"PIPE SPRINGS NM - FORT IN THE WILD" Fredonia by mtncorg

Fredonia Travel Guide: 10 reviews and 22 photos

Fredonia shares a long history with Kanab, just across the border in Utah. These pages will deal with the nearby Pipe Springs National Monument, however. realize you can find a few motels, restaurants and gas stations here in Fredonia along with a liquor store. You have even more choices in Kanab, but forget the liquor store.

Pipe Springs was one of several natural springs that percolated out of the Vermillion Cliffs. They had been long used for centuries by the local Paiute Kaibab tribe. This area is known as the Arizona Strip - that region of Arizona cut off from the rest of the State by the grand Canyon. Mormon settlers arrived in the 1860’s with James Whitmore’s dugout being located next to the springs. Navajo refugees from the wars with Kit Carson - an 1863 campaign of attrition in response to raids on Hispanic New Mexico - had escaped into southeast Utah from where they stole cattle and made themselves disagreeable to would be settlers. Several cattle were stolen from Pipe Springs and when Whitmore investigated he immediately went missing. This led to more reprisals and counter raids and a general sense of angst settled in on the frontier. Mormon expansion into Arizon awas a goal being pursued by Brigham Young at the time and a fort was first established at Kanab in 1869. Then in 1870, Young established a church-run ranch and dairy farm - known as a tithe ranch of which there are still such run by the LDS church - with a fortress-like house set directly on top of the springs - ‘he who controls the water, controls the land’ goes the maxim. Telegraph wires were run through the ranch as well making it the first telegraph station in Arizona.

The ranch ran under church stewardship until 1884 when management fell under the United Order of Orderville. Shortly thereafter, the property was sold to prevent the federal government from confiscating it in response to continued Mormon polygamy practices. It was in private hands until 1916 when Congress set the land aside as a Public Water Reserve. In 1920, the first national park director, Stephen Mather, arranged for the establishment of the ranch as a national monument to commemorate Mormon pioneering efforts in the West and provide a stop for tourists who were doing his Grand Circle - Zion, Bryce and the Grand Canyon.

Slowly, the ranch has been restored over the years and the Paiute role has also been honored in the fine museum next to the ranch. Entrance costs are $4 per person.

  • Last visit to Fredonia: Sep 2005
  • Intro Written Oct 3, 2005
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Reviews (5)

Comments (1)

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Nov 22, 2009 at 12:12 PM

    I wanted to get to see this on my trip in Utah/Kanab/Page area-but no time left. Thanks for the detail great information tips and pictures. I saw many Mormon areas, though and learned more about their settling here. Fabulous adventurers they surely were.


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