Sunday, July 19, 2015

Visiting Meadowville

Our earliest LDS ancestors joined the Church in Scotland, England, and Scandinavia in the 1840's and 1850's. My Moffats from Scotland and Caroly's Bleaks from England pulled handcarts across the plains to Salt Lake City.
Caroly's Bleak pioneers were sent to settle St. George in southern Utah. A few years after arriving in Salt Lake City my great grandmother Janet Moffat, who was a young teenager when she walked across the plains, married John McLean, a Scottish surveyor for the Union Pacific Railroad who joined the Church not long after he arrived at Promontory Point in 1869, was surprised that Mormons did not have horns, met Brigham Young, and was hired to survey the railroad branch lines going north and south through Utah. The new McLean family and the Moffats were assigned by Brigham Young to help develop the new village of Meadowville, just south of Bear Lake on the Utah-Idaho border. My grandmother Agnes McLean was born there. When she was 12, they moved back to Salt Lake City. When she was 18, she took an oil painting class and this is how she remembered her childhood McLean home in Meadowville.
Meadowville has disappeared, but during our reunion of the Chris and Agnes McLean Lallatin descendents, we visited the remains of the village near Laketown, Utah. The house is no longer there, but this is the pond, the road, and the trees that surrounded the house as they look today.
The Moffats lived further down the road where they ran the post office and the general store. Nearby is the cemetery where the Moffat parents who pulled the handcarts across the plains are buried. Be sure to enlarge the sign that gives a brief history of Meadowville.
Some things remain that the McCleans helped contribute to the community. John surveyed this irrigation ditch.
John also taught school and played violin for dances held in this barn, which served as a community center for the settlement.
Aunt Gwen says that her mother Agnes said that this rose bush also dates back to when she lived nearby.
John McClean also donated a "tithe" of his time to build the stone chapel that forms part of the current meetinghouse of the LDS Church in Laketown.
Thank you Aunt Gwen for the guided tour of our LDS pioneer heritage. I hope this gets us in the mood to celebrate Mormon Pioneer Day on July 24!

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