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Utah Forts of the Old West


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Utah Forts


Camp Floyd

Cove Fort

Fort Buenaventura

Fort Deseret

Fort Douglas

Fort Duchesne

Fort Utah





 Cove Fort, Utah

Cove Fort, Kathy Weiser, April, 2008.

This image available for photographic prints  and downloads HERE!

Cove Fort

Cove Fort was built on the earlier site of Willden's Fort, constructed in 1861by
Elliot Willden and consisting of just three rooms and a dugout. By 1865; however, Indian attacks were becoming too common and Elliot Willden moved his family south to the town of Beaver.

Willden's moving left travelers without a sanctuary from hostile Indians in the very year that the Black Hawk War began. So, two years later,  Brigham Young ordered that a new fort be built with church funds, to protect travelers through the area.   

Between April and November of 1867, quarrymen, stonemasons, carpenters, and laborers from nearby settlements worked together to construct the fort under the direction of Ira Hinckley who was the superintendent of the construction. When it was complete, the "new" fortress again provided a refuge for settlers, protecting them for hostile Indians and acting as a  way station for travelers between Salt Lake City and Mormon settlements in the Virgin River Valley and in southern Nevada and California. The site was a favorite camping place of Brigham Young, himself, who made frequent trips to southwestern Utah. One of its 12 original rooms housed a telegraph station on the Mormon line. Other rooms served as a stage station and post office. Fortunately, Indians never attacked or besieged the fort. 

The builder of the fort, Ira N. Hinckley, maintained it as a residence until 1877. After his move, a number of different families occupied the fort property.

Today, Cove Fort is owned by the Latter Day Saints (Mormon) Church, who operates it as a museum. It  is the only fort built by the church in the 1800's that still stands in the state of Utah. Parts of the original fort buildings have been restored and the barn and blacksmith shop have been re-created. 

The site is open daily and is free. Free guided tours are available. Reservations are suggested for groups of 20 or more. The fort is located immediately northeast of the junction of I-15 and I-70, 24 miles north of Beaver and 20 miles south of Kanosh, Utah.


More Information:


Cove Fort Historic Site
Cove Fort,


Cove Fort, Utah Courtyard

Only one gunshot was ever fired at Cove Fort, and that was accidental.

Cove Fort Courtyard, April, 2008, Kathy Weiser.



Fort Cove, Utah Dining Room

Mrs. Hinkley fed an average of 40 people a day, including her family

 and travelers,  in the common dining room, Kathy Weiser, April, 2008.



Photo courtesy Fort Buenaventura 


Fort Buenaventura

Established in 1846 by trapper, Miles Goodyear, Fort Buenaventura was the first permanent Anglo settlement in the Great Basin in what is now present-day Ogden, Utah. Located just east of a bend in the Weber River, the picket enclosed fortress served as a trading post for trappers, traders, and travelers passing through the region.


In November, 1847, Fort Buenaventura and the surrounding land claim was purchased by Mormon settlers for $1,950. The new settlement that soon grew up was renamed Brownsville, but was later changed to Ogden after Peter Skene Ogden, a trapper in the Weber Valley.


Though none of the original buildings continue to stand at the old trading post, the fort has been reconstructed on the original site. The rebuilding was painstakingly conducted utilizing archaeological evidence and written accounts to reflect its original features. The fortís dimensions, height of pickets, method of construction, and number and styles of log cabins are all based on documented facts. There are no nails in the stockade; instead historic wooden pegs and mortis and tenion joints hold the wall together.

Now the Weber County Park, the 32-acre site also includes a visitor center, group camping and day-use area, picnic tables, canoe rentals and modern rest rooms. Mountain men activities are held as special times throughout the spring and summer.

More Information:

Fort Buenaventura

2450 A Avenue
Utah 84401



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