Legends of America

Follow the links to the various pages of Legends of America

The Old West Legends of America Outhouse Madness Ghostly Legends Outlaws Old West Saloons Rocky Mountain General Store Legends Photo Store The Book Store Make your travel reservations here! Route 66 Native Americans The Old States - Back East

Legends of America    |    Legends General Store    |    Legends Photo Shop

 

Legends Of America's Facebook PageLegends Of America's Twitter PageLegends on Pinterest

Legends Home

Site Map

What's New!!

 

Content Categories:

American History

Destinations-States

Ghost Stories

Ghost Towns

Historic People

Legends & Myths

Native Americans

Old West

Photo Galleries

Route 66

Travel Center

Treasure Tales

 

   Search Our Sites

Custom Search

Google

 

About Us

Advertising

Article/Photo Use

Copyright Information

Blog

Facebook Page

Guestbook

Links

Newsletter

Privacy Policy

Site Map

Writing Credits

 

We welcome corrections

and feedback!

Contact Us

 

Legends' General Store


Old West/Western

Route 66

Native American

Featured Items

Sale Items

Books/Magazines

CD's - DVD's

Nuwati Herbals

Personalized-Engraved
Postcards

Wall Art

Custom Products

and Much More!

 

  Legends Of America's Rocky Mountain General Store - Cart View

 

Legends' Photo Prints

Legends Photo Prints and Downloads
 

Ghost Town Prints

Native American Prints

Old West Prints

Route 66 Prints

States, Cities & Places

Nostalgic Prints

Photo Art Prints

Jim Hinckley's America

David Fisk (Lens of Fisk)

Specials-Gift Ideas

and Much More!!
 

Legends Of America's Photo Print Shop - Cart View

 

Family Friendly Site

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                             

Utah FlagUTAH LEGENDS

History & Haunting of Fort Douglas

 

Custom Postcards by Legends of America

     

 

One of the oldest US Army posts in Utah, Fort Douglas was established in 1862 on a rise overlooking Salt Lake City. Colonel Patrick E. Connor and his California-Nevada Volunteers were ordered by the military to build the fort with the tow primary objectives -- guarding the overland mail and to keep an eye on the Mormons and any secessionist activities. Other tasks included protecting the area from Indians, guarding the transportation routes crossing Utah, and aiding road survey parties.

 

Commanding the Military District of Utah, Colonel Connor supervised Army operations in Utah, Nevada, and part of Wyoming. He and his troops first arrived in October, 1862, living in hastily made dugouts covered by tents. The post was first called Camp Douglas, in honor of the recently deceased Illinois Senator Stephen A. Douglas.

 

Camp Douglas, Utah, 1866.

Camp Douglas, 1866.

One of the few instances in which the troops saw action in the Indian campaigns was Colonel Connor's 300-man campaign in the fall and winter of 1862-63 against marauding Shoshoni, Snakes, and Bannocks in northern Utah. In January, 1863 he dealt a severe defeat to the Shoshoni Chief Bear Hunter in the Battle of Bear River.

When the Civil War ended, Regulars replaced the Volunteers and soon talk of Mormon succession ended. The fort became a major supply center for the busy cavalry during the 1870s, and 1874 to 1876, the fort was almost completely rebuilt of stone. In 1878, Camp Douglas became Fort Douglas. 

During the Spanish American War and World War I, the fort was used as a training base, and in both World Wars it served as a POW camp for enemy soldiers. After World War II, the Army began to slowly divest of much of its acreage to the  adjacent University of Utah. However, it continued to serve reserve forces for several decades.

On October 26, 1991, Fort Douglas officially closed, though the Utah National Guard maintained control of the Military Museum and the southern portion of the fort, including the historic buildings on Soldiers Circle, continues to be used as the headquarters of the 96th Army Reserve Command and as a base of operation for U.S. Navy and Marine Reserves.

Today the fort is designated as a National Historic Landmark, includes a museum inside one of the old stone barracks, the still active 1863 cemetery, and numerous buildings. Grouped around the parade ground, stone buildings dating to 1875 include the old headquarters building, post office, stables, chapel, barracks, and officer's quarters. The post cemetery includes the bodies of soldiers killed in the Battle of Bear River.

 

Though Fort Douglas' rich history should be enough to entertain any visitor, some may be looking for another entirely different experience - the paranormal. Yes, Fort Douglas, like many forts across the American West, is said to be haunted.

 

The fort’s most famous resident ghost is the spirit of a Civil War era soldier who is fondly called "Clem.” Most often sighted at the Fort Douglas Military Museum, the ghost was given his name by a local Boy Scout Troop who, after spending a night in the museum, decided "Clem” was a scary name for the ghost. In any event, numerous reports have been told over the years of this dead soldier’s activities.

 

The museum, housed in an 1875 building that was once called home to some 50 infantry soldiers, has served a variety of functions over the years, including being utilized for office space, a fire station, a mess hall, a post office, and supply storage. A century after it was built; however, it became a military museum in 1975.

 

Fort Douglas Military Museum

Fort Douglas Military Museum, courtesy Fort

 Douglas Military Museum

 

Numerous reports from staff and guests alike tell of Clem’s activities. Several people have seen the full-body apparition of the old soldier appearing in various places before quickly disappearing. Others have reported that they have felt spirit breathing on their necks. Yet more tales report the sounds of footsteps on the stairs when no one is there, other unexplained noises, and objects that inexplicably seem to move by themselves.

 

Some who have seen the spirit describe him a stocky man with dark hair and a beard, dressed in a Civil War Federal uniform. Some speculate that he may be the spirit of one of the many men who committed suicide at the fort. Clem has also allegedly been spied in the Mariott Library of the University of Utah.

 

Civil War ghostEvery year, during October, the museum hosts an event in Clem’s honor, telling the stories of this lively apparition, who has been investigated by paranormal groups on a number of occasions.

Though Clem is the most famous ghost of the fort, there are other reports of strange happenings on the grounds.

At Carlson Hall, which houses the history department and the ethnic studies program, a young woman who allegedly committed suicide in the 1930s, has been seen walking around the building all dressed in white. She is also blamed for the service elevator’s frequent malfunctions.

At the Humanities House on Officer's Circle, a young girl is said to roam the building and others have reported seeing a floating face. 

In Chapel Glen, there have been a number of reports of a ghostly woman dressed in purple who has been spied in a gulley.

Fort Douglas CemeteryAnd of course, the cemetery is said to have its share of ghosts as well. The still-active military cemetery houses not only regular soldiers of the fort, but also who were killed in the Battle of Bear River and German, Italian and Japanese prisoners of war. Here, visitors have reported hearing the footsteps of someone or something that isn’t there.

The fort is located on the University of Utah campus at the northeastern edge of Salt Lake City.

More Information:

Fort Douglas Military Museum
32 Potter Street
Fort Douglas, Utah  84113
801-581-1710  or  801-581-1251

 

© Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated, March, 2012.

 

From Legends' General Store

Camera - Vintage Photos IconPhoto Print Shop - Travel the trails of the American West with our many photographs! Just take a look at our galleries or purchase prints at very reasonable prices! Here you'll see photographs of Route 66, ghost towns, scenic and historic views, and roadside stops.

Scenic Views Photo Gallery       

 

                                                            Copyright © 2003-Present, www.Legends of America.com