We love taking long rides through our beautiful state and imagining what it would have been like for the Pioneers who trekked across the United States to come to a new and better place. So, when our friends E.Jay and Ann told us they wanted to go exploring last Saturday we didn’t hesitate. We all hopped in our cars and we followed them blindly to little Frisco, UT. We honestly had no idea where they were leading us, and after an hour of driving in the middle of the desert of Southern Utah, we started to wonder if they were secretly plotting our murder!
When we finally arrived in Frisco, UT. It didn’t look like much, there is still an old cemetery, a few abandoned buildings and some cool hive-shaped kilns. Then we found this plaque explaining that it had once been a huge mine that profited over $16,000,000 in silver, zinc, gold, and iron in the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s. The plaque said that, after the mine caved in, people eventually left and the town that was once there mostly disappeared too.
Then it hit me. I remembered my Grandma Bev and Grandpa Ray telling me a story about my Great Grandpa Lewis who once lived in Frisco, UT! I wasn’t sure if I was thinking of the right town, and since there’s no cell service out there, I couldn’t call anyone to double check until we left.
When we were a half hour away, and cell service had returned, I texted my Grandma to see if I had been right. When she answered, she told me that my Great Grandpa, James Elmo Lewis, was born there in 1907, and that my Great Great Grandpa Wilbert Lewis had been a worker at the silver mine, and had actually lost his eye sight in a mining accident. She also said that my Great Grandma worked at a boarding house and hotel as a waitress. It was an exciting discovery for me!
You see, I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and we are always encouraged to learn more about our heritage, and do our genealogy. I used to think all that stuff was just what old blue-haired ladies did when they retired, but then, a couple years ago, I printed off a fan chart that showed me all of my ancestors back 10 generations and further! You can print yours off too here, for FREE! Printing off my free fan chart was so much more than I thought it would be. You can learn some really cool details about your family…anyway, back to the Frisco trip.
When I got home I did some more research on Frisco, and found out that it was a really rough town to live in. They allegedly had about 1-2 murders a night and over 21 saloons with prostitution everywhere, just like in the movies… YIKES!!! I can’t imagine what it might have been like there! Apparently the nearest town would automatically send a coach every morning to collect the dead bodies… Geez! I’m now wondering what my Great Great Grandpa was like…
Crime in the town was rampant until a no-nonsense sheriff arrived who didn’t bother making arrests and would just shoot anyone dead that he saw committing a crime. How’s that for swift justice?
As you can see, I found everything about this town very intriguing knowing that my flesh and blood once lived there and had to deal with the crazies! My point is that it’s fun to learn more about your family history, and no, it’s not just for old geezers!
If you can, I encourage you to print off your fan chart, ask relatives what stories they can share, and go exploring! I think you’ll really enjoy it! I know I did.
Disclaimer: If you decide to take any trip to any ghost town or dilapidated buildings you should use caution. Old mines can have hazardous buildings, poisonous gas, and open mine shafts. Stay safe and and follow the law!!
Have fun learning more about your family history!