Cove Fort , Millard County, Utah

Cove Fort. Photo by Kenneth Mays.
Cove Fort. Photo by Kenneth Mays.
Historic Cove Fort Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division
Historic Cove Fort
Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress,
Prints & Photographs Division

Cove Fort is the only remaining 19th century fort built during the settling of the Utah Territory that still remains standing. Ira Nathaniel Hinckley, grandfather of President Gordon B. Hinckley, was called by Brigham Young to oversee the construction of the fort in 1867.

The fort is built of black volcanic rock with lime mortar; the walls are 100 feet square and 18 feet high.1 The fort provided protection and supplies to travelers along the sparsely populated area along the Mormon Corridor between Salt Lake City and California.

As the area developed, the need for the fort waned. On August 21, 1919, President Heber J. Grant signed over the fort title to William Henry Kesler who had leased the land since 1903. It was subsequently purchased in 1988 by the Cove Fort Acquisition and Restoration Foundation, comprised of descendants of Ira Nathaniel Hinckley.

Cove Fort, interior view. Photo by Kenneth Mays.
Cove Fort, interior view. Photo by Kenneth Mays.

The fort was restored in 1988-89 after being deeded to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from the Cove Fort Acquisition and Restoration Foundation.

It was dedicated on May 9, 1992 by President Gordon B. Hinckley and is currently maintained by the Church.

Cove Fort, restore interior room. Photo by Kenneth Mays.
Cove Fort, restored interior room. Photo by Kenneth Mays.

SOURCES

 

1 Frank Beckwith, “Historic Old Cove Fort”, Improvement Era, (April 1927).

Map & Directions


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Hours of Operation :
October – March: 9 AM to sunset
April – September: 8 AM to sunset

Phone Number: (435) 438-5547

Admission: Free

Ownership Status

Cove Fort is owned and operated as a Church Historic Site by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is open to the public with no admission charge.

Cove Fort: LDS Church Link

Photos

Cove Fort. Photo by Kenneth Mays.
Cove Fort. Photo by Kenneth Mays.
Cove Fort. Photo by Kenneth Mays.
Cove Fort. Photo by Kenneth Mays.
Cove Fort, interior view. Photo by Kenneth Mays.
Cove Fort, interior view. Photo by Kenneth Mays.
Cove Fort. Photo by Kenneth Mays.
Cove Fort. Photo by Kenneth Mays.
Cove Fort, interior view. Photo by Kenneth Mays.
Cove Fort, interior view. Photo by Kenneth Mays.

Articles & Resources

Wilford Woodruff's Description of Cove Fort

Author(s): Wilford Woodruff
Type: First-person account
Source(s): Wilford Woodruff, Wilford Woodruff, His Life and Labors, comp. Matthias F. Cowley (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1916), 459.

This Fort is a very substantial building. I think it is the best in the Territory. It is built of volcanic rock laid in with mortar. Each of the four walls is one hundred feet long on the outside, eighteen feet high from the foundation. On the east side is a gate way fourteen feet wide with a substantial arch six feet deep and…

Alonzo A. Hinckley's Description of Cove Fort

Author(s): Alonzo A. Hinckley
Type: First-person account
Source(s): Frank Beckwith, “Historic Old Cove Fort,” Improvement Era, Vol. 30., No. 6, (April 1927).

This Fort is a very substantial building. I think it is the best in the Territory. It is built of volcanic rock laid in with mortar. Each of the four walls is one hundred feet long on the outside, eighteen feet high from the foundation. On the east side is a gate way fourteen feet wide with a substantial arch six feet deep and…

Frank Beckwith, “Historic Old Cove Fort,” Improvement Era, April 1927.

W. Clegg-Butt, “Cove Fort, Southern Utah,” New West Magazine, 1920.

Donald L. Enders, “Cove Fort: An Oasis in Central Utah,” Utah Preservation, 1997.

Larry C. Porter, “A Historical Analysis of Cove Fort, Utah,” 1966.

“Cove Fort Today,” Ensign, June 1995, 36.

“President Hinckley Dedicates Cove Fort,” Ensign, July 1992, 77.

Cove Fort PDF