The Fort Harmony Story
Here in the New Harmony Valley lies the remains of one of the few protective
outposts built by our courageous pioneers. The concept and plans originated
with Brigham Young in 1854; the actual construction project was supervised
by John D. Lee. Fort Harmony took years of volunteer labor to complete
and played an historic role in the settlement of Southern Utah. Over
the course of eight years, this adobe-type structure provided shelter
and protection for over 300 frontier settlers.
Why was it abandoned so early, and what were the tragic events that
unfolded during this critical time in Utah history? We welcome you to
explore these pages and share the experiences faced by these real pioneers
as they endured the hardships of remote frontier life.
The Original Old Fort Harmony site has been Located
Located on the south end of Harmony Valley there
is a beautiful bluff that looks over Ash Creek Reservoir and fertile
farm land. This site closely matches the descriptions from recorded
Fort Harmony and Mountain Meadows
Recently there has been some news about the Mountain Meadows and the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake Tribune, 3/29/08).
When news breaks about the Mountain Meadows, often people make an association
between the Mountain Meadows and Fort Harmony and the John D. Lee statue.
FHHS is asking people to not make that association because there lies
in the remains of Fort Harmony, fragile historical information for several
hundred people that lived or visited the Fort and it is the goal of
the FHHS to retrieve and document this history of ALL the people.
The Fort Harmony Society has hosted many interesting lectures that are
related to the history of Southern Utah. Lectures on the "Pony
Express", "Tour of Fort Harmony", "The Spanish Trail",
The Grafton Tour", "Ancient Navigation", Cedar City History"
- and much more. To see our whole list you can visit our Media
About our Valley
The historically correct name for the valley where Fort Harmony is located
is "Harmony Valley". It is about 12 miles long by 5 miles
wide basically from mile marker #36 to #48 at the Kannara overpass of
I-15. Initally the Native Americans named the valley "Somato" or "the
New Harmony is a small town, about 2 miles square. It is very small
compared to the entire valley which is about 60 miles square. It is
also the mailing address of everyone in the valley. Kolob Ranches, The
Ridges, Harmony Farms, Harmony Heights 1 & 2 are located in Harmony
Valley, not New Harmony. As the valley develops these distinctions will
become more important.
The New Fort Monument. was installed by
the Cedar City Chapter of the Sons of the Utah Pioneers. A dedicated
effort of men led by Alva Matheson. They errected the Monument for the
purpose of honoring the 21 men who were called by Brigham Young in 1853
to organize the Southern Utah Indian Mission.
Archaeological Work. HFFS has been invited to submit
several proposals for funding to enhance the fort site and we are actively
seeking funding for the summer archaeological work. The plan is to include
several universities in Utah as well as local people to work together
to complete the archaeological dig required by the State of Utah and
Click here to view archaeological past work.
- With her passing in 2015 the Fort Harmony Society has lost
a valuable member. Karen was the President and the main support for
the Society for many years. Karen devoted many hours organizing the
research and support for the Fort. She will be deeply missed. We also
pass along our deepest condolences to her Husband Lyman Platt also a
strong supporting member of the Society.
us all rember (Ranger) Bart Anderson
Bart Anderson a well known lecturer and historian of Southern Utah.
He passed away on March 22, 2009 in St. George, Utah. FHHS has a limited
collection of his slides shows and hikes that he gave freely to interested
groups. The DVD "Bart Anderson Remembered" will be available