What did it look like in 1860?
When President Brigham Young visited Harmony (on Ash Creek) May 19,
1854, he wasnt pleased with the setting of Harmony because he
believed it was too near Ash Creek and would be subject to flooding.
He suggested that Harmony be moved 4 miles north and west. President
Young and Parley P. Pratt found the site that seemed to be the right
place for Fort Harmony to be built. President Young designated the corner
stone and paced the Fort perimeter off from corner to corner making
it 200 feet square.
He gave directions at the time as to how the Fort was to be built Thomas
D. Brown recorded in his diary the following:
Let the length of each side of the square be 200 feet. The outer wall
3 feet thick and form the back wall or outside of your building 10 feet
high. Let your inner wall be 18 inches, and your partition walls one
foot thick, rooms 15 feet square, the under rooms will form your kitchen
and cellars, etc. Let your windows be inside and none on the outside
of this story. Build another story above this 9 to 12 foot high - your
inner walls as before. Have windows in this both sides in the outer
wall. Let the window sills be so high that shots from the outside would
pass over the heads of the residentsthe inside of the windows
to be the usual height. Adobe to be in size 12 by 6 by 4 inches. The
upper rooms to be your lodging rooms, etc. And you can throw two or
three together into one for meeting and school rooms. Water to be brought
through an arched culvert of rock work. Your foundations to be of rock
and have a covered pool in the center of your square built around it
of rock, and build a well, angular points of which you can draw water
for your potties or water closets which should be on the sides of your
gates, two or four rooms each side. Let your gateway be on the lower,
say the south side of the square. Have a portico or porch on the inner
side all around, say 6 feet from your wall supported on pillars and
from this let your stairs run up to your lodging rooms. Have your firewood
outside and carry it in, cut proper lengths for the day or work. Your
corral of picket, to be outside also on the lower side and near the
gate. You may build your corral first or after, just as you have a mind
to. At present all is peace and when this is built I shall then say
we have a good fort in this territory.
When President Young returned to Salt Lake, he instructed Truman O.
Angel, the Churchs architect, to draw up plans for the Fort and
2 drawings. President Young sent the plans to John D. Lee. Following
is a copy of the plans but we have not been able to locate any drawings
of the Fort or pictures.
Church Historians Archive: Microfilm CR 1,2,3,4,1 reel 86. (Box
74, folder 36)
A memorandum of directions for the erection of a fort according to a
plan given orally at Harmony by President Brigham Young. Now drawn on
paper by L. O. Angell (known as the plan of a fort at Harmony).
The student will take the plan before him. Let the south end come to
his breast and he turn his face to the north. Now look on the drawing
and you have the position of the fort. You see a square embracing 200
feet each way and rooms all around within the wall . The lower story
outside wall, 3 feet thick. Inside wall 18 inches thick. Upper story
outside wall, 2 feet thick. Inside wall 18 inches thick. partition wall
12 inches thick. See transverse side section. This wall shows the student
the height of the rooms below and also above as connected with the timbers
windows, porch etc. The transverse section shows like a plane cut through
either side of said fort so as to mark the walls, timbers, frames etc.
appear to the eye; the size of the rooms of the basement may be read
by referring to the figuring of the ground plan. The fireplaces are
arranged in their proper stations; they may be made common size say
3 feet 4 inches long, 2 feet 8 or 10 inches high, 15 or 18 inches deep
and on either side you have a first rate place cupboards. The places
for the doors are marked D and in the places for windows marked W...(9
words unreadable on bottom line).
(Page 2) the doors. The windows on the inside of fort are 12 lighted
3 panes wide 4 high also the same in the upper story. Doors in the upper
story are to be placed directly over those in the lower and in the outer
wall put one six lighted window in each room opposite to the inside
N. K. (?) The north west corner is tinted with lead. This is reserved
for a school or meeting room. It is to be on the second floor. There
should be added several 6 lighted windows in this room say 5 in the
outside walls the height as they show in the traverse section. The doors
and windows should range in the same line of height on the inside of
fort. On the upper left corner of plan is a drawing section of ceiling
joist and roofing timbers on the angles on said fort. The stick and
the corner lying diagonally marked fix to is a truss (see figure 1).
Set the ceiling joist be secure to the main stick and all small rafters
secure to the principle rafters. All the joists over the lower and upper
rooms should be about 16 inches from center and bridged well.
The sleepers in lower room should be about 2 feet from center to center
or as near this as practicable. Secure them by a good bearing under
the center of each or they will allow the floor to tremble. The porch
sleepers are represented as resting on a stone (simple stone). These
stones should be made secure in the earth. The height of porch floor
should be 8 inches below top of door seal. Let the porch floor.
(Page 3) fall 12 inches from the building to the outer edge: place posts
at the dark spots marked 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. making 4 in number. They are
about 13 feet 61/2 inches from center to center. The traverse section
shows how to arrange the framing and many other things. Notice that
Over the meeting or school room [in the northwest corner] put a small
tower or look out place for a watchman which may be entered from the
top of the porch by a ladder. The stone wall to bear the adobe wall
should be let into the earth deep as the walls will check or crack.
You will let the stone work be made about 16 inches above the earth
In the center of said fort if a pool supplied from without the wall
and should be brought under ground in logs of 2inch planks well ground
and fitted to each other; this should be well fitted in a reservoir
without the fort and passed through under the wall to the center of
the fort there rise in a fence stalk to the top of the mound (the mound
should be 2 ½ or 3 feet high) and sink a vat in the center. All
the earth is to be removed from the inside of the fort to a level or
nearly so except the mound but again there should be a little descent
in the fort to take away falling water etc. The outlets of said pool
maybe arranged to admit of all such waters as they pass through under
the water closets. The water closets may be arranged for both stories
and divided to suit conveniences etc.
(Page 4)Place lentils. With the line of second floor timbers set the
wall continue making a room over said gate or guard house for other
purpose. N. K. (?) There are eight flight of stairs. They are entered
as shown by the arrows on the plan.
Fort Harmony Historical Society has made considerable effort to locate
the original drawings of the Fort contacting all historical holdings
which might have the drawings. We have been unable to locate the drawings.
As an alternative we have conceptually drawn what we believe the Fort
looked like and had our drawing duplicated by an artist, Louise Crosby.
Roger Simister, put together a computer drawing of the Fort using similar
forts during that time period.
Also, since FHHS has the instructions from the Churchs architect
Angel, Jane White completed an engineers drawing of the Fort using
a CAD program. These two drawings are the closest likeness available
of the Fort. When the archeological dig is completed, more information
will be available so eventually we will have a very good idea what the
Fort looked like and some idea of the surrounding area such as the farms,
gardens, corrals, out buildings.