Thursday, July 23, 2009
July 24th - Pioneer Day
Today is the day that we celebrate in Utah, the day the Pioneers knew that "This is the Place" that long awaited place for the Saints to settle and live away from persecutions. I can only imagine the relief of those who had traveled so far, and had experienced so many trials, tragedies, loss of loved ones, sickness, and famine. I would also bet that a few of them looked and thought that they certainly had alot of work to do now that they had arrived.
For my last post, I wanted to share with you a letter from a sweet Danish Pioneer woman, who expressed a few thoughts she had about her pioneer trek. Her name was Marie Louise Lautrup. I wished I could find a picture of her, but I don't. I hope that you enjoy this letter....
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I could not resist the temptation to write to you, because I know all of you will be happy to hear from Zion, your home. I long deeply to hear from you, from little Denmark, and to know whom the Lord has given the grace to emigrate home this year. I would also like to know whether any of my friends or acquaintances have joined the Church. I know that the work of the Lord goes forward with power every day, and it is a joy to hear the testimony that is constantly given to the Danish Saints. I have not yet had the opportunity to give you a description of this area, the beautiful valleys between the mountains. All of nature is remarkably beautiful out here. Salt Lake City lies in a lovely valley surrounded by high mountains that form a wall Around it. The city is not densely built up, like cities in Denmark. Nevertheless, it holds several thousand inhabitants. The houses are so far from each other that each one has a garden and a yard. Many people also have several acres of land outside the city. The streets are wide but unpaved. The sidewalks are made of clay and are lined with trees, as are the streets. Clear water from the mountains flows along both sides of the street like streams. It is fresh and delicious. It is remarkable to look up at the high mountains, which in many places are covered with forest. People drive up there to get timber and fuel. The cattle always run loose, and it is strange to see horses, cows, sheep, and all kinds of cattle grazing in the mountains. The slopes are very steep in many places, but they are so accustomed to it that it is nothing for them to run up and down. This is true not only of the Salt Lake Valley, but of the other valleys as well. Every city or town is surrounded by mountains. In some places there are sulphurous mountains, from which flows boiling water. I traveled past one such place between Salt Lake City and Farmington. People here dress quite like the Danes, especially the ladies. They wear round hats. The men's clothing resembles that of sailors; in the summer they wear colored shirts of chintz and in winter of wool. They usually wear coats and have straw hats as well as gray and brown plush hats. Their military uniform is a dark blue coat with gold buttons and gold braid, dark trousers with scarlet piping, a scarlet scarf, and now they have a new kind of hat made of black felt and silk plush adorned with black feathers. They are round and go up like a sugar loaf but look dashing.... The Fourth of July was American Independence Day and was celebrated everywhere in the United States. Here in Farmington it was celebrated with music and a military parade through the streets. Today is 24 July, when we remember the founding of the Church in the desert. The celebration was held in a forest in the mountains several kilometers from Salt Lake City. . .
Marie Louise Lautrup
A story and the photo above were printed in The Pioneer, S.U.P., Vol. 5 No. 7 Winter 1953, Page 19, as a reprint of an editorial which appeared in the October 15, 1953 issue of the Utah Farmer. These stories state that this log cabin built in September 1847 by Osmyn Deuel and located just north of the east portion of the old Fort was the oldest house built in Utah. The Pioneer, Vol. 6, No. 1, Spring 1954, page 23 retracted the two stories referenced above. The Pioneer corrected that the oldest cabin/house built in Utah was built at the mouth of the Weber River in 1845 by Miles Goodyear and he sold this cabin and his holdings of 225 square miles to Captain James Brown in November 1847 for $1,950. It is reported that he built two or three cabins and one of these is today preserved in Ogden as the "Oldest House in Utah".