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History of Mountain Meadow, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia (Links Added)
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The Fancher train moved westward from Cedar City with hungry bellies, injured feelings, and jaded stock to Mountain Meadows, a well-known and much-needed campsite on the old Spanish Trail/California Road used by travelers to and from California until well into the present century. It was on the edge of the much-feared desert area between Utah and California. It is located in the southwest corner of Utah, about thirty-five miles southwest of Cedar City via the old pioneer road (fifty-four miles via the current paved highway), and thirty-two miles northwest of St. George. The shape of the meadows area resembles an elongated diamond, approximately six miles long and one and one-half miles wide; it is divided into northern and southern halves by a low bald ridge, which John C. Fremont identified as the south rim of the Great Basin and measured at 5,280 feet above sea level. This ridge is almost imperceptible and divides the drainage area--the south half of which eventually reaches the Pacific Ocean via the Colorado River. Mountains surround the meadows.

At that time, the Meadows were covered with a variety of grasses fed by numerous springs of clear water, and the area was considered by Parley P. Pratt to be one of the most delightful places on the entire route. The Fancher train, and other travelers who may have joined or followed them, arrived there the first week in September, anticipating a few days of recuperation. Some of the emigrants probably continued another four and one-half miles south to Cane Springs, the site of present-day Central. At dawn the following Monday, 7 September, the Fancher train was brought under siege by Indians and militiamen disguised as Indians. Those camped at Cane Springs were also attacked and evidently retreated to the Mountain Meadows. The wagons were drawn into a circle with their wheels chained together, and then were lowered to the ground; firing pits were dug and the dirt thrown under and into the wagons, making a strong defensive barrier. Seven were killed and sixteen wounded in the first assault; however, the party resisted the siege for five days although they were pinned down and isolated from firewood, water, game food, and outside help. By Friday, 11 September, low on water and ammunition, they were in a helpless condition.


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