Territorial Statehouse Museum

6/3/15 Wednesday in Fillmore,UT (Wagon’s West-EA/PPA/$23/night)

This morning John got ambitious, wiping the bugs off our front cap before it heated up.

I worked at cleaning out my excess images from yesterday’s frolic in Bryce. After lunch we wanted to stretch our legs, so we visited the Territorial Statehouse Museum, right in Fillmore. This city is named after the US President Millard Fillmore. That name sure didn’t ring any bells for me. Apparently, when President Zachary Taylor died, Fillmore became President. He never managed to get voted in as President. I looked him up on Wikipedia. It noted that he’s “included in the bottom 10 of historical rankings of Presidents of the US”. Anyway, when Brigham Young was Governor of Utah Territory, he wanted the Capital to be at Fillmore, because it was in the center of Utah. He got $20,000 from the Federal Government to begin building it’s State Capital, but soon there were problems. The US Government didn’t like the idea of a religious group (Mormons) essentially running one of the territories (all political leaders were leaders of the Mormons). As a political move, Brigham named the city Fillmore and the county Millard, but that didn’t help. He received no more money for his statehouse, so only the south portion was actually built. Soon it became apparent that it would be better for the capital to be located near a more populated area, rather than the center, so he moved the Capitol to Salt Lake City. The legislature used the building October 1855, then the Capitol was moved in 1856.

The statehouse then performed different roles first as Utah’s Capitol building, a dance hall, theater, jail, school and even a hiding place for the Desert News (Mormon). They had to hide because of the ill feelings toward their religion even in this far away desolate area. It’s now a State Museum. As a museum there were many artifacts of those early Mormon pioneers, including many framed photos of the pioneers themselves.

state 1

Doctor's medical supplies

Doctor’s medical supplies

state 3 state 4

Mountain Wagon.  Note the brake on near wheel that city wagons didn't need.

Mountain Wagon. Note the brake on near wheel that city wagons didn’t need.

This time we got home by 4, in time for John to watch Emergency. I went outside to read. It gets hot in our rig, but it’s so comfortable in the shade outdoors. I love how the birds (house finches, yellow warblers and robins) land on the sprinkler near me to drink the leaking water.

Supper was a treat: John grilled pork chops and even made mashed potatoes. I got to have salad. So tasty after all our days on chili.


About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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