mid-1920s saw the establishment of a small Ute farming community in
the Allen Canyon area. Attempts to teach agricultural techniques by
local whites, met with nothing but frustration on both sides. Formal
education suffered also. The Utes requested a school be built in Allen
Canyon but their bid for local education was unsuccessful. The majority
of their children attended school at Towaoc, tribal headquarters of
the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation just outside of Cortez, Colorado. Many
of them were so unhappy, that in 1930, a private home in Blanding, later
named the Ute Dormitory served as a first attempt to integrate Ute children
into a white school. For eleven years, the dormitory functioned, but
was eventually closed because of the expense, the start of World War
II, and limited success. Other local attempts to integrate Utes into
the educational system met with some resistance, but the seeds for future
accomplishments were already planted and would bear fruit later.
Utes realized that their isolation in Allen Canyon was counter-productive,
while others living on the outskirts of Blanding, wanted to have better
lands for farming. Starting in the mid-1950s, families began to move
onto White Mesa and form a community eleven miles south of Blanding.
Frame homes arose out of the sagebrush, electricity arrived in 1964,
and bus service delivered Ute children to the schools in town.