UTAH'S DIXIE HISTORICAL SITES
CLICK ON PICTURE TO MAKE LARGER
Where is it?
THE FIRST PINE VALLEY CEMETERY
by Lynn B Niederhauser
When Isaac Riddle first came into Pine Valley in June 1855 he was more than amazed when he first saw the valley with its abundance of timber and other lush growth. It is not surprising that he and the other Indian missionaries immediately saw the possibilities of the use of the timber which could become available to the early settlers of the area. Isaac along with Jehu Blackburn and Robert Richey set up the first sawmill in Pine Valley and Washington County. It was known as the Riddle Mill.
It was located on Spring Branch Creek, one of the most constant streams in the valley which did not just rely on the melting snow for its source of water.
Some lumber was sawed that first summer after the three men had returned from Salt Lake City where they purchased the needed equipment for the mill. The men lived in dugouts. It was not until the summer of 1856 when they returned again to the valley that some of them brought their wives and built more suitable cabins for housing.
After the coming of the Saints to the Cotton Mission, the lumber industry really began to prosper. The Riddle Mill was purchased in the summer of 1863 by Erastus Snow, Robert Gardner and Eli Whipple. It was in this summer that the need for a cemetery occurred.
Bessie Snow and Elizabeth S. Beckstrom wrote in their book "O Ye Mountains High" pages 21 and 22 of a very sad occasion in the lives of these early settlers; the first death in the Valley.
1863 - " Most of the houses were built in two long rows just east of the original saw mill and were built close together in case of an Indian attack. Some of the first ones were dug outs because they were warmer. One of these old dug outs caved in, then filled up with water. A plank was placed across it for a bridge. One day Cynthia Gardner, one of Robert Gardnerís wives was crossing it when she noticed the body of a dead child floating in the water. It was the child of Joseph I. Hadfield who was just learning to walk and had fallen in and drowned. It was the first death in the valley and she was buried not far away from the homes in a beautiful grove of evergreen trees which became the first cemetery in the village."
Later that same summer the flood of July 16, 1863 occurred. Again, tragedy struck about 7 miles down stream from Pine Valley at a place called Huntís Ranch. Israel Allphin and James B. Bracken Sr., Charles Pulsipher, and John Alger had been called to set up a shingle mill on the gulch. This mill was located in the gulch adjacent to Mud Springs.
A cloudburst in Pine Valley had sent a flood down the gorge destroying their mill, houses and washing away four small children. (See pages 166-167 "O Ye Mountains High" for details of the tragedy.)
Israel and Susan Allphin lost two children Hyrum and Little Joe. The Coldiron family lost Sara and Martha.
Bess and Elizabeth said (Page 167) "Their bodies were taken to Pine Valley where they were all buried in the same grave in the Old Pine Valley Cemetery. Later a flood came down and washed away all but four of the graves in the old Pine Valley Cemetery. The grave of these four children was washed away in that flood. The Town made a new cemetery out at the foot of the Cedar Hill where there couldnít be a flood shortly thereafter."
(See Page 213) " Sometime between June 1868 and January 1869 a flood came down Pole Canyon Creek, which was near the old cemetery, and washed all the graves away except the following four that still had head stones standing June 30, 1970.
These are the people who are buried there: George M. Forsyth:
Nephi Fream, Edward Shanks Gardner and Janette Armela Gardner.
The people decided to build a new cemetery down is what had now become the "Lower Town." They built it out at the foot of Cedar Hill on the north side of the Valley where they felt sure it would be free from floods."
The old cemetery can be located by going south from Main Street about 1 and 1/4 blocks on Meadow View Lane (the street just east of the Pine Valley Store). The cemetery sits on the east side of the road about 80 to 90 yards out east in the pasture owned by Mervin Cox. (A log pole fence encloses it.)