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 Fire threatens Marysvale

(Deseret News, 25 June 1879)

(Note: "Junius" was a pen name of Josiah F. Gibbs. AEP)

Marysvale, June 6, 1879

Editors Deseret News:

Marysvale has had a genuine fire excitement, and of rather fearful dimensions. Our little town is located about two miles east of the mouth of "Bullion" or Pine Canyon. To the south of the town, about 80 rods, is a high bluff or bench, over which passes the road to the Deer Trail. Pine Creek follows the base of the bench, and the bottom land is covered with pine trees and a dense growth of underbrush almost to where the creek empties into the Sevier River. Mr. David Williams owns a farm directly south of the town. It runs back to the bench and takes in a considerable portion of the bottom land. Some eight days ago, a party of prospectors camped at the base of the bench in the grove on Mr. Williams' premises, and left their fire burning. This morning a heavy south wind sprang up and fanned the smouldering embers into a blaze, and at about 1 o'clock this afternoon, the fire was discovered making rapid progress through the grove straight toward the stable and corral of Mr. Williams. The long drought had prepared everything combustible for the embrace of the devouring monster, and the flames shooting upward in awful grandeur, came sweeping onward, the sparks and cinders flying like hail in the direction of the town. By the time two men got to the stable it and the corral were on fire. It was put out only to start again in other places. The horses and delivery wagon of Gibbs & Melville were taken out and moved to a safe distance, and the alarm having spread a number of men arrived. A large stream of water which was fortunately near by was turned into the corral and stable, and the roof thoroughly saturated with water, and just in time for a brand from the approaching flames had been carried by the gale, to a distance of 30 rods and fallen in the stack yard of Judge J.A. Stark, and soon made it lively for the two or three men that were keeping watch over the residence of Judge Stark and store of Gibbs & Melville, only a few rods distant.

For about two hours the fire was fought with desperation, no noise, no confusion, but everyone working manfully, for the mastery over the devouring element, rushing and roaring, only separated from the stable and residence of Mr. Williams by a narrow strip of wheat land. Its fury was finally spent, and the work of extinguishing the burning trees, stumps, logs, etc., was accomplished.

Considering the strong wind, and large area, comprising several creeks over which the fire spread, the fact of its being put out with the slight damage of the loss of 20 rods of fence, may be regarded as almost a miracle.

The past month has been dull for all kinds of business, but some rich strikes, and the indomitable energy displayed by some of our sanguine miners, combine to spread a cheerful spirit over the mining future of the vale. Bullion Canon is looking up. The sharp ring of the pick, hammer and drill, and the loud report of "shots" are heard in almost every direction.

There is an abundance of timber and water near the mines, and, in connection with the mineral wealth of this region, make this camp worthy the attention of capitalists who are seeking safe investments.

Yours with respect,

Junius.

Copyright 2006 by Ardis E. Parshall

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