The Fort Harmony Story
Here in the New Harmony Valley lies the remains of one of the few protective
outposts built by our courageous pioneers. The concept and plans originated
with Brigham Young in 1854; the actual construction project was supervised
by John D. Lee. Fort Harmony took years of volunteer labor to complete
and played an historic role in the settlement of Southern Utah. Over
the course of eight years, this adobe-type structure provided shelter
and protection for over 300 frontier settlers.
Why was it abandoned so early, and what were the tragic events that
unfolded during this critical time in Utah history? We welcome you to
explore these pages and share the experiences faced by these real pioneers
as they endured the hardships of remote frontier life.
The Original Old Fort Harmony site has been Located
The first Fort Harmony was constructed out of wood
and was located on the south end of Harmony Valley on a beautiful bluff
that looks over Ash Creek Reservoir. This site closely matches the descriptions
from recorded history. Read
Fort Harmony and Mountain Meadows
Recently there has been some news about the Mountain Meadows and the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake Tribune, 3/29/08).
When news breaks about the Mountain Meadows, often people make an association
between the Mountain Meadows and Fort Harmony and the John D. Lee statue.
FHHS is asking people to not make that association because there lies
in the remains of Fort Harmony, fragile historical information for several
hundred people that lived or visited the Fort and it is the goal of
the FHHS to retrieve and document this history of ALL the people. We
do not want the pioneer's historical information to become mixed up
with Mountain Meadows controversial issues.
For those who are interested in learning more about Southern Utah's
past history, we invite you to attend our lecture series at the New
Harmony Library. These are open to the general public at no cost. Check
HERE for the latest schedule.
When the speaker permits, we do videotape the lectures and have these
available for the public at the New Harmony Library or you can purchase
your own copy at our Media Store.
About our Valley
The historically correct term for our valley is Harmony Valley. Harmony
Valley is about 12 miles long by 5 miles wide basically from mile marker
#36 to #48 at the Kannara overpass of I-15. The Native Americans named
the valley "Somato" or "the cove".
New Harmony is a town, about 2 miles square. It is very small compared
to the entire valley which is about 60 miles square. It is also the
mailing address of everyone in the valley. Kolob Ranches, The Ridges,
Harmony Farms, Harmony Heights 1 & 2 are located in Harmony Valley,
not New Harmony. As the valley develops these distinctions will become
The Fort Harmony Historical Society in Action.
October 24, 2009 marked a historical event for the restoration
project for Fort Harmony. The Fort Harmony Historical Society hosted
a reenactment event for the public and presented a flag raising ceremony.
Dr. Lyman Platt was the spoke person for the event.
At the event Edwina Jones unveiled the future plans for
the Fort and the direction that the Society is now under taking. Visitors
were given a tour of the Fort and then presented with a reenactment
program that portrayed the early pioneers as they were given building
directions from Brigham Young. The day's events concluded with the first
flag raising on the new flag poles on the East side of the Fort.
Our New DVD "Exploring the Kanab Historic
The Washington County Historic Society recently hosted
an interesting tour of the popular historical sites within the Kanab
area. Our tour guide was Dennis Mosdell, a life long resident, the
former Judge, and formerLDS Bishop of Kanab, Utah. The sites visited
include the petroglyph panorama (pictured), Hidden Lake, the "Gun
Smoke" movie set, Eagle Arch, Spring Cave, the Animal Sanctuary,
and the Kanab Museum. This DVD contains valuable historic information
and locations of these points of interest.
WANTED - HISTORIES OF WOMEN THAT LIVED AT THE FORT
In the Church News, September 18, 2010
"Although roughly half of the people in the history of The Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been women, their lives of
faith and dedication have not received the attention they deserve,"
said Richard E. Turley Jr. and Brittany A. Chapman in a written prospectus
announcing a forthcoming series of books titled Women of Faith in the
"This series aims to enhance awareness of these women through inspiration
vignettes that point to wolrks dealing more fully with their lvies,"
the two series editiors said.
They are soliciting contributed material from anyone interested,
Prospective authors may submit a proposal by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
or by regular mail to 2914 Ivory Way, Taylorsville, Utah 84048.
Deseret Book will publish the seven volume series.
Fort Harmony Historical Society would like to collect histories of all
the women that lived at the Fort or were a part of Harmony Valley from
1849 to 1869 and send them in to the Church for publication keeping
a copy for our use. We eventually would like to publish a CD with
these stories. Please contact L. Karen Platt @ 867-8422 by phone
or email email@example.com. This is a great opportunity to tell
our Pioneer Mother's stories most of which have not been told before.
Be a part of Fort Harmony History
For those who are looking for adventure and involvement in Utah
histoy, we invite you to join our Fort Harmony Historical Society. You
have an opportunity to participate in many areas of our organization.
If you have expertise in history, event organization, photography, video,
research, publications, facilities, or even helping out with our archelogy
digs. We need you ! Come Join Us
Our Honored Pioneer... Peter
Courageous, adventurous, and a major player in the development of Southern
Utah. Take a few minutes to learn more of Utah's history by reading
his true story as told by our contributing biographer Lee Beatty.
City Temple Prophecy
While visiting Harmony Valley Heber C. Kimball prophesied that a wagon
road would be built over the Black Ridge and a temple would be built
in the vicinity: Read the full account