Thursday, January 26, 2017

Antelope Island in 1882 -- No Buffalo and Different Geographical Names

                            The Frary Peak summit, highest point, looking south on Antelope Island.

By Lynn Arave

IMAGINE Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake with no buffalo, only wild horses and cattle, plus with only boat access and even some different names in use. Plus, there’s also the tale of a mysterious early settler on the Island.
-Miles Goodyear wasn’t the only white settler who lived in Northern Utah when the Mormon Pioneers arrived in 1847. There was another, far lesser known man.
Daddy Stump was living on Antelope Island when the Mormon Pioneers started exploring the Isle in 1848. That’s also the first mention of the man.

                     A pair of dead trees serve as sentinels on the east side of the Isle.

Stump, believed to be a mountain man and perhaps also known as a bear killer, had built a small cabin and had a small orchard of peaches on Antelope Island.
The LDS Improvement Era Magazine from 1907 mentions Stump twice in its volume 10 contents. First, he is called an old mountain man. Secondly, several Mormon Pioneers reported that Stump’s rustic camp was located in a little canyon near a spring of water on the south end of the Island. Stump is referred to as an “old trapper.”
The somewhat mysterious Stump was not mentioned by government explorer John C. Fremont and crew during their expedition of the Island in 1843. Thus, Stump may have only been in Utah a few years before the Pioneers.
A history of Fielding Garr (first Mormon settler on Antelope Island in 1849) on quotes a visit to Daddy Stump’s camp by Brigham Young on Antelope Island:
“In 1856 Brigham Young visited Antelope island. ‘The time was pleasantly spent in driving over the Island and in visiting places of interest-bathing, boating and inspecting their horses and sheep. Old Daddy Stump's mountain home was visited. They drove their carriage as near to it as possible and walked the remainder of the way. Everything was found just as the old man had left it …”

                                  The central east side of Antelope Island.
Some sources indicate that Stump, a solitary man, may have left Antelope Island by 1849, after the Fielding Garr Ranch was established there by the Mormon Pioneers.
It is also generally accepted that he is believed to have disappeared six years later, in 1856 – with the assumption that he was killed by Indians that year in Cache Valley.
The book, “History of Utah,” by Orson F. Whitney, also very briefly mentions Stump as taking cattle to Cache Valley and that most of his herd died there (presumably from a harsh winter). Whitney mentions that others also lost most of their cattle there too that same winter.

                 Fourth-graders playing in the Great Salt Lake at Antelope Island.

Today, Stump is forgotten by most history books – except for perhaps a mention in a single line. His only remaining legacy is that a ridge on the south end of Antelope Island is honored with his name and that Antelope Island State Park periodically hosts a seasonal hike, called the “Daddy Stump History Tour.”
-The Salt Lake Herald newspaper of July 30, 1882 carried a report on a group of Salt Lake residents who spent a week vacationing on Antelope Island that summer.
The story stated that the group had to board the "yacht Maud" to reach the island, which had a dual name back then, also being often called "Church Island," since The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held ownership of it then.
In fact, at one time in the 19th Century, the LDS Church had some 70,000 sheep grazing on the Island.

                          Buffalo in an early spring on Antelope Island.

And, even on the island itself, a reference was made to "Alma Peak," a point on the island that obviously eventually gained a different permanent title. (Alma was the name of a prophet in the Book of Mormon.)
"There surely is something in the air on the island, which makes the flintiest heart soften ..." the article reported on an almost magical quality to the place.
The group of Salt Lake residents spent their week horseback riding all over the island; reading, sun bathing, swimming in the Great Salt Lake -- and even singing at night.
"But someday in the near future, it will become one of Utah's attractions," the article proclaimed of Antelope Island.

                           A solitary buffalo on Antelope Island.

-Buffalo first came to Antelope Island in 1923 for a movie set.
-Some 87 years after the Salt Lake Herald story on Antelope Island, in 1969, the State of Utah opened a portion of Antelope Island (the north end) as a state park after a seven-mile causeway was constructed across the Great Salt Lake to the Island. In 1981, the State of Utah purchased the entire island for a state park.

       The landscape on the west side of Antelope Island is even more rugged than the east side.

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