On my trek to Lava Mountain passed through some interesting historic Utah sites.
Built in 1871, Wilford Woodruff was a Connecticut miller, and farmer who joined the Mormon Church, and became associated with the prophet, Joseph Smith. He followed other pioneers to Utah in 1847. Settling in Randolph with his one wife, he continued farming and business life as well as his work in the Mormon Church. In 1889, at 82, he became President of the Church for the next 10 years passing at 92.
The cabin was not open and difficult to see inside through lace curtains. From signage the cabin appears to be reflective of the Mormon homes in the area at this time. In 1870, the Mormon’s established a community in this area, and by 1871 the town was thriving with a post office, store, blacksmith shop, and saw mill. Abundant with water, and timber it was a valuable spot for the residents to farm and thrive.
With the Bear River providing water this area was bountiful with Indians the first residents. Later it became the route for the Oregon Trail. Fur trapping was part of its industry and later coke, a smokeless coal, thus the town’s name. Next, the Mormons arrived establishing a permanent community.
Cokeville consisted of saloons, hotels, a general store, and boarding houses prior to the 1900’s, however made history with a female mayor, Ethel Stoner, and two town council females. Under these ladies’ guidance a bank, newspaper, water system, and electric lighting were added to the town.
East Main Street
This street, also known as I-30, was a portion of the Oregon Trail in the 1800’s. Here wagons crossed mountain ridges on their way to Oregon and California. At times the territory was so challenging wagons had to be lowered by ropes from trees.
This 2000 mile trail began in Independence, Missouri passing through Kansas, Wyoming, and Idaho, ending in Oregon and California. It was described as hot, wet, cold, dry, and dusty according to historical placards along the route. The pace was 20 miles per day taking 4 1/2 to 5 months to complete the journey. Departure from Missouri was April or May in order to accomplish mountain passage.
Many hardships occurred on the Trail with 10-30,000 estimated as dying along the trail. The main cause of death was disease. Trail ruts remain visible on the road. The following Museum gives much information on this era.
Much history is found here. You never know what you find when stopping to view those brown signs.
Check them out.