Friday, June 24, 2011

Mt. Pleasant Fort 1859 ~ Drawn by Thomas W. Woodbury Using Google Earth ~ Layout design by Walter Woodbury

Taken from David R. Gunderson's book "Journey of Faith", pages 45-47.

Building of the Fort Walls On 6 May a letter was received from Brigham Young reminding the settlers of the need to build a fort for their protection and on 13 May 1859, President Ivie called a meeting for the purpose of discussing the building of the fort wall, and as to what methods to pursue. Finally, four men were called to supervise the construction of the wall. Jahu Cox was allotted the north side, Thomas Woolsey Sr. the west side, W. S. Seeley, the south side, and John Tidwell Sr., the east side. The above named captains divided the brethren into four groups, after which they were organized into companies of ten, with a captain over each ten, and work commenced immediately with rapid progress. The following statement is made in Andrew Madsen's Journal: "During the month of June, we were kept very busy in attending to our crops and the building of the large fort wall." 10 July, Apostle George A. Smith and Amasa Lyman visited the settlement to organize the Saints on Pleasant Creek into an ecclesiastical ward. William Stuart Seeley was chosen and ordained Bishop and the name Mount Pleasant Branch was adopted for the colony, giving credit to its pleasant location, beautiful mountains, fields and surroundings”. Work continued on the fort wall until 18 July 1959, when it was completed, and it had the distinction of being the finest fort in Sanpete County. Erick would have worked in building this important structure and lived within it for some time. When Caroline and the family arrived, they all would have lived within the fort for some time.

 Description of the Finished Fort: The fort enclosed the block later known as the Tithing Yard. 26 rods by 26 rods (429’ X 429’), enclosing about five and one-half acres3 of ground, between Main Street and First North, and State Street and First East." "It was made according to instructions and was built of native rock, taken from the surface or dug out of the ground." "It was laid with mud mortar." "The wall was 12 feet high, four feet wide at the bottom, tapering to about two feet at the top. To allow the maneuvers of the Indians to be watched from the fort, the wall was built with port holes every 16 feet. and about seven feet from the ground. The holes were about two feet wide on the inside, about four inches wide on the outside and about 18 inches high." "Later the inside of the wall was utilized for one wall in the erection of houses, 16 feet square, with one port hole in the middle of the outside wall of each house." "There was a flat roofed house in the northwest corner of the fort upon which guards could stand and view the country."

 "There were two large gates, one in the center of the north wall, and one in the center of the south wall, with a small gate adjoining it, giving a thoroughfare in passing. These openings had heavy wooden gates. Small entrances were in the east and in the west walls, which made it convenient, as they were not always obliged to use the same entrance." "The water supply was obtained from Pleasant Creek, which passed almost parallel east and west through the center of the fort. A large bridge was erected over the stream." "All corrals for the cattle were built on the north, just outside the fort, leaving a road-way between." At this time Mount Pleasant was a thriving community of about eight hundred inhabitants, with about 1200 acres of ground under cultivation.

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