Friday, May 6, 2011

Are there actually cedars in Cedar Fort?

     Sorry for the break everyone, but I am back.  I took a trip recently with a friend (thanks for coming Mikael) to the Northwestern side of Utah Lake.  The first stop was to Cedar Fort, a tiny town around 10 miles east of Lehi.
     There isn't very much information that I could find about the history of Cedar Fort (which usually means that there isn't very much history).  Onlineutah states that "On January 5, 1856, by legislative act, the settlements of Cedar Valley were organized into a county with Cedar Fort as the county seat.  The entire area was later absorbed into Utah County."  They also mention that the name Cedar Fort probably comes from the abundance of Cedar Trees in the area.  However, I don't know if this is true.  Cedar City is also named after the abundance of cedar trees, although there aren't any cedars, just junipers.  Junipers are sometimes referred to as cedars, although I heard that the people in Cedar City just mixed up the two.  I am thinking that it may be the same thing for Cedar Fort.  If you'd like to learn more information about the area, there is a book called Our Roots Grow Deep.  I believe you can check it out from the Lehi Library
     Here are two old photos from Cedar Fort:

 Used by permission, Utah State Historical Society, all rights reserved.

Used by permission, Utah State Historical Society, all rights reserved.

     One thing that I love about Utah is how easy it is to rephotograph places, in comparison to other states.  First of all, there are mountains everywhere which give you a great perspective on where things are.  Also, since everything is built on a grid, almost all historical places are right near Center and Main (or on those streets).  Photographed here are the remains of the old fort from which Cedar Fort takes its name.  And just like I guessed, it was off of Center St.  Here is how it is found today:

     As you can tell the barn is still there but to the east of the wall is now located a parking lot that serves a local LDS church.  Also, as you can see in the first photo, part of the wall has been torn down and it is a lot shorter that it was previously.
     There was also a cool school in Cedar Fort (which is on the National Register of Historic Places) that I stopped to take a photo of.  Here it is:

     The plaque on the school reads: "Constructed in 1909, the Cedar Fort School is historically significant as the only remaining two-room schoolhouse in Utah County, and one of a small handful in the state of Utah.  This building is a rare extant example of the many small schoolhouses that were built in the twenty years after the state legislature created the Free Public School Act in 1890 for the purpose of greatly increasing the number of schools in the state.  Architecturally, the school is important for retaining its distinctive character-defining features on the principle facades.  Its Victorian Eclectic style combines a mix of Romanesque Revival (popular in the late nineteenth century for institutional buildings) and the then newly emerging Prairie School style.  This mix of styles was quite common in the state during the first two decades of the century.  The building particularly contributes to the town of Cedar Fort, Utah, which retains few examples of its historic architecture."
     That's it for Cedar Fort.  Its a small town that I wasn't crazy about, although Mikael loved it.  I guess to each there own...


  1. This is a cool little town. There is lots of history in the old Cedar Fort Cemetery.
    Your blog is a fun read.

  2. This is a very good blog post thanks.
    The original "Fort"in Cedar Fort was a group of structures that were surrounded by a fence made of cedar logs (later replaced by pine logs, and even later replaced by a stone fence)

    Cedar Fort Daily is my new blog with photos in and around Cedar Fort, Utah. Check it out when you can.

  3. Thanks for this blog post. It was interesting to me as my husband's ancestors John Leishman & Jean Allan and their children lived in Cedar Fort for a short time.

    Quote from the autobiography of their son James Allan Leishman tells
    "We arrived in Salt Lake City, September 3, 1852 and located in Little Cottonwood. Two years later, I moved to Cedar Fort. We engaged in farming and other pursuits under very distressing circumstances such as Indians, drought and grasshoppers.
    In 1855, I was ordained a teacher and in 1856 was ordained a priest. On November 30, 1857, I was married to Catherine Thomas. In December 1857, I was ordained an elder. In the spring of 1858, the year of the great move, I went to Beaver County, Utah and then in August, returned to Cedar Valley. I was much of the time choir leader and ward clerk. I also was probate clerk of Cedar County, which county had been created upon the presences of Johnson’s Army stationed at Camp Floyd in that county.
    In the spring of 1860, I moved to Wellsville (Cache county, Utah)..."
    They became successful farmers in Wellsville and many generations still live there to the present day. I trust you will like knowing about some real pioneers of Cedar Fort.