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Old Stone 1800's Rock Saloon and

Military Post found in Brown's Park Utah

on the Old Military Trail
by James Fariello

Last month I went to the cabin I have in Brown's Park to do some work on it
and to get away from the Denver area for a week. I like giving my wife of almost
fifty years a time to herself. Winter hasn't set in at Brown's Park but the area
was very cold with little snow on the ground. The deer, elk, moose, and other
animals had moved into the valley just like the Indians did a hundred years
ago to escape the deep snow of the Uinta mountains. Only a handful of people
live in the area year round, there are no stores here and to be up there was so
relaxing and I don't miss them. I have for the past fifty plus years been coming
into the Brown's Park and three corner's area of Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah
to fish, hunt, treasure hunt and enjoy the remote area this is.

The history of the area has been written about in several books. The Spanish
explorers came into the area in the 1700/1800's and there is told that an old
Spanish Fort was constructed out of rock near the Gates of the Lodore on the
Colorado side of the valley. Lost gold and silver mines are reported to be all
over the area for a hundred miles in the Uinta Mountains. The Hole in the Wall
Gang came out this area and reports of thousands of dollars in stolen gold and
silver are still waiting to be found.

Over the years I have located some real nice finds in history and I am
researching and going to find even more as Brown's Park is like stepping back
in time. I have several books on Brown's Park and I keep them at the cabin for
people that come up to visit. There is zero television reception, and radio from
Craig, Colorado, over a hundred miles away is weak in reception. I do have my
ham radio license and bring my rig to the cabin and work shortwave when I am
there. One of the books at the cabin is "The Romantic and Notorious History of
Brown's Park", by written by Diana Allen Kouris. Diana was a pioneer family
member that settled the valley in the late 1800's and early 1900's. Diana lived
a hard but beautiful life as a ranch girl and through her mother keep the
history of the area from being lost in time.
My son Juston, now an archeologist and, I always enjoyed coming to Brown's
Park when he was a young man. I have always had a love for the old 1830's fur
trading forts of Colorado and Juston and I would hike the area near the
Vermillion Creek looking for signs of the Old Fort. I was at the Denver
Historical Society museum years later an saw a display from Brown's Park area
and it was labeled Fort Davy Crockett. The artifacts are from the time period
and would have been found at the old fort. I purchased a microfiche of the
report and the conclusion of the report was they didn't have enough to
positively identify the site as Fort Davy Crockett.

Diana in her book gives real positive information from people living in the area
on the Forts location. One example, John Jarvie, and he indicated that the Fort
Davy Crockett was across the river from his ranch with an old military rock
building near it. John would take people to the old fort and rock saloon and
stated that the Forts rocks had been salvaged and used the divert the water of
the Green River to a canal used for farming. Diana refers to the military road in
three places in her book and on page 65 she states, "Up the river a ways from
the John Jarvie store, beside the military road which crossed the river at Indian
Crossing, went along the rocky hillside, then up Jackson Draw and on to Ashley
Valley, stood two or three old cabins and a rock house." The military road is well
known and you can hike it today with medium hardship. Continuing she
writes, "There were no windows in the rock building. It had slits in the rocks
about six inches wide and two or three feet in length, just the right size for a
couple of rifle barrels to fit through. Though the folks around called it the old
saloon, it apparently once served as a military outpost." Diana also tells about a
murder at the rock saloon and some other stories relating to it. If you get a
chance to go to the library, ask for it. It may need to come to you on an
interlibrary loan but it will be worth it.

Let me give you some information on how I located, confirmed the site. I got a
plat map of the area from the 1899 and the rock house was shown. The Old
Fort was not shown but that fort ended 60 years before the plat was made. In
1844, John C. Fremont saw the Fort near Red Creek as he entered Brown's
Park by boat on the Green River. He stated that the Fort was in ruins and little
remained. My thoughts on Fort Crockett changed to make me believe it is
across the river from the John Jarvie Store. I have a feeling the Vermillion
Creek, and Red Creek got mixed up in history and that was a critical error in
the loss of the Fort in time. Vermillion in Spanish means, ” Define vermilion: a
vivid reddish orange; a bright red pigment consisting of mercuric sulfide; broadly
: any of various red pigments." Without Jarvie and others that saw the remains
of the Fort it may have been lost. I would like to see the State of Utah start
working on finding the true location of the Fort Davy Crockett in Daggett
County. The Rock Building is in total ruins and I took a photo of it. Diana also
tells a story about a young man killed an buried at the Rock House. I have
some maps, links so you can look at how I came to find the old rock saloon,
aka military post.

Area across from the John Jarvie Ranch and this is part of the old
military trail to Jackson Draw.

The 1899 Plat Map. plat

The Rock House location N 40.88983 W 109.20333

Map of the military trail:
Part of the Old Rock Saloon/Military Post on the Military Trail in
Brown's Park.

What is left of the Rock House.

Diana's book, love it.