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Remants Of Pioneer Stockade Uncovered In Utah

Remants of pioneer stockade uncovered in Utah

Thursday, June 13, 2002

(06-13) 09:12 PDT OGDEN, Utah (AP)

Construction crews widening a street have turned up remnants of the old Bingham's Fort, a pioneer stockade in the early1850s.

Dave Montgomery, who lives nearby, was watching the street work outside his front door Monday when he noticed large, squared-off stones emerge.

"They turned over a bunch of stuff, and I saw this rock sticking out, so I started digging." He turned up bits of pottery and rusted metal and contacted historians and an archaeologist with authority to stop construction.

Don Southworth of Sagebrush Consultants said the street work appears to have uncovered an old building, perhaps a barn or stable. Excavation revealed a broken plate and jar, part of an ice cream machine and part of a chamber pot, among other items, leading him to believe residents used part of the building as a junk heap.

Brigham Young told area Mormons to "fort up" after an 1850 incident in which an Indian leader and a pioneer were killed. Erastus Bingham, the first Mormon bishop of the north Ogden area, laid out the fort.

At its peak, Bingham's Fort housed more than 750 people. When the Indian scare passed in 1856, settlers tore down the fort's mud walls. Over the years its location was forgotten.

The fort has been the subject of research by residents of the area and descendants of Bingham in the last decade, and the city now has a walking tour of the area. However, none of the maps prepared by researchers show a building at the new site.

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