Tuesday, September 23, 2008

On The Road Again - Part I

Dave had an assignment down south of Moab this morning, so because it was my regular day off (RDO) and an annual leave day (he obviously worked his scheduled time off) so he invited me to go with him. We got on the road about 9:30 a.m. Monday. According to the “talking” GPS unit, (which by the way I wished us girls had on our trip to Grand Junction), Moab is 4 hours from home (Kaysville). It was raining pretty much the whole way down to the Spanish Fork Canyon exit. Once we started heading up on Highway 6, the rain had stopped. I had called Mom before we got off the interstate to check on her and let her know we were on our way, and if it stopped raining we were going to stop in the canyon to go check out this cemetery us girls had noticed on our way up the canyon heading towards Grand Junction. Dave and I ended up stopping and I am so glad we did! It was well worth the 15 minutes we took off the road. It’s called “Mill Fork Cemetery”. What a history this place has! I “Google”ed on the name and added “Spanish Fork Canyon” to the search. Apparently some of the people (including children) met some violent deaths. There are 17 burials in the cemetery with some other information. This link tells of the tragic deaths of half of the known people buried in the cemetery: http://www.heraldextra.com/content/view/249781/ It’s pretty interesting reading if you have time to sit down and look at it. The following link tells a little bit of the history of Mill Fork town: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mill_Fork,_Utah. (You may have to copy and paste these addresses in your browser. I can’t seem to open them here). These are the directions on how to get there: Take the US 6 exit (#261) off I-15 heading east. Travel up Spanish Fork Canyon on US 6 for 24.3 miles. There is a dirt road on the north side of the hwy here. Turn up this road. It leads to a small parking area. The footbridge west of the parking area crosses a drainage ditch and the path on the other side leads to the cemetery. (East of railway marker, 1.4 mile up on a hill). Anyway, if you are interested, visit these two sites. I hope you find it as interesting as we did. This information was posted at the cemetery and we thought it was interesting. "Mill Fork, Utah": "As one looks upon Mill Fork today it is hard to visualize it as it was before the turn of the century. There were three saw mills inn Mill Fork Canyon. Here ties were cut out of Spruce, Pine or whatever was available. It helped supply ties for the Rio Grande Railroad and two branch lines. Also the lumber was used to build homes here at Mill Fork, and up and down the canyon. There were three Charcoal Kilns located along the highway just west of this cemetery. Men with teams and wagons cut Pinion Pine to burn in these kiln. One can walk for miles on the north side of the highway from Sheep Creek to Tie Fork and count thousands of Pinion Pine stumps left standing. My mother, Hannah Chadwick Atwood told me many times of the upper Charcoal Kilns located about three or four miles east of here, near Garner Hollow. Father lived about one-half mile east of this cemetery along the side of the hill. I had two brothers born here. Many homes were built here in its early life. Some were located across the river to the south on the large flat. Others were built back in some of the side canyons. Some were rock dug-outs. There was a general store and tour section houses for the railroad employees. In 1885 a large water tank was built along the tracks. There was a reservoir located about three-fourth to one-half mile up Mill Fork Canyon that fed the tanks with gravity flow water. As a young man, I worked on the section and had to help maintain the reservoir. There were farms along the river where ever there was a level spot. Beautiful potatoes were grown up here, also hay and grain. Men worked on the section, for the Charcoal Kiln and other means to make a living. Mother said they had dances held in the school house between here and Sheep Creek to the west. A cousin of mine burned it down so he wouldn’t have to go to school. Mother said they made their own fun visiting eah other, and with house socials. About two hundred fifty people lived here and around Mill Fork at its peak. When I was a small boy I lived at Old Tucker. A school bus, driven by Merther Davis, picked up the children along the highway. In 1930-1935 there were at least twenty-five children riding this bus. Some were picked up here at Mill Fork to go to school at Thistle and Spanish Fork." “Mill Fork Cemetery References”: The Atwood section is on the north and the following buried here. Grandpa Aaron Chadwick, Grandma Ida Viola Winder Chadwick; Dads two sons, Durward Atwood and Thayne A. Atwood, two Cousins, Philex Chadwick, Olive F. LaDam and Parris Ballard, and his wife; Aunt Ida Viola Chadwick Ballard are also buried here. Note: “All work has been performed in the temple for these souls”. The south section belongs to the Elliott Family. In this part of the cemetery are Edson W. Elliott, Mary M. Elliott, Myrtle Elliott, Carol L. Elliott, and Mary E. Jensen. The section on the west contains thirteen or fourteen travelers killed in Indian Massacre. There is a possibility that others are also buried in this section. All information came from the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints by Andrew Jensen, Assistant church Historian, Page 504 Mill Fork was a brethern of the Palmyra Stake Utah County in Spanish Fork, Utah. The cemetery is cared for and maintained by George D. Atwood and Family, and was given the charge to do so by my mother, Hannah Ellen Chadwick Atwood. The Elliott descendents help. Also we have a family organization who meets here on the 3rd Saturday in March to do a general cleanup. Edison W. Elliott was married to my father’s sister Mary Ellen Atwood. She is buried in Utah Valley. My father and mother, Walter A. and Hannah Ellen Chadwick Atwood are buried in Spanish Fork City Cemetery. There is still work to be done around the cemetery, rock work, etc. Roy John of Spanish Fork made and helped put in the new arch way by the highway. Many friends also helped". - George D. and Christie S. Atwood.
We made our way up to Price, UT and stopped for lunch. By the way Mom and Sisters, there is a lot more to Price than what I thought. Now I am wondering if we were really ever in the town of Price at all!


  1. Gosh,, wish we would of stopped now, glad you got to see it.

  2. That is really interesting! I love taking off on the side roads just to see what is there. Thanks for taking us all there with you!