Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Cabin of the "Destroying Angel"

     Today's entry came as a surprise to me.  I was traveling around Eureka when I came across Porter Rockwell's cabin.  It was especially odd to me as a couple of days before I had just been discussing Porter Rockwell in another post involving Brigham Young's bodyguard.  Since I didn't know anything about this cabin and since I don't know much about Rockwell, most of this history is going to be taken from what I found in Eureka (which was posted on a board next to the cabin).
     "Orin Porter Rockwell was born on June 28, 1813 in Belcher, Hampshire county, Massachusetts to Orin Rockwell and Sarah Witt Rockwell....
     "Known as the 'Destroying Angel' he was bodyguard to the [Mormon] prophet Joseph Smith and later to Brigham Young.
     "Porter had a ranch west of Cherry Creek, known as Rockwell's Ranch.  It is from this ranch that we obtained the cabin.
     "Porter was said to have lived in the cabin south of the ranch house hear a big pond and lots of water.  During winter, blocks of ice were cut from the pond and stored in an ice house, built with thick walls filled with sawdust for use in the summer months.  Porter had a nice orchard and grew cantaloupe and watermelons.  Rumor has it that at night he would walk around the cabin and orchard [unreadable text] to himself. Some say he talked to 'ghosts'.
     "Orin Porter Rockwell died on June 9, 1878 in Salt Lake City of natural causes and was buried in a Salt Lake City cemetery."
     I had never heard of Cherry Creek but I believe that it is west of Little Sahara National Recreation Area (for some cool pictures of the area, click here).  The cabin was built in 1865 and I couldn't find any information regarding when exactly it was moved to Eureka.  Here are a couple of pictures of it when it used to be at Cherry Creek (by the way, sorry for the reflection in the pictures):

     The cabin currently sits right Main St. in Eureka.  Here are some pictures of it:

     If you are wondering why the cabin is sitting next to a building that looks like it was bombed, don't worry, I'll get to that in some later posts (just as a quick answer, Eureka's downtown is a little run down, as you can see in this picture).  I've gotta say that Porter Rockwell is one of the scariest people that I have ever seen (if you don't believe me, click here.  He looks like death).  The picture of him on the rock (as seen in the first photo) doesn't really help for his scary image.
     If you would like to learn a little more about this cabin, you can watch a youtube video touring the inside of it.


  1. For a different point of reference - Cherry Creek is just west of Beaver, Utah.

  2. While you are right Erik (there is a Cherry Creek just west of Beaver), I don't think that that is where the cabin was previously located. If you mapquest Cherry Creek there are about 10 locations to come up, including the one west of Beaver and the one west of Little Sahara. If you googlemap Cherry Creek, UT, it comes up with a road just west of Eureka. While I previously said that I thought that the cabin was located west of Little Sahara, I am now thinking that it was located somewhere west of Eureka on or near Cherry Creek Rd (also one other thought as to why it wasn't located near Beaver. I doesn't make any sense why the cabin would now be located in Eureka. There would be no connection to Eureka, and the cabin would more likely be located in Beaver of Fillmore. I'm sorry but I've gotta disagree with you comment Erik)

  3. Ohhhhh... many Cherry Creeks.

  4. Do you know anything about the graveyard behind the cabin?

  5. It is west of Little Sahara. There is a dirt bike trail that leads right to it.