If you want to make history come alive then visiting our nations historical sites is the best way. States and federal parks are great places to let your imagination come to life and to understand how the U.S.A. has been shaped. Cove Fort in Utah provides an excellent view into the early life of the pioneers in the west. It is a historical site filled with stories and items from those times. It is a fun place to visit.
Mormon pioneer and leader Brigham Young directed the building of Cove Fort. It was to serve as a post for travelers to stop and recuperate but also the fort provided some security from local dangers. It was built with lava rock from the surrounding area. It stood 18.5 feet tall and the walls are 4 to 2.5 feet thick. The fort provided a temporary shelter for a variety of travelers, like Mormon pioneers, U.S. military leaders, tribal leaders of the surrounding areas and many others from all walks of life.
The fort was also useful in providing a communication station for the middle of the state of Utah. It held a stage-coach service, post office and a telegraph room. The fort was mostly self-sufficient. It had its own blacksmith shop, farm, cattle, and other necessities of life. The family that ran the fort wasted little. On the tour you learn about how they would reuse their old and torn clothing in several different ways. The innovation they used to recycle their materials is amazing.
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A Trip to the Past
The guides on the tour are very well-informed. The family that was in charge back in the 1870's kept a good record of their life. You will walk into the many rooms and be taken back in time to some very authentic historical scenery. When looking at the straw mattress beds it is easy to start scratching your back as you begin to feel the itch of the fibers. They actually would make two grown men sleep in one of those small beds.
The kitchen area was state of the art for its time and yet your body will begin to feel tired as the tour guides discuss the amount of work that was done to feed the number of guests that visited the fort.
There are also walkways on the top with gun holes so the family and permanent employees could protect themselves from attack. It is common to see kids on top of the walls pretending they are in a heated battle. It is a good place for the imagination and to put away our hurried and media filled lives.
You Don't Have to be a Mormon
The fort is owned and maintained by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.(Mormons) There guides are all missionaries for that church. Don't let this deter you from seeing the site if you are traveling in the area. The missionaries will ask questions to see if you are interested in learning more about their church. If you are not, politely decline and they will continue with the tour. The fort focuses more on the history than it does on their church.
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