Cove Fort provides a glimpse into the lives of early pioneers; it preserves the history of the time period. As the early Mormon settlers moved into the Salt Lake valley, the then president of their church, Brigham Young, encouraged the colonization of the surrounding regions. Thus, Mormon pioneers founded most of the towns and cities in Utah.
As the settlers spread throughout the area, relations with the local American Indians became strained. In 1867 Brigham Young asked Ira Hinckley to construct a fort by Cove Creek. (Located near the present day convergence of I-15 and I-70.) The fort was meet to be a deterrent against Indian aggression. It also functioned as a waylay station for postal riders, and settlers traveling along the Mormon Corridor.
Cove Fort was never attacked. In fact, the only person to ever be hurt at the fort accidently shot his own foot. As time went on, the need for Cove Fort faded, and, twenty years after its completion, it was abandoned. For nearly one hundred years the fort was left alone as it slowly fell into disrepair.
In 1988, the fort was purchased from the owners and donated back to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It has since been restored to its original condition. Cove Fort is now open for tours year round. Tour guides are dressed in period clothing, and all twelve rooms come complete with original furniture. This dedication to authenticity gives the visitor a chance to feel what life would have been like in the days of Cove Fort.
We at the Lodge at Red River Ranch value the preservation of history in the American West. While Cove Fort had only a localized impact on the region, it’s a window into the past. Next time you’re driving south on I-15, take a few minutes to check out Cove Fort.