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. We
do not want the pioneer's historical information to become mixed up
with Mountain Meadows controversial issues.
For those who are interested in learning more about Southern Utah's
past history, we invite you to attend our lecture series at the New
Harmony Library. These are open to the general public at no cost. Check
HERE for the latest schedule.
When the speaker permits, we do videotape the lectures and have these
available for the public at the New Harmony Library or you can purchase
your own copy at our Media Store.
About our Valley
The historically correct term for our valley is Harmony Valley. Harmony
Valley is about 12 miles long by 5 miles wide basically from mile marker
#36 to #48 at the Kannara overpass of I-15. The Native Americans named
the valley "Somato" or "the cove".
New Harmony is a 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
The Fort Harmony Historical Society in Action.
A recent effort was undertaken by the Society members in locating historical
sites within the Harmony Valley. This group was led by Lyman and Karen
Platt and the purpose was to find and to document places that indicated
pioneer occupation. In all a total of
8 historic sites were identified.
Summer 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 Washington County.
Click here to view archaeological past work.
Passing of (Ranger) Bart Anderson
Bart Anderson a well known lecturer and historian of Southern Utah passed
away on March 22, 2009 in St. George, Utah. Bart has shared his knowledge
of the Utah Pioneers through his colorful lectures and field trips.
Bart was a main supporter of the Fort Harmony Historical Society and
he volunteered his time on many occasions to help promote and support
many of the Society's activities. We will miss him greatly and likely
never see a person with such dedication and commitment to Southern Utah
history and our pioneer heritage.