History and wild country are two of Brent Hunt’s top hobbies. When officers of the Settlement Canyon Chapter of the Sons of Utah Pioneers asked for volunteers, Hunt, who is also membership director of the chapter, quickly volunteered to find all the monuments assigned to this chapter, photograph them and report on their present condition, and on what repair and maintenance is needed on each monument.
Many of these “memories to man” follow the Pony Express trail from Five Mile Pass to the Deep Creek Mountains on the Utah-Nevada border. In addition to these monuments, there are many additional monuments built and maintained by the Daughters of Utah Pioneers within Tooele County. This author apologizes to the DUP for falsely writing (in his last article) that the SUP took care of all monuments and was quickly taught that the DUP has their own policies for fundraising, building and maintaining their own monuments. These monuments can be found by contacting the Daughters of Utah Pioneers in the Old Rock Court House located next to the Tooele Pioneer Museum on East Vine Street in Tooele.
Hunt loaded up his father and pickup and spent many wonderful father/son bonding hours and days completing this labor of love. He reported his findings on Thursday, Nov. 3, to the SUP members and spouses in the TATC building after a wonderful stuffed pork chop catered dinner.
As you are probably aware, both the Pony Express and the Overland Stage Line played a short but important part in settling the west. It is fascinating that so much of this history took place in our own backyard. It might be possible to visit each of these 26 sites in one very long and lucky 24-hour summer day.
A much better idea would be to take three or more days, study these monuments and know their stories beforehand. A real appreciation of what these pioneers have done for us and our youth (tomorrow’s pioneers) will be gained and long remembered from such a trip. Take plenty of water and an extra couple of replacement tires as the road can by rough at times. Good maps and a GPS won’t hurt as some of these statues are off the main dirt road.
If you desire more information for a proposed trip, contact Brent Hunt at (435) 882-2663. Not only does he know how to find each monument, he knows lots of stories of life and death on that road. For example, he found a story of one man who was the only survivor of local natives attacking one of the stations. He was then assigned to the next station along the trail where he himself met the sharp end of a locally made arrow that took his life the next week.
If you appreciate old history like we do, contact Brent Hunt at (435) 882-2663 and find out what the Settlement Canyon Chapter of the Sons of Utah Pioneers has to offer you. We meet monthly for dinner/presentation meetings as the one discussed above, and have many opportunities to get involved in local history in very interesting ways. So bring your wife and join our efforts to keep history alive for ourselves, our children, our great grandchildren as well as others to follow.