It was April 26th when I received a call from Terry Fancher in Boston, MA. He asked if I would help put together a program at Mt. Meadows May 30, 2009. Terry had gone to both the Presbyterian and the Methodist churches for help. They were not available to help him. Leroy Lee had told him to give me a call. That I would be able to get a program ready for him. He needed three hymns that would have been sung back in 1857. Also two people to give the prayers, and to order a large fresh flower wreath for the monument.
Four days later I called Terry at home with the program. I had several songs for him to choose from. Members of the Southwest Symphony Strings had volunteered to play at the commemoration. Flowers had been ordered. Prayers would be given by Tom Lamb and Sharon Chambers, who is a descendant from the Dunlap family of the massacre. Terry was thrilled that it was all coming together.
The LDS church had invited all three organizations of Mt. Meadow families to a VIP tour of the new Oquirrh Mountain temple on May 29,2009. The families that came were thrilled by its beauty and majesty.
At one P.M. we all were invited to dinner in the Ambassador room at the Joseph Smith building. Elder Dallin H. Oaks was there to meet everyone. It was at this dinner that Marlin K. Jensen revealed to the three Fancher organization, what the LDS church had done to secure the property surrounding the monument.
The church had bought 600 acres that had been planned for home sites nearby. They had also bought several other smaller sections in order to secure and to honor the area of the monument. Papers had been sent to Washington D.C. asking for this land to be placed on the National Registry. The LDS church would retain ownership of the land in order to properly maintain the monument.
Next we were invited to tour the new Church History Building. Two Friendship quilts were being made to honor those who died at Mt. Meadows, and for the seventeen surviving children. One quilt will be given to Harrison, AR. The other quilt will be sent to a museum in Cedar City, Ut. The Fancher families were invited to review all documents that the LDS church have pertaining to Mt. Meadows until nine PM that night.
About eight persons from the Mt, Meadow Foundation drove to the monument that evening to camp in Civil War type tents for the night.
The next day in our meeting, Phil Bolinger, the President of the Mt. Meadow Foundation, stood and gave these remarks. Everyone says that these meadows are haunted. But I can stand here today and say that "our ancestors are at peace."
May 30, 2009 became an outstanding day of friendship and of honoring those who died there 152 years ago. There was no hostility. We commemorated the reburial of the bones by Major Carleton in May 1859. It was a beautiful ceremony conducted by Terry Fancher, President of the Mt. Meadows Association. Patty Norris President of the Mt. Meadows Descendents thanked the LDS church for all that it had done for securing the Monument.
The program ended with a 21 gun salute by seven men dressed in Union Civil War uniforms. Two small children of the descendants placed the large flower wreath on the monument in remembrance of their ancestors. The LDS church had a light lunch and refreshments prepared for all 177 people who attended the ceremony.
At 6 P.M. a dinner was held at the Holiday Inn in St. George. Three speakers were invited, Will Bagley, Richard Turley Jr., and Marlin K. Jensen. Terry Fancher thanked the LDS church for all that they had done to help put this two day program together for the Fancher families.
The library is completed
in New Harmony Valley near Fort Harmony historical site.