History of 2nd Street, Ogden, Utah

Stories of Bingham's Fort, Lynne, Five Points

‘n. WATCHING INDIAN DANCES AT NIGHT in the Meadows

Posted by weberhistory on August 8, 2021




Photo from LIFE OF A PIONEER, Being the Autobiography of James S Brown, printed by Geo. Q. Cannon and Sons Co., Salt Lake City

While living at 2nd Street and 1000 West the Hutchens children loved to sleep outside at night; they were never afraid and they really enjoyed it. The starlit nights were thrilling when the stars shown out so brightly; the children lay on their backs and tried to count the stars.  Then there were nights when the moon shone so brightly that the world seemed to be in a soft enchanting glow.  According to Jack Indian, when one could hang a powder horn on the tip of the moon and it wouldn’t slip off, then it was a sign that they could leave their powder outside because it would be dry.

The best nights were when they lay on the roof of their shed and quietly watched the Indians at their camp fires singing or dancing their many ceremonial dances. 

“Some dances were so fierce it made them shiver and others so majestic and solemn that it made one want to weep.  Then others were just the opposite – almost enticing them into jumping up and down in merriment too…” 

Headdresses were used in ceremonies and sometimes the ceremonies were very colorful with waving banners and javelins.”

On hot nights, their parents made their beds on the shed too, laying their blankets on top of clean straw and watching the Indians dance.[1]


[1] Autobiography of Mary Elizabeth Hutchens Sherner, Mary Elizabeth – Her Stories, dictated to her daughter Dorothy A. Sherner, manuscript, 1933, p 65, 91.

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