlie Nazor gave up and left the country, so Reynolds Lyman took over his homestead and stared working on it. This is where the Roundy family now lives.
Claude Vee Baker had been journeying to Escalante to court Lilly Liston. On 17 Dec. 1902 they were married in Escalante and Claude brought her back to Boulder.
On 7 May 1902 the first “National Forest Reserve” was established by a Presidential Proclamation. This immediately started shaping the lives of the People in Boulder, though they were not aware of it at the time.
Also in 1902, Brig Woolsey and family moved to Boulder. Brig and his wife, Theresa, had a log cabin in the trees directly west of the Jim Peterson house which was also log. Theresa was a fine cheese maker and made cheese for people in the valley and also taught different ones how to make cheese. They didn’t try to ship any out. They just made a years supply during the summer.
While Brig was living in Boulder, he and Rile Porter, Hyrum Gates, and Faun Campbell went in as partners and bought a threshing machine. It was to end up in boulder, but they thought they should make all the money they could as fast as possible. They took teams and went out to Marysville to get the thresher, a second hand one. As they came bringing it back they stopped in Coyote, now called Antimony and threshed all their grain. They came on to Escalante and threshed all their grain there. Then they brought the thresher on to Boulder. It took all the owners and all their boys to take the thresher to Boulder. With two teams pulling and two in reserve, they started out. On many parts of the hazardous road, they tied a pole to the top of the thresher and then two or three men would ride the pole to keep the thresher from tipping over.
In 1903 Amasy Lyman, sold his ranch to Bill Osborne, and he moved to Canesville
This year of 1903, it was decided to have the 4th of July celebration on the Frank Haws ranch. They built a bowery and they brought in candy by pack mule in five gallon buckets. They spread a tarp under the bowery and dumped the candy out on the tarp so everyone could eat all they were able to hold. An orchestra came from Escalante to play for the dancing.
This year, Dad Ogden and Gresham had a big fight. Gresham started the fight as he had a fiery temper. Ogden was slow to anger, but after he got mad, he threw Gresham on the ground and pounded sand into his eyes and battered his head until it was black and blue for a long time. He couldn’t see for days, though his wife finally got the sand washed out of his eyes.
It was now the year of 1904, Joe Robinson sold his homestead to John Black and moved back to Fillmore. Then Brigham Woolsey sold his homestead to Walt Baker and moved by to Escalante. This year was the first year forest grazing was established. There were 75,000 head of sheep and 12,500 head of cattle on the Boulder Mountain.
Boulder always had a 4th of July celebration. The 4th of July 1904 the bowery was rebuilt. Frank Haws with his fiddle and Cal Gresham with his banjo played for the dance in the school house.
Boulder students all rode horses to school. At noon they watered and fed the horses or let them graze while they ate their lunch, as soon as school was out, they all made a wild dash for their horses and every kid went home as fast as they could run their horse.
On 1st January 1907 Minnie Haws was officially appointed the first Postmistress in Boulder. They had the Post Office in their home.
During the summer of 1907 Sariah Haws and Hannah Baker started carrying the mail to and from Escalante with pack-mules. George Baker had the mail contract, but these two girls drove the mules to carry the mail back and forth between Escalante and Boulder, distance of thirty miles which would take them most of day one way. They would drive the mules and ride astride as rough and wild as any man. Just a short distance out of Escalante, they would start riding side-saddle and ride very sedately into town. There were would always be plenty of young me men to help them unpack and deliver the mail and show them a good time during the evening. The next day they would make the trip back.
James Alvey was courting Sariah, he told me many times, two or three of the guys would follow Sariah and Hannah unbeknownst to them. When the girls got far enough out that they thought no one from Escalante could see them, they would throw their leg over the horse, uncoil their long whips and in no time at all would have their mules on a fast trot out across the big flat.
In 1907, Walt Baker traded the Victor Bean and Woolsey homestead which he owned to Christian Hansen for a large home in in Richfield which they valued at $1,200.00. Everyone was thrilled! Boulder land was already valuable. The Hansen’s moved to Boulder.
|the Leo Rolando & Anna Laurine Smith Holt family|
One early trip home, James Mooseman drove the team, Albert Gledhill played his mandolin, Frank Haws played the violin- they came out and got in the wagon, still playing, never missing a beat. Everyone piled around them and they played their instruments all the way home, never stopping all the way. James Mooseman was living at the time at on the Baker Ranch and Albert Gledhill had married ne of the Haws girls.
On 8th of November 1909, Minnie Haws the postmistress, issued the first money order. It was the Sears and Roebuck and Company of Chicago, Illinois for $1. 22.
In 1909, Rosa Gouding from Panguitch came to Boulder to teach school. Some of the kids discovered she wore rag garters, so all the boys in school went together and bought a beautiful pair of pink satin and lace elastic garters with flowers and ribbon too. They gave them to her for Christmas. She started to cry, and they never were able to figure out whether she was crying because she was insulted or pleased.
|Max Robinson at Fruita|
The Frank Haws were always having a party or something going on at their house. They had a string of race horses and when a bunch got together they would have races. Then Frank would get his violin and Minnie would play the organ. They were the first ones in Boulder to have an organ. The whole family was very talented. They could all sing and play some instrument.
In 1910, Rosa Goulding taught school in Boulder again. She had started going with Bertram Peterson. He wanted her to come home with his brother, Rio after school. Rio had a mare called Topsy. He didn’t want the teacher riding with him, but he couldn’t get out of it. So he let her get on behind him. Then he started the horse off on a dead run, and whipped her all the way home. Rosa hung on for dear life. Soon her skirts began to fly and were soon up over her head, but she knew she would fall off if she let go, so she just hung on. With her head covered with clothing, she was even more terrified. They finally arrived at the Peterson Ranch after a dead run of four miles. Indignant people who had seen bloomers as they ran by, entered a complaint against her for indecent exposure. Chris Hansen was the Justice of Peace, so after much talk and excitement, he had a hearing and promptly canceled it in favor of Miss Goulding who he thought had been subjected to a very hard ordeal.
In 1910, the Forest Service ran a telephone line to Boulder, to the Ranger Station and told Chris Mooseman that the Boulder people could connect on and use the line whenever the Forest Service wasn’t using it. Chris went to George Baker and told him what the Forest Service had told him. George told him, “You and your boys put up the lines and I will buy two telephones and furnish the wire”. The line was run across the street to Chris Mooseman’s home. George Baker had Chris run a line to his ranch. He purchased both their telephones and the line from Montgomery Ward and Company. Parcel Post brought it in by pack-mule. Very soon, all of Boulder was connected to the telephone, each with his own ring. Chris Mooseman’s ring was two short rings. George Baker’s was three rings, two short and one long.
Bertram Peterson and Rose Goulding got married and built a little log house on their homestead down in “the draw”. France and Morris Lyman helped Bert to build the house. They built a scaffold on the side of the house, France and Morris got on it together and it collapsed, and Morris broke his arm. He fainted while trying to get home. When Ruth and Hack came after him, they took him on home and bandaged his arm. He then got on a horse and rode 40 miles to Wayne County all by himself to have the doctor set it.
John Black had bought the “Upper Ranch west of Lyman’s. He was always getting into a fight. Reynolds Lyman turned on him and just beat him half to death. He gave him such a beating that they had to bring a buckboard and haul him home. When they got him all loaded and ready to go, Reynolds said to him, “Now Mr. Black remember, I wear a size 17 shirt.”
|James C. Peterson family|
Sam’s brother, Dave Sheffield, came from Chicago to settle his estate. He was a one-legged man big and handsome. He had a white poodle dog, which he loved very much. The people of Boulder had never seen a poodle dog before. He stayed at the Jaunt Morrell’s in Salt Gulch who were running the John King Ranch. Sam’s place in the draw, where he had died, had the house, the stable, chicken coup and hog-pen all under one roof. Sam was buried in the Boulder Cemetery.
|who and what are they?|
In the year of 1917, John King purchased the Old George Baker Ranch for $20,000.00 from Almon Robinson of Fillmore. John Black had been trying to buy it, but had not been able to get the money.
Also, in the summer of 1917, Arthur Alvey came to Boulder. He took care of the Frank Haws Ranch while Frank toured Southern Utah with his race horses. Old Brady, Maudie, Old Joe and Redwing were his choice horses. In those days, the horses were ridden, or led from town to town. When travelling, they were shod with heavy cork shoes. When ready for racing, the shoes were removed and replaced with light weight racing plates. He took his whole family in a covered wagon and travelled all summer going from town to town. He did this for many summers.
In the year 1917, James Pierce family moved to Boulder from Canyonville. James, his wife and children. Pauline, Estle, and little Paul, lived in a log house on the John King Ranch, then moved up and built a cabin out of aspen that now stands by the Indian ruins. Pierce was a bragger and he was always referred to as a “dirty Old Cuss”, but he genuinely loved Boulder. He always called it “God’s Country.” He claimed to be a rock mason and a woodsman. He said, “When I go out to chop a tree, you can’t see my hind end for chips.”
When he died, his wife wanted him buried in Escalante. So, his sons, Mercel and Marvel took him in wagon packed in ice. They left in the morning about 4:00 a.m. driving their best team. Claude Baker rode a horse accompanied them in case they needed help. That night 9:00 p.m. they drove into Escalante. This is still recognized as quite a feat for a couple of boys. This trip usually took a couple of days. Usually people camped over on the river, but this boys drove clear through.
|"Hole-in-the-Rock" trail----after blasting|
In October 1919 Amasy and May Lyman moved from Boulder to Teasdale. Eph Coombs bought their homestead for a new car, a house and one acre of land. Gertrud Wilson started reporting news from Boulder to the Garfield County News and the Deseret News. She was the first reporter from Boulder.
For years a giant Grizzle roamed the Boulder Mountain, killing cattle and sheep. He would range clear across the mountain from Boulder to Coyote later called Antimony. In April of 1919, the snow was three or four feet deep, when the bear appeared. He killed five steers and a burrow with a bell on. Claude Vee Baker took hounds and went to chase the bear. When he got on to the mountain, the snow was so crusted the horses could walk on the snow, but the bear was too heavy. He kept breaking through. In spite of this, though, he got away. He went all around the mountain, but was finally killed by Rube and Charley Riddle near Coyote, Utah. The bear weighed 2,200 pounds and was 20 inches between the ears. He made a trip around the Boulder Mountain every 30 days. One foray, he killed a five year old steer of Johnny Kings.
On 18 May 1920 it snowed 18 inches in Boulder.
In 1921, Alf Whatcock started running John Black’s cattle. He took cattle for pay. It wasn’t long until Alf was getting more calves than John.
In the year of 1922 the Boulder Irrigation Company was formed.
In 1923 the number of cattle and sheep on the Boulder Mountain had risen in great numbers. There was now 56,577 sheep and 20,878 cattle on Boulder Mountain.
In 1924, Parcel Post Packages was added to the U.S. Mail, which until this time had been carried in by pack-mule- letters only. This immediately caused a big boom in ordering stuff to come in. The one pack that had carried the mail was increased to as many as ten or fifteen and almost everything was brought in by pack mule.
By inquiring, Mrs. Hansen found out that there was no reason why we couldn’t ship anything we wanted out of Boulder as well. So, immediately everyone started milking cows and separating milk and shipping cream out. The pack mules carried loads of cream, there would be as many as ten, fifteen or twenty pack mules- all loaded with cream. Sometimes it would get so hot, the cream would sour and blow the lids off the cans and end up with a pack saddle full of cream- what a greasy, oily mess.
In 1926, the Commercial Bank closed the mortgage and took over the Upper Boulder Ranch owned in partnership by John Black, and Niels Jepsen. The bank made an agreement with Niels and he bought the ranch. Then in 1936, Clyde King bought it from Niels.
In 1930, the census was taken and there was a population of 192 in Boulder, 44 were children. I took the census in 1940 and at that time, there were 240 living in Boulder. This was the biggest population that had ever lived in Boulder up the year 1940.
My thanks to Irene Wilson K.I. for a wonderful history and memories but now we will talk about my memories.
MY MEMORIES of the LAND of the SLEEPING RAINBOW
By Eugene Halverson
I was 17 years old discovered this land of the “RAINBOWS” now I am 86 now but I can still remember the Valley with its rainbow colors.
The War was over and I could actually buy gas and tires without a rationing stamp. Well, actually we came down to fish. The word was out about the big fish in Lower Bowns Reservoir and it was true. Then we heard about the “high lakes” and where to find horses. Soon we were at Levi Bullard’s Fish Creek Ranch and it was quite a bargain. His wife, Billy fed us coming and going. Levi took us mostly to Donkey and Blind Lake and would come back to get us when it was time to go. We found many lakes under the “Rim” and it was fun. We were up about 11,000 feet, so, we had quite a view of everything below.
So, the next time we came down we looked over the “Upper Valley” as we fished the Fremont River. I can still remember Torrey with its “Giant Trees” reaching across the road and forming a beautiful shady tunnel for the town. They look pretty shabby now.
We dropped down to the “Lower Valley” to a town called, “Fruita”. Now we were on an old horse and wagon trail down through the Grand Wash” and what a wash it was. We could see flood marks on canyon walls when the canyon was filled 20 feet deep. Well we found Fruita with all its colors, canyons, domes, and spires and all across the valley was all kinds of fruit trees, little houses and a store. It was warm down here and fruit ripened long before the upper valley and selling fruit was how they made a living. Well, we were all eyes and ears and the ladies told us, “If we wanted to talk, we had to pick fruit”. It seems like we were always picking fruit whenever we came down. It was pleasant down there, the people were friendly, and we relaxed in the evening by sitting on the Oyler Store porch overlooking the Indian writings and we even slept on his lawn. We later found we were in the middle of the “Water Pocket Fold”. I always called this valley “Wayne Wonder Land”. It’s now called Capital Reefs and I don’t like it.
To get to Escalante was even worse somehow you had to bypass “Box Death Hollow”. Just four years before I came down here mules were delivering mail here.
Up we went through Salt Gulch to the top of the mountain over the “Hells Backbone” over a little wooden bridge across the top and down Escalante Canyon passing “Posy Lake”, a mighty fine lake.
Time changes everything, Boulder and Escalante are no longer the little towns I remember. If I am sad the people are sad to see their towns change to accommodate all the tourists on a popular “Scenic Highway”.
NOW FOR THE REST OF THE STORY
Jorgen Smith buried one wife, left another, and came down here with his third wife and most of his 22 children. Now after three or more generations almost all of the families in the “Sleeping Rainbow” story are my relatives. “Big Cousins” are closely related and “Small Cousins” are distantly related.
My library is full books, pictures and stories from every town down there. I have been to a few reunions and met many wonderful people. I even have one “Brady’s” racing shoes hanging on my wall.
I was 17 years old when I discovered this wonderland of Colors. I came before the “Great War” and now I was back when I could actually buy gas and tires without a rationing stamp.
|Grand Wash road to Fruita|
Really we came down to fish. Everyone was talking about the “big fish in Lower Bowns Reservoir and the “high lakes”. I remember knocking on Levi Bullard’s door at his Fish Creek Ranch. Levi would take us mostly to Donkey and Blind Lake and would come back to get us when it was time to go. We found many lakes up under the “Rim” but to see anything, we had to climb above the Rim and that was a hike. We fished most of the lakes here, the Parker and the Thousand Lake Mountains as well.
The Torrey I remember had “Giant Trees” growing across the road from both sides. It felt like we just entered this wonderful tunnel. Then there was the “Ice cream Dairy in the river bottom above Torrey that we just could not pass without stopping.
|Grand Wash after a flood|
I travelled the “Grand Wash” when it was the only road to Fruita. It was just a horse and wagon trail down through the bottom of a canyon. It had water (flood) marks on the walls 20 feet above us. We found Fruita to be an oasis in the desert. It was filled with all kinds of fruit trees, little houses and even a store. It was nestled below giant walls, domes, and spires. We had to look straight up to see the sky. It was warm down here and fruit ripened long before the upper valley and selling fruit was how they made a living. Well, we were all eyes and ears and the ladies told us, “If we wanted to talk, we had to pick fruit”. It seems like we were always picking fruit whenever we came down. It was pleasant down there, the people were friendly, and we relaxed in the evening by sitting on the Oyler Store porch overlooking the Indian writings and we even slept on his lawn. We later found we were in the middle of the “Water Pocket Fold”. I always called this valley “Wayne Wonder Land”. It’s now called Capital Reefs and I don’t like it.
The road to “Boulder” was a jeep road and only a fair-weather road at that. A rain and even the jeeps stayed off it. To go on to Escalante was quite an adventure. The mountain passes were closed with snow in the winter, so you walked or rode a horse through the bottom of “Box Death Hollow”. This was the trail that the mules used to deliver mail to Escalante. During my time we went above Death Hollow. The road from Boulder snaked around a big wash and up through Salt Gulch to the top of the mountain over the “Hells Backbone” over a little wooden bridge across the top and down to Escalante. Now we have “Scenic Highway” 12 through all these red rock canyons. Time changes everything, Boulder and Escalante are no longer the little towns that I remember. A change from a “cow town” to a tourist town.
|Water Pocket Fold|
A mining company forced us to move from my mountain to the valley. It was bad enough to watch a giant mining shovel gobble-up our house, but it was worse to watch them bury my canyon. My backyard had Pine trees and Quaken Aspin and I drank from the springs and streams. Everything is gone and nothing flows from the mountain anymore.
STICKIE-TA-GUDY --We cannot fail
It was now 1879, Brigham Young was dead but his “colonization” plan was still alive. But how could you send “new converts” down to the San Juan when nothing was known about the place and no one wanted to go there. They did know something had to be done because miners and cattlemen from Colorado were beginning to occupy it.
High mountains, washes, river gorges and a desert full of sand and slick-rock protected it and how to even pass through it. The Silas Smith Company took 26 wagons from Cedar City through a hostile Indian Reservation, travelled a thousand miles and failed.
Other experts told of a short-cut below Escalante. So now Bishops were “Calling” their most experienced, most dependable members to report to Escalante. Charles and Jane McKeshnie Walton travelled all the way from Northern Utah and over the snowy mountain before winter hit them. Far from Escalante high on a ridge sat 280 men, women and children with about 83 wagons and hundreds of animals. It took months to blast and dig a passage down through the “Hole in the Rock. This trail was used for a few years until a better way was found.
Snow covered the passes, they couldn’t go back and if they couldn’t get through the hole to the valley below they would starve. When everyone was discouraged Jens Nielsen got up and challenged them. “If we had enough, STICKIE-TA-GUDY (go-with-God) we cannot fail”. That became the battle cry that raised their spirits and made them work so much harder and on they went.
|Hole-in the -Rock|
A promised six week Journey ended up being a six month journey and most of their food and supplies were almost gone. Undaunted the horses to pulled all wagons down a two thousand foot steep slot in the wall into Glen Canyon close to Rainbow Bridge.
Bluff was still 60 miles away with more roads to be built. There was still blasting and digging new roads and walking with ropes tied to the wagons through down-hills, up-hills (like the chute) and side-hills (that were even more scary). They were completely worn out, hungry and out of almost everything. They even had to eat some of the seed they were supposed to plant.
At Bluff houses were built, land cleared and piece by piece the land was settled. The river was not kind, they either had too much water or not enough. Businesses came and the town grew and people began to prosper, but the Indians were unhappy with their new neighbors taking their land again. It was scary when the whole tribe came and took over their town.
|Jane's home in Monticello|
There were many horses and cattle taken by Indians and many posses were sent out to retrieve them only be ambushed. Many people were killed but the Mormons stayed out of it.
One day Chief Posy came in the house after some food and scared Jane while she was cooking. She turned and hit him on the head with a frying pan. The next time he came he knocked on the door and said, “Me want Biscuit”. In time he became Jane’s special friend. At a dance on 24th of July, Jane was shot and killed by a drunken cowboy. Chief Posy and his warriors gave chase and the cowboy was never seen again.
I have been all around Escalante but nowhere near the hole in the rock. I have hunted the mountains around Bluff, Blanding and Monticello. Bear’s Ears, Elk Ridge, Dark Canyon to name a few. These were high mountains and scary ridges and sandy canyons. Even today you had to be careful coming and going. I can see why they were lost and God only knows how found they found their way again. Camping anywhere in any canyon is still very dangerous. Once two trucks with trailers and all the people were washed away and nothing was ever found.
Hole in the Rock Books to buy.
Jane.. A Woman’s Determination and the Wild-West Frontier by Michael King
The Undaunted by Gerald N. Lund
“Advised to call the Place Escalante” Jerry C. Roundy