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Sep 07, 2014, 07:58 PM
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Ghost problem

After some restless nights of ghost problems, it was finally time to nail down the problem. It turned out, only 1.5 miles from the apartment, hidden from view by centuries of real estate development, was a very very old house, the oldest building in Rain Ramon.

It was a true relic of Donner party lore. After giving up on the idea that the Donner party was remotely connected to the valley, it turned out this connection was just around the bend.

Once above the fence, your phone reveals exactly what came out of a mind which drove the 1st wagon train through Hasting's cutoff, hand pulled a wagon down the virgin Weber canyon & drove oxen across the salt lake desert for 80 miles without water.

After arriving in 1846, making a fortune in the gold rush, Joel Harlan built it in 1852 farther south, moved it here in 1856 after property taxes went up, & died here in 1875 at the ripe old age of 46. The ordeal of Hasting's cutoff undoubtedly contributed to that.

The scene in 1879.

The Harlan descendants lived in it until 1999, sold it to the taxpayers in 2011. Now the land is to be converted into a condominium complex, with the house slated to be moved again.

Over the years, they put in running water, electricity, a bathroom, & a sliding door. None of this gothic revival crap.

What a gold rush fortune could buy, compared to what a mortgage boom could buy.

There were some tiny photos from the 2011 unveiling.

It must have been quite a ride, during 2 centuries of earthquakes.
You can't run down to the house without running down to

Joel himself, who is now 3 miles south of the house, or is he?

That really gives a taste of how long ago the Hasting's cutoff affair was. No repeating rifles in those days. They had to hunt food with pre-civil war single shot rifles & muskets.

To be clear, Joel was not part of the Donner party. His was the 1st wagon train to use Hasting's cutoff. Donner was the 2nd. Hoppe was the 3rd & final party that year. Joel blazed the trail that the Donners took to Weber canyon.

Joseph Reed caught up with them at Weber canyon, saw the trouble getting down the canyon, & decided to try Emigration canyon instead, which was the decision that put them too far behind to cross the Sierras.

It's a bit insane to drive animal powered wagons across

this for 4 days, with only the grass & water you can carry. By 1850, everyone else realized the insanity of it & the cutoff was abandoned.

The Hasting's cutoff was 1 of those coincidental tragedies which didn't have to happen yet had to happen for the Mormons to have a happy ending. They would have had a much harder time finding Salt Lake valley without it or they would never have found a place to settle. At least without Reed's unlucky decision to build a road down Emigration canyon, Brigham Young would have had to go down Weber canyon. That would have been the place instead of this.
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