Old Spanish Trail traveled again
In the fall of 2012 while traveling through southern Utah, my husband and I journeyed through Kingston Canyon and saw the metal cutouts depicting the Old Spanish Trail Riders. I was so impressed with this Trail reminder that I thought "Emery County needs some of those". The Old Spanish Trail runs right through the middle of our beautiful County just skirting the rugged San Rafael Swell area. What better way to help people remember or learn about this part of our history, than to see these metal sculptures. This seemed like a great project for two organizations in our County, the newly formed San Rafael OSTA chapter and the Emery County Preservation Commission.
At our next meetings the project was proposed and was excitedly accepted by both organizations. Bob Leonard, Fishlake National Forest archeologist, was very helpful in giving us information to get started. He also traveled to Kingston Canyon to take measurements of the silhouettes for us. Local metal artists were contacted to see who might be interested in submitting designs and bids for the project.
Our next task was to secure the needed funding for the project. We contacted the National organization of the Old Spanish Trail and applied for a grant. Dennis Ditmanson, OSTA Manager was interested enough that he made a trip to Emery County and with our County Chapter President, Dr. Edward Geary, as host, he was taken to the proposed site for the silhouettes.
Emery County has recently completed a Buckhorn Well Visitor's Center in the Cedar Mountain area that will house visitor information about the county in its many kiosks, including information on the Old Spanish Trail. We hoped to get permission from the BLM to install these silhouettes across the road, north of this center. This installation site is very near to the northernmost point of the Trail as it skirted the impassable cliffs and canyons of the San Rafael Swell.
Dennis was impressed with the project and we were subsequently awarded a grant to be used toward the project. The Emery County Travel Bureau also awarded a grant. These two grants, coupled with private donations made the project a reality.
Eldon Holmes of Cleveland was awarded the contract to do the metal sculptures. After much work these beautiful Old Spanish Trail reminders were installed on July 23.
We wish to thank all who worked hard to get the necessary approval and permits to allow this project to be placed on BLM ground. We also appreciated the help given by the volunteers from the Emery County Corrections facility under the direction of Deputy Mike Jorgensen.