Sunday, October 6, 2013

Southern Utah and family history.

Another family history ride. 
I think it is important to remember and document our heritage so I force myself to ride to Southern Utah to check out where my Grandfather, Hyrum Edward Whetstone was born and raised.

This is the town of New Harmony, Utah; grandfather was born here on December 25, 1879. 
Actually New Harmony is directly behind me, it is a very small town - I found the post office, but didn't see a store. The town was established in 1862.

The town sign at the cemetery.

 The first community building was a log school, this bell was on top of that building for almost 100 years.
 The next day I meet LD riders (Long Distance) Eric and Cletha here for a  good breakfast and wonderful conversation. Both Eric and Cletha have competed in the Iron Butt Rally, and I'm amazed at the miles they cover! They tell me about a one day rally in California that I think I'll try to attend.
 After breakfast I'm off on highway 9 to Mt Carmel to look for more family history. But first a ride up Smith's Mesa Road.

 Then on to Zion National Park.
The orange cones are where we are not allowed to go because of the government shutdown. Obviously if our government is not functioning then parts of the great outdoors can no longer be accessed...

 So...normally you drive up to the entrance booth, give the park ranger some money and then drive through. There are estimates that at Zion NP the revenue generated by cars driving through the park are $50,000.00 per day.
However since the 'shutdown' is in effect, I drive up to the entrance booth, there is still a ranger there, she tells me I can drive through, but NO stopping at the risk of a fine.
Ranger still there, I still drive through, but no revenue generated. Brilliant.

I did see some brave people stop and take pictures, but most vehicles simply drove through at under 10 mph speeds content to take pictures from their (slowly) moving car.
 And yes, they were driving slow, but most everyone seemed to be quite cooperative - and they would make it very easy to pass, pulling the car to the right when possible.
It seemed as if there was an "us versus them" attitude.
More cones.

 Also, the LEO presences was heavier than I had seen before.
 Zion successfully navigated I stop at the Thunderbird to visit their gift shop. It seems I had gallivanted off for a ride on Beverly's birthday. Clearly returning home bearing gifts would be wise.

I go north From St. George, to Hurricane then ride highway 9 through the Zion NP, then turn left (north bound) on US 89

This is Mt Carmel, my grandfather moved here circa 1889 and was adopted and raised by the Bishop of the Morman ward, Bishop Haskel Jolley. It was agreed that he would live with and work for Bishop Jolley until he was grown or ready to marry. In return he would be clothed and fed, and receive a team of horses and a wagon when he married.
He did marry on August 16, 1900 to Mary Minerva Jolley. (a cousin to the family that raised him)
Three months later they and others made the exodus to Lovell, Wyoming as noted in my previous post.

This Mt Carmel School/Church/Community building was built in 1890 it would be safe to assume grandfather attended school here as well as church meetings, and dances etc.
I wanted to visit the cemetery but didn't think I would be welcome 'up there'. Lucky for me I checked the other side of the post and got better directions.

A short 2.6 miles north on US 89 is the town of Orderville. 
This is the Orderville cemetery. As you can see there are NUMEROUS flag poles across the graveyard. On each flag pole is a rope and metal clips to hold a flag.
A gentle breeze was blowing that day and making those metal clips contact with the metal flag pole continuously making 'ding ding' sounds. As I listened, I pondered the story of how the phrase, "Saved by the bell" came into existence.

I was told that the local expert on the pioneers worked at a Sinclair gas station in Orderville so off I went to the Sinclair. The expert wasn't working, but I bought her book and a root beer from the friendly attendant.

 Directly across the street from the Sinclair I see this place, I go there hoping to get some lunch, but they are closed on weekends...... so I sat myself down on the bench in the shade and enjoyed my root beer.

I've ridden through these towns more times than I can recall and never had any inkling that my history was connected to them. I'm so grateful to my cousin who put this information down on paper which allowed me to make these connections.
I've always loved Southern Utah and now have even more reason to do so.
Oh, and I really enjoyed the two day 750 mile ride!


Chiller tek said...

Love the photo's of your trip through Zion National park. That looks like a fantastic ride. Great scenery.

The Bug Boys said...

Awesome ride as usual. I wish I had more time to do roadtrips in my bugs. Until then, I will have to keep riding with you in your blog.

Trobairitz said...

Great post. Interesting to see where your family came from and where they might have gone to school, etc.

Isn't it odd that they let you go through the park but block off the pull outs? You can drive through the park, but don't you dare stop to enjoy it. Who thought up these rules during the shutdown?

We noticed yesterday people parking at the locked gate of the national wildlife refuge (just south of Corvallis) and just hiking in instead of driving.

bob skoot said...


sometimes I wished that I could go and check out my past but it's not possible and there is no one left to say where we came from.

I like these little towns. There is so much history there that we don't know because most of us don't stop to explore.

I really don't see the harm in stopping for a photo and blocking off those pull out areas just doesn't make sense.

Riding the Wet Coast

Ken said...

Chiller - Thanks for reading!

BB - I think a road trip in a bug sounds like good fun! When I was in high school my brother owned a 62 baby blue convertable...we had a lot of fun in that car!

Trobairitz - I don't know for certain who thought up those inane rules, but I think they (the person) should be forced to move to some 3rd world country (South Africa for example) where there is no inside plumbing and LOTS of flies.... :)

Bob - There are numerous 'family history' experts in this area, I would bet they could find information (possibly more than you care to read..) on your family.

Richard M said...

Nice post and pictures of southern Utah, one of my favorite places to explore as well. And nice that you were able to connect physical locations with some of your family history.

As far as closing the turnouts in Zion, I'd say that someone was trying to think of the most inconvenient thing to do to make a political statement.