Articles published in the Blue Mountain Panorama

This blog was created to preserve digitally, articles written by Janet Wilcox for the Blue Mountain Panorama. This newspaper is published in Blanding, Utah by Neil and Becky Joslin. By publishing digitally, more photographs can be added, and your comments and corrections can be quickly noted. Thanks for reading my articles in the newspaper, as well as on the Internet. If you have ideas for stories, please contact me at

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Search for Lost Pioneers Begins

Looking for “Lost Pioneers”of Hole-in-the-Rock
     (This story was sent to 16 different newspapers, which generated quite a few new stories for the Hole-in-the-Rock blog)

            Over the past 130 years since pioneer families were called to settle San Juan County, smatterings of journals, letters, and histories have been compiled by professionals and family historians, yet there still remains nearly 100 names whose complete story has not been told.  Many of those are children who were with the original party of approximately 250 people who came through Hole-in-the-Rock.  (Forty percent of those on the trek were children.) Others who are “lost” are those who made the trip to Bluff then moved on to other places for various reasons, and though the names are known, the “rest of their story” isn’t. 
         In an effort to help the Hole in the Rock Foundation ( and San Juan County Historical Commission and local researchers, a blog ( ) has been created which has profiles of the early pioneers in the first group who arrived in Bluff April 6, 1880, as well as the vanguard pioneers who went the southern route and settled in Montezuma Creek in July of 1879.  A second site featuring the Children who came through Hole-in-the Rock is in progress as well.    
            Families who may be descendants of any of these pioneers are encouraged to submit missing stories and/or photos via e-mail to .  Please document where the information came from or provide links to where it can be found on-line.   Your help and detective work on this project will be greatly appreciated.
   Renewed interest in these histories has been recently triggered by Gerald Lund’s expansive story of their trials, in The Undaunted.  Much credit for what is known goes to David Miller’s pivotal history, Hole in the Rock which is now in its 8th printing through the University of Utah Press.
            The Hole in the Rock Foundation is actively working on the restoration of the Bluff Fort.  This fall they held a dedication of a memorial statue of John Taylor who was the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, during the San Juan Mission years. Many new cabins have been built this past year, and several more are planned for 2010.  Volunteers and donations to the project are always welcome.  Contact HIR Foundation,  PO Box 476 Bluff, Ut 84512, or e-mail