In 1860 John
Theurer persuaded a number of fellow Swiss LDS converts (whose last
names were Alder, Fuhriman, Kresie, Loosli, Naef, Stucki, and Trauber)
to come to Spring Creek with its alpine setting. The Swiss tradition
of community sauerkraut dinners continues to the present day in Providence.
The village became a mix of Yankees, Englishmen, and Swiss, united by
a common religious persuasion. As Providence was situated astride a Shoshoni trail from a winter camp on the Bear River to Bear Lake via
Blacksmith Fork Canyon, church authorities advised that a more substantial
fort be erected. A six-foot-high, two-and-one-half-foot-thick rock wall
was built to enclose both the log houses and an open commons area.
On 23 November
1862, in the foothills just outside Providence, a two-hour skirmish
was fought by sixty soldiers under the command of Major Edward McGarry
of the U.S. Second Cavalry against thirty or forty Shoshonis under Chief
Bear Hunter. The objective was to recover livestock and a ten-year-old
white boy taken during the massacre of a wagon train on the Oregon Trail
in August 1860. Three braves were killed and five others, including
the chief, were captured. An exchange of the captives was made for the
boy, Reuben Van Orman, who had been held for two years.