Directions to Mountain Meadows Monument
While visiting the Utah Shakespearean Festival, Jill and I left the drama and tragedies behind for a morning to visit a site of much greater drama and tragedy. We have never visited the site of the Mountain Meadows Massacre though we have passed by on I-15 numerous times. From the Cedar City I-15 exit it is approximately 50 miles to the monument. There is very little traffic on highway 56 as we ride to Newcastle. There are no signs here to guide the way and we don’t see one until we are one mile away from the monument. We head down Newcastle’s main street and connect with highway 18 to Enterprise. We follow 18 to reach the monument. This place is in the middle of nowhere but well worth a visit.
Mountain Meadows Association Monument
There are two monuments. We visit the Mountain Meadows Association Monument first. There were not many visitors, in fact just Jill and I. A short 220 yard walk gets us to the top of Dan Sill Hill where the monument overlooks locations of interest. On the walk up the hill are two information markers. Rather than have you read plain text I will show the photographs for you to read from. They have been vandalized a little such that “The local indians joined in the slaughter” has been partly scratched out on one marker and an offensive word has been etched on another. “Some mothers do ‘ave ’em,” as my grandmother used to say.
Carleton Grave Uncovered
In the plaque above, at the end of the second paragraph, do you see where it says “…the remains recovered from that grave were re-interred in a burial vault inside the new wall.” I found a small plaque over at the second monument erected by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is easy to miss because you have to look over the left side of the wall as you come through the gate. However, there is more to see before we go to the second monument. On the top of the hill there is a fine memorial that has been constructed which lists the names of those killed and some explanatory markers.
Names Etched in Stone
In the photograph below, click on the five sections to see enlarged photographs of the names.
Mountain Meadows Views
There are two viewing aids. The one of the left is aimed at the grave site where the LDS Church built a monument. You cannot see much because a hedge is obscuring the view. The one on the right shows the massacre site. We did not go there, it appeared that one of the routes to it was a private road. There is an informational plaque in the center. Click on the plaque and the viewing aids to enlarge.
There is a map showing all the sites relative to your position at the monument. Also another informational marker. This completes the visit to the first monument.
Grave Site Memorial
We drove to the Mountain Meadows Massacre Grave Site Memorial. I will simply show you the photographs without any commentary from me. At the end I will add a few thoughts.
It was worth the drive to be able to see the actual memorials, take some photographs, and ponder the events that happened here a long time ago. As an adult convert to the Church I have read a little about the massacre and have made some observations over the years. A few who are disaffected with the Church would dearly love to pin the blame on Brigham Young. Clearly the Mormon settlers were looking for direction from him but word came too late. So why the eagerness to implicate Brigham Young? Because that would imply that the current prophet could give a similar order and it would be obeyed. But Brigham Young did not give the order. It was local leadership that made that decision. Even if the current prophet did give such an order it would not be obeyed. Today there are far too many members who are independent of thought and earn their livelihood from employers with no connection to the Church. In closing, remember that the Gospel of Jesus Christ heals all wounds. May peace be with us all, both the living and the dead.