Bullock, Thomas, Journals 1843-1849, vol. 4.
Thursday 22 Many rushes by the sides of the Creeks. Elder Pratt came up to our Camp & consulted with W. Richards & G. A. Smith, when it was decided that O. Pratt, G. A. Smith with several others should go ahead & look out a place to plant; while W. Richards was to take the lead of the Pioneers in preparing the way thro’ the Kanyon. Gather up & start at 9[.] soon pass the other Camping ground. went through a heavy Willow bed, overtook the last teams; graded the hill each side the Creek. when teams halted while extra hands go to repair the roads—then crossed over & entered the Kanyon; which required much hard work to make a road thro’—. succeeded in getting thro’ the narrow spot of the Kanyon about 4 oclock, when we turned round the hill to the right. & came in full view of the Salt Lake in the distance, with its bold hills on its Islands towering up in bold relief behind the Silvery Lake—a very extensive valley burst upon our view, dotted in 3 or 4 places with Timber. I should expect the valley to be about 30 miles long & 20 miles wide. I could not help shouting “hurra, hurra, hurra, heres my home at last”—the Sky is very clear, the air delightful & altogether looks glorious; the only drawback appearing to be the absence of timber—but there is an Ocean of Stone in the mountains, to build Stone houses, & Walls for fencing. if we can only find a bed of Coal we can do well; & be hidden up in the Mountains unto the Lord. we descended a gentle sloping table land to a lower level where the Soil & grass improve in appearance. as we progressed down the valley, small Clumps of dwarf Oak, & Willows appear, the Wheat Grass grows 6 or 7 feet high, many different kinds of grass appear, some being 10 or 12 feet high. after wading thro’ thick grass for some distance, we found a place bare enough for a Camping ground, the grass being only knee deep but very thick. we camped on the banks of a beautiful little Stream; which was surrounded by very tall grass. in digging a place down to the stream. cut thro’ a thin bed of Clay. after about a foot depth of rich soil; then rich soil again. many mosquitoes about in the evening—a rattle snake killed near the Camp—a scorpion seen by young bro: Crow. many of the brethren met in the evening round the Camp fire—to hear the report of O. Pratt, G. A. Smith & several others who had been out on an Exploring Expedition on horseback. they report having been about 20 miles north—about 4 miles from this Camp ground are two beautiful Streams of Water with Stoney bottom. beyond that is a Saline Country, & about 50 mineral Springs. one will do for a barber’s Shop & the largest Spring rushes out of a large rock. having a large Stone in the middle would make a first rate Thomsonian Steam House. they explored about 20 miles North. they have picked out a place for a permanent Camp ground. Dr. dictates a long letter to Prest. Young.
Friday 23 Clear Sky, warm morning—I copied the long letter to Prest. Young—which was read to, & signed by Prests. O. Pratt, G. A. Smith & W. Richards. I also made out the table of distances. & route from Weber River to this place. gave both to Major Pack, who went back to the Prest. Camp gather up & starts about 7. took the back track about a mile, then a strait road to a small Grove of Cotton Wood Trees —on the banks of a beautiful Stream of Water covered on both sides with Willows & Shrubs. here is very rich land, deep grass & the intended location for a farm. W. Clayton allows that we are about 2 miles further from Winter Quarters than last nights Camp
From Winter Quartrs to Junction of Forks 333 miles (guessed)
Junction to Fort John 227 miles (measured)
Fort John to Fort Bridger 347 miles (measured)
Fort Bridger to the Farm 116 miles (measured)
From Winter Quarters to Location 1073 miles
about ½ past 9 the brethren were called together & after a few introductory remarks by El: O. Pratt, O. Pratt made prayer to Almighty God, returning thanks for the preservation of the Camp, their prosperity in the journey, safe arrival in this place; consecrated and dedicated the land to the Lord; & entreated his blessings on the seeds about to be planted; & on our labors in this valley. after a few remarks by El. Pratt & Richards—a Committee of Five; Shadrack Roundy, Seth Taft, Stephen Markham, Robert Crow, & Albert Carrington—were appointed to look out a place for planting Potatoes, Corn, Beans &c who left meeting for that purpose. it was then voted that Charles A. Harper, Charles Shumway & Elijah Newman be a committee to Stock Plows & Drags & to call those men to their assistance that they wanted—it was also voted that Henson Walker, William Wadsworth & John Brown be a committee to superintend the mowing & rigging up of Scythes—Stephen Markham was appointed to attend to the Teams, & see that fresh sets were hitched up every four hours—it was motioned that every man plant his own potatoes & seeds as he pleases. and also motioned that Almon Williams oversee the making of a Coal Pit—Dr. Richards advised that no man leave the Camp, but attend to his seeds & put them in. G. A. Smith recommended the brethren to gather out the dead timber & leave the live timber standing. & to use as little wood as possible in their cooking. Abut ½ past 11 Committee reported, they had staked off; a piece of fine ground 40 rods by 20 for Potatoes—also a suitable place for beans, Corn & buckwheat. the soil is fertile, friable loam, with fine gravel—at 12 o’clock the first furrow was turned by Capt. Taft’s Company—there were 3 Plows & 1 Harrow at work most of the afternoon[.] Tafts Plow got broke. at 2 o’clock the brethren commenced building a dam, & cutting trenches to convey the water , to irrigate the Land—at 4 oclock other brethren commenced mowing the grass, to prepare a turnip patch. about 6 heavy clouds & a thunder shower passed over the camp. a South West wind. at dark Major Pack reported, that Prest. Young was this side the Mountain, camped on the Creek, a few miles back & were all better. regulations were entered into about the Teams & Plow men to work from 4 A.M. to 8 P.M. coursing by teams of 4 hours each
Saturday 24 A warm morning—Clouds flying. the brethren very busy, Plowing, Stocking Plows & Cutting ditches to irrigate the Land. about noon the 5 acre potatoe patch was plowed, when the brethren commenced planting their seed ptatoes—Amasa Lyman’s plow got broke. the brethren then planted some Early Corn—the Plowers continued at work, on the South of the Potato Patch
Thomas Bullock Journals, Vol. 4, 1843-1849, LDS Church History Library, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah, digital copy.
see: Big Mountain