Fort Deseret - 23
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Chasing Blue Sky
N 39° 15.904 W 112° 39.196
12S E 357372 N 4347494
Quick Description: A Pioneer Fort built south of the current town of Deseret, in Millard County, Utah.
Location: Utah, United States
Date Posted: 9/23/2011 9:55:56 AM
Waymark Code: WMCN0V
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member JacobBarlow
Views: 5

Long Description:
This historic Pioneer Fort is located about 2 miles south of Deseret, along Highway 257. The Marker reads:

No. 23
FORT DESERET
Erected Sept. 18, 1937

Erected as a defense against Pahvant Indians in the Black Hawk War, completed in 18 days by 98 men. Wm. S. Hawley and Isaac W. Pierce, foremen; John W. Radford, Supt. Opening celebration July 25, 1865. The fort was 550 feet square, bastions at Northeast and Southwest corners and gates in the middle of each wall. Made of adobe mud and straw mixed by the feet of oxen, when completed were 10 feet high, 3 feet wide at base and 1 1/2 feet at top, resting only on a stone foundation.

Fanny Powell Cropper Camp


The Great Basin National Heritage Area reports the following:

Fort Deseret was erected in 1865 to protect settlers during the Blackhawk Indian War. The U.S. Army said they could not protect settlers against Indian threats because of their commitments in the Civil War. They advised the pioneers to either move to a larger, safer city or build a fort. With a great sense of urgency they chose to build a fort.

It was completed in 18 days by 98 men. William S. Hawley and Isaac W. Pierce were foremen and John W. Radford was superintendent. The men were divided into two teams who competed against each other to see who could do their part fastest. The winners were to be treated by the losers to a dance and supper. One group completed their wall in nine days while a second group finished theirs a few hours later. Since part of the first team’s wall fell down, it was considered a tie by those two groups and an opening celebration was held July 25, 1865.

The fort was 550-feet square with bastions at the northeast and southwest corners. It had gates in the middle of each side and portholes along each wall. The walls were made of adobe mud and straw mixed by the feet of oxen. A ditch was dug to carry water around the walls. When completed, the walls were 10-feet high, 3-feet wide at the base and 1.5-feet wide at the top. Rough-hewn lumber was used to make portals through which guns could be fired. The walls rest on a three-foot wide lava stone foundation.

In the spring of 1866, the fort proved its worth when Blackhawk and his warriors showed up. They had recently killed several settlers in San Pete County about 60-70 miles to the east, and when they came to Deseret, they stole some cattle and threatened the community. The fort provided security for the settler’s livestock while negotiations took place which settled the matter peacefully.

Fort Deseret serves as a landmark of Mormon pioneer history and is the only remaining example of the many adobe forts built in Utah. It’s communal construction using materials at hand exemplifies the cooperative and resourceful nature of Mormon settlement.
Marker Name: Fort Deseret

Marker Number: 23

Marker Text:
FORT DESERET Erected as a defense against Pahvant Indians in the Black Hawk War, completed in 18 days by 98 men. Wm. S. Hawley and Isaac W. Pierce, foremen; John W. Radford, Supt. Opening celebration July 25, 1865. The fort was 550 feet square, bastions at Northeast and Southwest corners and gates in the middle of each wall. Made of adobe mud and straw mixed by the feet of oxen, when completed were 10 feet high, 3 feet wide at base and 1 1/2 feet at top, resting only on a stone foundation.


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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
TinmanUT visited Fort Deseret - 23 10/6/2013 TinmanUT visited it
brwhiz visited Fort Deseret - 23 9/29/2011 brwhiz visited it
Chasing Blue Sky visited Fort Deseret - 23 9/20/2011 Chasing Blue Sky visited it

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