Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Utah Pioneer Story

In Utah there is a unique state holiday called "Pioneer Day", it is celebrated on July 24th. On this day there is a big parade in the capital city of Salt Lake, and included in the parade are many floats representing the founding and pioneer heritage of the state complete with people dressed up as pioneers pulling handcarts and riding in covered wagons.  At the time that the Mormon Pioneers settled in Utah (1847), they met the Ute Tribe of Native Americans, and the Utah Territory, as it was called then, was not even a part of the United States yet. The following is an excerpt of an article I compiled about the Sabin Family, after doing several days of research at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. My husband has some of the Sabin family on his family tree and a branch of the family were early Utah Pioneers.  This is a Pioneer Story....

Nauvoo and Westward:
            David and Elizabeth Sabin received their endowments in the Nauvoo Temple. When the saints left Nauvoo, they left too. They did not stay in winter Quarters, but settled temporarily, near it. David’s blacksmithing expertise was put to use to help the saints prepare to go west. In 1850, they made the trek westward with seven children, and arrived in Salt Lake Valley. Their boy, Parley Pratt Sabin, was about two years old at the time. The family was part of the William Snow/Joseph Young Company (1850).
            The Sabin family had two wagons, one driven by horses under the direction of David, and another which was driven by their oldest daughter, Elizabeth, and it was pulled by an ox and a cow. When the family arrived in the Salt Lake they lived in their wagon for a few years until they could build a small humble pioneer home.
            There is an interesting story which has been passed down in the family about when the family had their ox stolen after arriving in Salt Lake. The beast’s name was “Cherry”, it was stolen and David observed, what he believed to be his ox, in a holding pen with some other animals that were offered for sale. David approached the person selling the animals and asked him about the ox. The man told him he purchased the ox from some other men. David informed the man that it was his ox, which had been recently stolen and the man asked him if he was sure that it was his ox. David said yes, he was sure and said he would show the man it was indeed his animal by bringing his daughter by because she had driven that very ox across the plains and knew it very well. When Elizabeth came to see the ox, she called to it by name; the beast knew her voice and came over to her. The man gave the ox back to the Sabin family.
            When the Sabin family finally had a home, it was heart-wrenching for them to stuff it with hay and burn it; they had to burn it so nothing could be left for the enemies of the Mormons, when the US Army came marching through Salt Lake. The family evacuated southward. The Saints were not going to hand over, yet another beautiful community, as they did in Nauvoo, to their enemies. The Saints even buried the foundations of the temple they were constructing and were prepared to burn the town down, if needed, rather that hand everything over to their enemies.
            Because of the evacuation the Sabin family settled in Utah County, in the place that is now known as Payson. They were some of the first settlers there. They planted many fruit trees and shared their bountiful harvest with others. They even obeyed council from Brigham Young to the saints, to be industrious and tried raising silk worms in their attic (it wasn’t very successful though).
            David and Elizabeth Sabin had 11 children. Their names are as follows: Elizabeth, Ambrose, Henry, Daniel, David, Mary Ann, Anna Maria, Parley Pratt, Sarah Eleanor, Amanda Catherine, and Lydia Deseret. David and Elizabeth are buried in the Payson cemetery. 
David Sabin
Elizabeth Dorwart Sabin

Friday, July 12, 2013

A Ghostly Legend for you...

Torquay…Torre Abbey and The Spanish Barn
On the edge of the sea…
(A Ghostly legend for you, based on a true story…)
Torre Abbey

     Along the south England coast, beacons were lit to warn the inhabitants in the Channel of the threat of arriving Spanish Ships.
     In the 1580’s a Spaniard and his love (who disguised herself as a sailor to be with him on the ship) were on board the Nuestra Senora del Rosario. The ship was once part of the proud Spanish Armada.
     The Nuestra Senora del Rosario was captured by the English and brought to Torquay. All on board, numbering 397, became prisoners and were shuffled off to the Tithe Barn next to Torre Abbey.
     Torre Abbey, one of the first buildings in Torquay, had been a former monastery but at the present time it was the home of a wealthy English family, The Seymour’s. Predictably, before much time passed, the prisoners began to die of illness, disease, and hunger.  The disguised female lover was numbered among the dead.
The Spanish Barn
     Ever since that time the Tithe Barn has been known as the Spanish Barn because of the prisoners which were held there.  Soon, stories were being told of a ghostly female figure, described as a young Spanish girl, who on moonlit nights would search among the trees and bushes and shadows of the Abbey, trying to find the lover she lost.

Torquay is an English vacation spot on the coast of the Channel. There are stories of a few haunted happenings here and the story of the Spanish Barn is one of them.
Mystery Writer Agatha Christie had a winter home in Torquay, the book “The Man in the Brown Suit,” includes in the setting a place called ‘Hempsley Cavern’. This cavern is based on a real cavern in Torquay called ‘Kent’s Cavern’. Kent’s Cavern is a stone-age site where ancient caverns and passages can be seen. The caverns have been occupied for millennia by ancient native populations of the British Isles. The caverns are believed to be a Paleolithic site and have been declared as an ancient monument, they are of special scientific interest. In cavern #4 part of a human jaw bone was found in 1927, it is on display in the local museum. The jaw bone is believed to be one of the earliest specimens of Homo Sapiens ever discovered in North-Western Europe. There are engravings on stalagmite formations in the caverns from the 1500’s recording the names of persons who explored there. Flint tools have also been found, below the strata, from excavations which have taken place in the cave.
The 2011 Movie ‘The Watcher’s: The Greatest of These’ was supposedly filmed with Kent’s Cavern as the setting.
Torquay Seafront known as "The English Riviera"

(Adapted by Deborah Niven)
Inside view; Kent's Cavern

Winter home of mystery writer Agatha Christie