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2013 MHA Conference
June 6–9, 2013
A little background about the setting for our conference from Allan Kent Powell's Utah History Encylopedia (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1994).
Pre- and Post-Conference Tours
Always highlights of the MHA conferences, this year we have three pre-conference tours and one post-conference tour. We invite your participation and promise an educational, informative time, no matter the tour.
Tour 1: Antelope Island (June 6, 2013, 8:15 a.m.)
This tour will acquaint attendees with one of Utah's most noted geographical features, the Great Salt Lake and the largest island in the lake: Antelope Island. The island, having once served as a herd ground for the LDS Church in the nineteenth century, had been an object of interest to Euro-Americans since the fur trade. The tour includes an exciting pontoon boat excursion on the Great Salt Lake visiting the surrounding Bridger, Whiterock, and Splitrock bays, as well circumnavigating Egg Island. The tour will stop at and visit the historic Fielding Garr Ranch, establish in 1848, where we will have a BBQ luncheon. A park naturalist at the Utah State Park Visitor's Center on the island will provide us with an overview of the island and its history before we return to the Davis Conference Center.
As pivotal moments in American transportation history go, the event at Promontory Summit on May 10, 1869, has few peers. The Union and Central Pacific's "wedding of the rails" connecting the country's east and west coasts is commemorated 32 miles west of Brigham City where the "golden spike" was driven. Our expert guide, Brian Cannon, will describe the remarkable circumstances surrounding one of the great milestones of American and Mormon history. From Promontory Summit the tour will drive the 25 miles through Box Elder County, Utah, to Corrine, Utah, described in the nineteenth-century as the unofficial "Gentile capital of Utah" and the "burg on the Bear." There we will hear about this significant nineteenth-century Utah community. From Corrine, we are off to the Hill Aerospace Museum at Hill Air Force Base. Bob Freeman and Sherman Fleek will be our tour leaders here and will host a special military/Mormon tribute that you will not want to miss.
Tour 3: Polygamist Homes and Historic Buildings (June 6, 2013, 9:00 a.m.)
MHA President Glen Leonard, author of A History of Davis County (1999) and a forthcoming history of Farmington, will lead this tour of selected nineteenth-century historic buildings. Our first stop will take us inside Larry and Julia Haugen's two-story rock home in Farmington, built in 1863 for Ortentia White Leonard, the first of three wives of Truman Leonard. John W. Taylor added a brick wing in 1900 for one of four post-Manifest wives housed in Farmington. A second Taylor wife lived in a brick home across the street; sister-wives Roxie and Rhoda Welling lived north of town. In the early 1850s, Willard Richards built log houses for three plural wives. After Richards died, his nephew Franklin D. married them and built new homes that we will see. Owner Tom Owen will host a visit inside Franklin Richards' 1860s rock grist mill, now partially restored. After a catered lunch in the city park, we'll point out the home of Primary founder Aurelia Spencer Rogers and stop at the homes of Ezra T. Clark's wives Mary Stevenson and Susan Leggett; and the home of daughter Annie Clark Tanner, author of A Mormon Wife and one of six wives of Joseph M. Tanner. We'll point out the Robinson family homes (Joseph L. had five wives and farms in five locations), and then identify a shop where polygamist wives operated a millenary shop, before identifying the homes of John W. Hess's five wives. In Kaysville we'll go inside the century-old Kaysville Tabernacle for a presentation by Emily Utt. As time permits, we'll drive by historic houses, including some designed by architect William Allen. At our final stop, director Bill Sanders will welcome us to the Layton Heritage Museum, which offers interpretive exhibits, paintings of historic meetinghouses, a new exhibit on British emigrants, and a rare 19th-century painting of the Utah Territorial Penitentiary where some four dozen Davis County polygamists served six-month terms.
Tour 4: The Northern Mormon Corridor: Bear River Massacre, Oneida Stake Academy, Pioneer Graves, Paris and Logan tabernacles (June 9-10, 2013, 10:30 a.m.)
Update from tour as previously advertised:
The bus will depart the Davis Convention Center in Layton on June 9 following the Sunday morning devotional. From there we will drive to Clarkston, Utah. A lunch will be provided as legendary educator and Cache Valley native Kenneth Godfrey will guide us first to the grave of Martin Harris, witness of the gold plates and a scribe for the Book of Mormon translation. Ken will then guide us on a tour of several important grave markers in the Logan area cemeteries. After a buffet dinner Emily Utt, a specialist in the history and restoration of LDS tabernacles, will guide us on a tour of the Logan Tabernacle. The group will then retire to accommodations at the University Inn at Utah State University.
After an early buffet breakfast on Monday, June 10, the bus will depart the University Inn and travel north of Preston, Idaho, to the site of the Bear River Massacre. There Scott R. Christensen, author and historian of that horrific event, will address the tour, followed by a representative of the Shoshone tribe, and a special musical presentation. The bus will depart the massacre site and travel to Benson Park in Preston where lunch will be provided. Following lunch a tour will be given of the Oneida Stake Academy which has been moved from its original location for preservation and restoration in Preston. The bus will depart Preston for Paris, Idaho. There Emily Utt will guide the group on one of the most magnificent and breathtaking pioneer edifices, the Paris Tabernacle. The bus will then return to the Davis Convention Center in Layton.