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Old Spanish Trail identified, celebrated
by Holly Coombs
Mar 04, 2017 | 848 views | 0 0 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Eagle Scouts Barrick Perkins, Mason Paxton and Jayden Paxton install a sign to identify the Old Spanish Trail. Photo by Holly Coombs
Eagle Scouts Barrick Perkins, Mason Paxton and Jayden Paxton install a sign to identify the Old Spanish Trail. Photo by Holly Coombs
PAROWAN--In celebration of Iron County’s legacy as a reservoir of the treasured Old Spanish Trail history, a ceremony marking the installation of the last of 85 new signs along 80 miles of the Old Spanish Trail took place last Wednesday at the Parowan Library.

The route is the longest signed segment of the trail and is an effort by 12 partners that spanned two years.

“Iron County has a special place in the history of the Old Spanish Trail, primarily because segments of the trail can still be identified and located by ground and aerial survey,” said Al Matheson, the Utah director of the Old Spanish Trail Association. “There are stories of Spanish garbed specters appearing and giving directions, inscriptions, gold hoards, lost (and) found caches and treasure mines abound throughout the area.”

Matheson said during the ceremony that there was a solar site found on the trail, which he said is not good. He went to the county commission to make sure the trail was identified so it would not be destroyed.

“It is a very momentous thing because from now on, even though we will continue to work with it,” Matheson said. “Nobody has a reason not to know that the Old Spanish Trail exists, where it exists, why it exists, how it exists, how it's going to be maintained and how we are going to do this throughout history.”

The Bureau of Land Management and Iron County paid for the signs and posts respectively, with half of the funds coming through a Waypoint Grant from the state of Utah. The sign bases were installed by the Iron County Road Department and the signs were installed in a series of three Eagle Scout projects led by Barrick Perkins, Mason Paxton and Jayden Paxton, of Enoch.

“The partnerships that brought this project together will keep alive the mule pack trains that kept trade flowing through Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona and California,” said Keith Rigtrup, the BLM’s acting Cedar City Field Manager.

Other partners include: Sun Edison, Clenera Solar, Parowan City, Enoch City, the town of Paragonah, Utah Department of Transportation, the National Parks Service, the U.S. Forest Service and the Old Spanish Trail Association.

“We are excited to have the Old Spanish Trail identified and marked where the public can learn about an almost forgotten era in Iron County’s history,” Iron County Natural Resource Management Specialist Mike Worthern said. “Hopefully, citizens of the county and visitors will take advantage of the information and landmarks of the trail and appreciate the great undertaking of moving goods across the west so long ago.”

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