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Photo of Wight's Fort Cemetery
Wight’s Fort Cemetery
This monument erected as a memorial to Pioneer ancestry, Jason Goudie, as an Eagle Scout project in March 1991. Refurnished by Scott Goudie as an Eagle Scout project Post 9843, June 1999.

In the fall of 1854, a fort was built about 100 yards northwest of this cemetery. The uncertainty caused by Walker Indian War had created a furry of fort building that year. Four protected settlements were established west of the Jordan River. English Fort, Wight’s Fort, Gardner’s Mill and Marker’s Settlement. This fort was constructed from stones, mud and logs, being twelve feet high. The fort enclosed two and one-half acres, seven log houses, several other buildings and a part of Bingham Creek, which at that time had a “nice flow of water.” The fort was named for the Wight family, Lewis, Nancy, and sons Lyman and Charles, along with their families who had come to Utah in 1850. With the Wights were John Irving, Joseph Stacy, J. H. Murdoch, John Loveless, John Elmer and Sheldon Cuttler. They are worked on the fort through the winter. By the spring of 1855, the fort was finished and occupied. “Completed, and the gates hung,” it was one of the most attractive forts built during the period of fortification.

The original road to Bingham Canyon ran directly through the fort. The settlers had begun exploration of the Oquirrh Mountains soon after arriving “west of Jordan.” Bingham Canyon was the most convenient place to find timber to build their cabins and to supply the sawmill built by the Gardners brothers, Archibald and Robert in 1850. During the Walker War, the pioneers kept guard in the west mountains led by Gamues Egbert. In 1857 when Johnston’s Army came through the valley on the way to Cedar Valley, the pioneers abandoned the fort and fled south into Utah Valley. The John Irving Family went only as far as Riverton, and then returned. They profited by selling cattle and products to the army. The Mormons did not appreciate intrusion of the army into Utah. However, because of the lack of hard cash in the territory, the army payment in gold for services and products was greatly appreciated. In 1860, a Mr. Vanetten acquired the water rights along Bingham Creek, leaving the fort without water. John Irving and his family (the last in residence) moved away. In 1863, George Ogilvie found metal-bearing ore while herding cattle at the mouth of Bingham Canyon. In sending a sample to General Patrick Connor, Commander of Ft. Douglas, he had the ore assayed and fount it to contain both gold and silver. On September 2, 1863, a group of twenty-five men, including General Connor, George Ogilvie, Archibald Gardner, Alex Beckstead and Samuel Egbert found the Jordan Silver Mining Co. and adopted a set of mining laws. Because of this activity travel continued to flow through the gates of the fort for years after its abandonment. Use of the road through the fort finally slowed with the building of a railroad to Bingham Canyon.
-- This history was written by the Goudie Brothers – Jason and Scott.

Added by: John Warnke (inactive)
10/15/2004

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