Southern Utah Chapter of the Old Spanish Trails Association

Copyright © 2006, 2017 by Blaine S Nay, Cedar City, Utah, USA
Serving the online community since 1992.

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Chapter Meeting Place and Time

Meetings will generally be held at 7PM on the second Wednesday every other month in the Enoch City Office Building, 900 East Midvalley Road, Enoch, UT. The next meeting is to be held on 11 June, 2008 at 7 PM.

In addition, the chapter plans regular fieldtrips to Old Spanish Trail sites. These filed trips will be announced at the chapter meetings, local newspapers, and this website. See Chapter News below for dates and times.

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Chapter Officers

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Chapter News

11 Jul 2007: Chapter meeting agenda focused on the Old Spanish Trails Symposium to be held on October 11-13 at the Southern Utah University campus in Cedar City, Utah. About 16 trail scholars are expected to give presentations including Reba Grandrud, Steve Heath, and Lyman Platt. The date chosen is auspicious because it is Columbus Day and coincidentally the day the lots were cast on the Dominguez-Escalante expedition. The Dominguez-Escalante trail and the Old Spanish Trail cross near Enoch, Utah. Enoch has made this their national civil holiday. They will have a Catholic processional, a fair and rides for the kids, ethnic booths, and field trips to Native American spiritual places. This day will become an annual, national, Spanish trails symposium event.

3 Jul 2007: Crampton and Madsen's book, In Search of the Spanish Trail will be reprinted on a limited basis. For information on ordering a copy, click here.

10 Jan 2007: Chapter meeting agenda included plans for an Old Spanish Trails museum in this area, an Old Spanish Trails Symposium in lieu of a chapter meeting to be held on Saturday, February 17, 2007 at 4 PM at the Enoch City Office Building, 900 East Midvalley Road, Enoch, Utah, and plans for an "Old Spanish Trail Days" celebration on October 11-13, 2007.

18 Nov 2006: Local historian Leon Matheson led the group on a tour of several historical sites in the vicinity of Enoch, Utah. The December 2006 and January 2007 newsletters contain reports on this field trip.

11 Oct 2006: Chapter meeting agenda included discussion of the need to stabilize and preserve a Spanish Trail monument located on Enoch Road in Enoch, Utah. Also discussed was the need for member input (stories, photos) to improve the chapter newsletter and this webpage. One member suggested we produce a brochure that could be distributed to visiting tourists. The chapter president offered the suggestion that chapter business meetings be held every other month with field trips scheduled for the alternating months. The president reported Utah's Iron County Commission will designate certain roads in the county as “Old Spanish Trail Historic Roads.” The consensus of the group was that this month's "Spanish Traces" was excellent.

11 Oct 2006: Leon Matheson was interviewed on local radio station KSUB. He spent a half hour discussing the history of the local portions of the Old Spanish Trail.

23 Sep 2006: Local historian Leon Matheson led the group on a tour of a couple of locations within walking distance of Cedar City residents and see some things of interest within a stones’ throw of finished roads. Leon read some excerpts from Hafen’s book on the Old Spanish Trail -- stories of slavery, Christianity, and death. We eventually hiked to “Squaw’s Cave” and made a short trek to see the “American Man”.

13 Sep 2006: Approximately a dozen attended the September meeting. Items discussed included the chapter bylaws, The Spanish Trail Hike award offered by the local Boy Scout district, marking the Old Spanish Trail with new signs, and a field trip to be held on 23 Sep. Leon Matheson shared some trail history and described several Trail landmarks.

19 Jul 2006: Enoch City (Utah) Council passed a resolution designating Enoch's Midvalley Road as the “Old Spanish Trail Historic Road.”

13 July 2006: An organizational meeting of a new chapter of the Old Spanish Trail Association for Southern Utah was held in Enoch, Utah on 13 July, 2006. Leon Matheson, Utah Director of the Old Spanish Trail Association and local historian, described some historical highlights of the Old Spanish Trail in Utah to the group of about 20. Following his presentation, officers for the new chapter were selected: Rob Dotson, President; David Browning, Vice President; Susan Lewis, Secretary-Treasurer; Sherry Singleton, Historical Librarian; Leon Matheson, Trip Coordinator; and Blaine Nay, Newsletter Editor and Webmaster. A meeting schedule will be established at a latter date as will a name for the new chapter. The chapter plans to take field trips to important sites along the Utah portion of the Old Spanish Trail.

21 Jun 2006: Enoch City (Utah) Council Hears Spanish Trails Proposition. Click here for story.

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Chapter Newsletter Archive

Jul 2006 Oct 2006 Nov 2006 Dec 2006
Jan 2007 Jan 2007 Meeting Minutes Feb 2007 Mar 2007
April 2007 May 2007 July 2007 August 2008
September 2007 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008
May 2008      

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Brief History of Our Part of the Spanish Trail

Prehistory: Much of the Old Spanish trail was first established as trade and migration routes by Native Americans long before the arrival of Europeans -- over 10,000 years.

1619: Spanish founded Santa Fe, New Mexico.

1769: Spanish established San Diego, California.

1776: As they searched for a route to California in October 1776, a Spanish exploration party led by Franciscan priests Francisco Domingues and Velez de Escalante explored the Utah and the Cedar Valley in what is now Iron county. They traveled as far north as Utah Lake. Escalante reported finding rocks in Cedar Valley with a very high iron content. By the time time of the Spanish visit, the area was inhabited by semi-nomadic Piute Indians. These natives traveled and traded over an area ranging from Colorado to Mexico and California. Their descendants still live throughout southwestern Utah. Parts of their trail are now marked as the Old Spanish Trail.

1781: Los Angeles, California founded.

1826: Fur trapper Jedediah S. Smith was the first Anglo-American to visit present Iron County during his amazing journey.

1829: Spanish Trail used to transport horses, furs, wool, and slaves between Santa Fe and Los Angeles -- 1120 miles with pack horses and mules, taling10 weeks each way.

1830s and 1840s: The trail was heavily traveled hundreds of trappers, soldiers, and traders.

1848: War between the United States and Mexico ends the pack trains of the Old Spanish Trail. The first wagons to follow the trail were discharged members of the Mormon Battalion after the Mexican War, traveling from San Diego to Salt Lake City.

2002: Recognized as a National Trail.

2006: Enoch City (Utah) Council passed a resolution designating Enoch's Midvalley Road as the “Old Spanish Trail Historic Road.”

Present: Significant portions of the Old Spanish Trail are paved roads and highways today. For example, I-15 today follows the trail from Parowan, Utah to Cedar City, Utah and from Las Vegas, Nevada to San Bernardino, California.

About a third of the 1,200-mile trail lies in Southern Utah with over 100 miles in Iron and Washington Counties. This trail in now marked in many areas by modern highways. The trail was a multithreaded trail akin to a braided stream. The trail split into two basic routes between Santa Fe, New Mexico and Los Angeles, California. It had north and south branches in the eastern end and other branches in the western, Mojave Desert, section. It saw New Mexican goods carried west for sale in Los Angeles. The reverse flow to Santa Fe included mules and horses that were purchased, or stolen, in southern California. Emigrants from New Mexico and points east also moved westward over the trail. Although most trail travel was by mule pack train, some portions of the trail eventually saw some wagon traffic.

Old Spanish Trail near Escalante, Utah
Spanish Trail near Enterprise, Utah Route of Spanish Trail

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Links To Related Websites

Old Spanish Trail Association Old Spanish Trail Association Calendar
Spanish Traces Newsletter Resolution Designating Enoch, Utah's Midvalley Road as the Spanish Trail Historic Road
Map of the Old Spanish Trail, 1846 Old Spanish National Historic Trail (National Park Service)
Old Spanish National Historic Trail (National Trails System) Old Spanish Trail Designated as a National Historic Trail
History of The Old Spanish Trail The Spanish Trail Cut a Path Through Utah
Old Spanish Trail Likely Neither Old, Nor Spanish Old Spanish Trail (Frontier Trails)
Old Spanish Trail (Utah History Encyclopedia) History of Enoch, Utah
Old Spanish Trail (Mountain Meadows Association) Old Spanish Trail (Answers.com)
Old Spanish Trail (Wikipedia) Old Spanish Trail Travel Guides
Santa Fe Trail Association Jedediah Smith Society
Mountain Meadows (Utah) Association Explore Utah
Iron Mission Iron Mission State Park Museum
Dominguez-Escalante Trail (Boy Scouts) Mormon Battalion Award/Spanish Trail (Boy Scouts)
Enoch City, Utah Traces Index
Spanish Gold In Southern Utah Southern National Historic Trail Project

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