Local History

Pine Valley Utah: A Short Page on History

Following is a brief overview of how Pine Valley was ‘discovered’, written by Bessie Snow and Elizabeth Snow Beckstrom, from “Under Dixie Sun” page 180, copyright 1950 Washington County Chapter Daughters of Utah Pioneers, editor Hazel Bradshaw. (Used by permission, Daughters of Utah Pioneers)

In the summer of 1855 it would seem that Jacob Hamblin’s brother ‘Gunlock Bill’ and Isaac Riddle were caring for the mission cattle. They might have been moving them gradually from winter to a summer range when one cow strayed away and could not be found. Isaac, like other good shepherds, left the herd to go in search of the lost one. He evidently slept in his saddle blankets or arose very early to follow her tracks, for he trailed her up the creek higher and higher into the hills when suddenly topping a hill he stopped and gazed in silent awe at the scene spread out before him. It was Sunday morning, and the sun was just sending her first rays over Gardner Peak where the cliffs in Forsyth Canyon caught and held the radiant light and the towering peak at the head of Lloyd Canyon loomed up into the clear blue sky like God’s finger pointing the way. To use Isaac’s own words, he said, “There stretching before me was the most beautiful sight I had ever beheld on God’s green earth.” Huge pines grew down to the floor of the valley which was carpeted with dew drenched grass waving as high as a horse’s knees; quaking aspen bordered the creek on either side the full length of the valley…. The only sign of life in the whole valley was the lost cow peacefully grazing out in the virgin meadow, blissfully unconscious that she was making history….

From that point on, Pine Valley has been many things to many people, but it has always been ‘home’ to some of us. The list of pioneer names associated with the settling of Pine Valley is lengthy, and descendents of many of those pioneers, still bearing those names, live here to this day.

[A reprint of “Under Dixie Sun” is available at Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum, 145 N 100 E, St. George, Utah 84770 435-628-7274]

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