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The History of Pipe Spring National Monument

A chronological overview of the site's development and ownership over time.
by

Lauren Drapala

on 13 May 2011

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Transcript of The History of Pipe Spring National Monument

The History of Pipe Spring
National Monument 1100 1858 1869 1878 1887 1923 This region was used by indigenous peoples long before European or Euroamerican explorers and colonists discovered it, with archeological remains dating back to ca. AD 1100-1150. The arid region of southwestern Utah, southern Nevada, and northern Arizona was traditionally inhabited by the Southern Paiute by AD 1150, who believe the place to be their ancestral home. Recognizing the value of the water supply, a group of Mormon explorers, led by Jacob Hamblin, first sighted Pipe Spring in 1858. James Montgomery Whitmore was the first to settle on April 13, 1863, receiving a land certificate for a 160-acre tract which included the spring. Upon this tract Whitmore, assisted by Robert McIntyre, established a ranch, constructed a small dugout for quarters, fenced about 11 acres for cultivation, set out about 1,000 grape vines, built corrals, and planted peach, apple, and other fruit trees. However, misfortune befell Whitmore in early January 1866, when a group of marauding Navajo from east of the Colorado River killed him and McIntyre, and drove off his livestock. The attack enflamed Mormon officials to position militia in the area of the Indians' activity, and Pipe Spring held promise as a suitable location for Mormon military. Persisting problems with the natives led the Church of the Latter Day Saints to make Pipe Spring a permanent supply base for the militia in 1869. Using a local quarry, a stone house was erected on-site to house the soldiers (known today as the East Cabin). Passing through the area in 1870, the president of the Church of the Latter-Day Saints, Brigham Young, ordered that a small fort be erected on the site (named Winsor Castle after its constructor, A.P. Winsor). The area possessed abundant grassland and spring water, which Young saw as potential pastureland for the Church’s growing cattle herd. Another stone structure, now known as the West Cabin, was constructed to house workers as they built Winsor Castle. The fort was built to protect the land and livestock against Navajo Indian raids from the south, but was never used as a peace treaty was signed between the LDS Church and the Navajo Indians shortly after its construction. As the Church center in Salt Lake City expanded its communication abilities with outlying Mormon sites, Pipe Spring was chosen as a station for the Deseret Telegraph Company (1867-1900). The telegraph successfully ended the isolation characteristic of these settlements and connected Southern Utah and the Arizona strip to Salt Lake City, and the rest of world. Pipe Spring was one of the earliest telegraph station established in the Arizona territory. Following the 1887 Edmunds-Tucker Act, Pipe Spring served as a refuge for plural wives hiding from federal investigators. This act was part of an active campaign to divest the Mormon Church of its extensive property holdings, prohibiting the practice of polygamy and punishing it with a fine of $500 to $800 and imprisonment of up to five years. Between 1886 and 1891, Florence Wooley shared the property with an addition nine other plural wives and eight children were born on the property. The Winsor Castle Stock Growing Company stockholders evidently foresaw a declining value of the ranch as a cattle raising area. On January 1, 1879, they held a joint meeting with the Canaan Cooperative Stock Company and unanimously voted to sell their property to the latter group. The following years marked transitions between larger companies to small-scale farming operations, leading to the eventual disuse of the cabin structures. Starting in the late 1910s, the National Park Service was scouting for potential new parks which would increase tourism to the southwest region. Director of the National Park Service, Stephen Mather, saw the potential for Pipe Spring to become a historical/cultural resource on the roads between the natural national parks at Bryce Canyon, Zion and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Declared a national monument in 1923 by special presidential proclamation, Pipe Spring’s establishment was strongly related to the improvement of the transportation network and the development of this region scenic attractions. Boss Pinkley directed a massive restoration campaign on the site, rebuilding the ruins of the west and east cabins, remodeling the landscape and refinishing the interior, replacing the gates and roof, and repaired the verandas of Winsor Castle. The monument’s period of significance highlights the settlement of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints (LDS) known as “Mormons” into the Utah territory and latter Arizona territory. The site also shares its history with the Paiute Indians that considered this area to be part of their ancestral home. 3D Map of Pipe Spring National Monument. Credit: NPS graphics center. Detail of spring, leading to trough, 2010. Left: Archeological excavation of the Whitmore-McIntyre dugout, located to the east of Winsor Castle, 1959. Right: Reconstruction of the original Whitmore-McIntyre Dugout, 1959. Credit: Zorro Bradley, PISP. When he passed through on his way to Kanab, French architect Albert Tissandier (1839-1906) sketched the earliest known image of Pipe Spring, 1885. Credit: Utah Museum of Fine Arts. Wooley family, featuring plural wives and children to the left of Winsor Castle, 1891. Credit: PISP. Winsor Castle with outbuildings taken by H. Arthur Pomroy, 1903. Credit: Beinecke Library, Yale. Winsor Castle and East Cabin, shown prior to restoration, 1920s. Credit: PISP. Boss Frank Pinklley, 1929. Credit: PISP.
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