Rae and her family recently took a trip to Washington, Utah and Idaho. Here’s her review of one of the places her family enjoyed.
If you find yourself in Utah at the junction of interstates 15 and 70, you can do like the early pioneers and stop at Cove Fort for a rest in your journey. You will find a clean bathroom, nice gardens and an interesting detour into history led by friendly volunteer guides. Unlike the pioneers, you will not find a bed for the night, a hot meal or a blacksmith to repair your wagon. Although you can see where all those things happened as well as the telegraph office, barn, and cowboy bunk house.
In 1867 Brigham Young asked Ira Hinckley to move to the area and establish a fort as a waystation and safe refuge for travelers. Hinckley and his family then ran the fort for over twenty years. Nowadays you can see the bustling life the family led as Mrs. Hinckley and her seven daughters cooked for 30-40 people a day and lodged them. The family’s private rooms as well as the dining hall and lodger’s rooms are all decorated in period pieces. Don’t worry, all the antiques are behind waist high plexiglass so your kids can’t hurt anything.
(First picture is a cowboy mousetrap. Second picture is of a pioneer game)
Behind the fort is the blacksmith shop where Mr. Hinckley repaired wagons and shod horses. There is plenty to touch and climb on for modern boys as well. A prairie schooner is used for photo ops. The cowboy bunkhouse has a pioneer hoop game they can play and a cowboy mousetrap that enthralled my four-year-old. The boys were encouraged to move the 1,000lb fort doors, which they could. They also received a souvenir spool and yarn toy.
The volunteer guides are senior-citizens from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, many grandparents themselves. Our guide was knowledgeable, friendly and seemed to genuinely enjoy sharing history with my boys. She tried to bring to life the Old West adventure had by the Hinckley boys. We also learned the origin of such phrases as “pop goes the weasel” and “sleep tight”.
(Life in the Old West)
If you are in the area, this site is well worth an hour of your time. Schedule is 9am to dusk with free admission. Parking, restrooms. Large lawn for running.
H – Medium (all the antiques are behind a plexiglass partition so they can’t destroy anything valuable)
Interest – Partial The guide did tailor the tour to our interests and as a grandmother, was good at pulling the boy’s interest back.