Our latest adventure with Grandpa (and Grandma this time) took us to Morgan County, Utah. We headed east through Weber Canyon and then took the old highway through Mountain Green. I wanted to find a canyon named after my fourth great granduncle, Roswell Stevens, Jr.
Roswell, Jr. was born on October 17, 1809, to Roswell and Sibbell Spencer Stevens. He heard Joseph Smith, Jr. and Sidney Rigdon preach at a meeting in Mount Pleasant, Ohio in 1831. He decided to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He followed the Saints from Ohio to Missouri, on to Nauvoo, Illinois, , then moved west with them in 1846 where he enlisted in the Mormon Battalion and served in Company E.
He marched with them until many became ill and were dispatched to Pueblo, Colorado to recover. Roswell was well over 6 feet tall and strong. He was a former member of the Nauvoo Legion and acted as the bodyguard to the captain who carried the Battalion’s money back to Brigham Young. He joined the vanguard company in 1847 and helped to build the trail to Salt Lake City. There is an interactive map of the Mormon Battalion’s journey found here.
Roswell Stevens lived in the Peterson area in the 1850s. He settled Weber City (now called Peterson) with Charles Shreeve Peterson. Roswell married Mary Ann Peterson in 1854 and built a sawmill at the end of a canyon. The canyon is still called Roswell’s canyon in his honor.
We found the right turn and wanted to explore up the canyon, but it was listed as private property and I did not feel like being prosecuted. I hope to research who owns it to ask for permission to take photos. We planned to drive to Upton, a small town in Summit County, another town where Roswell settled, but we decided to explore Lost Creek Reservoir instead.
Lost Creek’s earthen dam was constructed between 1963 and 1966 by the United States Bureau of Reclamation. It is 248 feet high and 1078 feet long. Lost Creek Reservoir sits at 6000 feet above sea level It has a wakeless-speed-only regulation and so kayakers and fishermen don’t have to compete with water skiers and jet skis when they explore the reservoir’s 360 surface acres. There is no day use fees but camping is not allowed.
We turned off a bit before the dam and found a nice wooded area with cottonwoods and willows. We placed our camp chairs in a meadow and enjoyed a picnic in the shade. There were also beautiful lupines and arrowroots blooming. The weather was perfect, and the breeze felt exactly right. We wished we had a hammock to string up between the trees and to stay for a long while. The boys all found a willow to carve into a walking stick and Grandpa had some decorative rope to put on the end. Who doesn’t carry decorative rope in their car?
We explored the area west of the meadow and saw a bald eagle sitting on a telephone pole eating the fish it just caught. It was so beautiful to see. We heard a weird chirping. We looked around for a bird, but only found a prairie dog. She was standing on her haunches chirping a warning at us to stay away from her babies. We eventually explored the east side of the meadow and crossed Lost Creek and found an old ranch house there. It had an airplane engine suspended in the trees above the house. There were holes in the house and a large tree crushed the old carport. We looked briefly inside and found an old vacuum sitting in the front room. It looked like a scene out of a Stephen King novel. The vacuum has probably sucked up people’s souls! There was a fresh firepit and nice benches to the side of the house, so the property must still be used, but you couldn’t pay me enough to stay there.
We drove up to the dam to see the reservoir. The water was clear and beautiful. It was a popular place for fishing, kayaking, and paddleboards. Grandpa pointed out a cliff where he had once seen dozens of sparrow’s nests. We had a hard time seeing them even with binoculars and while my youngest was trying to look, Grandpa said, “Look next to that rock that look like that guy from Star Wars. You know,” he snapped his fingers, “that guy!”
As my son was trying to follow his vague directions, Grandpa shouted, “I got it! Its Yuba! Yuba the Hut!!”
I laughed so hard, no one could hear the directions and it was a bit frustrating, but I couldn’t help it. Now, rocks will forever look like Yuba the Hutt. Step aside Jabba, there is a new Hutt in the house.