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Old Fort Deseret PDF Print E-mail

Old Fort DeseretTravelers stopping at Fort Deseret will have an opportunity to see first-hand the ingenuity of early settlers as they walk through the old mud fort.

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During the Black Hawk War of 1865, the Pahvant Indians began stealing cattle from the nearby settlement and guards were posted around the clock to protect their livestock.

In desperation the settlers sent word to President Brigham Young who authorized them to built a fort. As teams of men were chosen to build the fort, it was decided a contest would help encourage speed in erecting the defensive structure. The winners were to be recipients of a supper and a dance, while the losers had to furnish the food and entertainment.

Fort Deseret MonumentA mixture of mud and straw was used to construct the walls of the fort. The mixture was made by plowing a trench, turning water into it and throwing in straw, which oxen and women and children from the settlement tromped. The walls were 10-feet high, 3 -feet by 9-feet at the base and 1 ½ -feet at the top, resting on a lava rock foundation.

The fort was completed in 18 days by 98 men. It was 550-feet square with bastions at the northeast and southeast corner, and portholes giving a view of each side. The fort was never used for its primary purpose, but instead housed the livestock each night.

A monument was erected on the site in 1937. The stones of the marker were furnished by the descendants of the builders of the fort.