Monday, 12 September 2016

US Trip #4 Pioneering Scot - Mr. Bryce of Bryce Canyon

Mr. Bryce of Bryce Canyon

I'm on a roll today while the memories are still fresh. Second part of #4 trip to Bryce Canyon.

Bryce Canyon, Utah, is named after the pioneering husband and wife team - Ebenezer and Mary Bryce.

A truly hardy, interesting couple. I've related some details of them but there are other places which have more in-depth information on their lives and achievements.
Wikimedia Commons- Ebenezer and Mary Bryce 
Ebenezer Bryce was born in Dunblane, near Stirling in Scotland on November 17, 1830 and later lived in Tullibody, Clackmannan. He trained as a carpenter and millwright and later added shipbuilding carpentry to his range of skills. He seems to have been dissatisfied with the Protestant faith of his upbringing because when he chose to become an early convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints his father was somewhat upset. At the age of 17, he left Scotland against his father’s wishes, and sailed from Liverpool to New Orleans, (U.S.) - no mean feat back then. He then spent time in St. Louis earning money to travel to Utah. 
This is a replica of Bryce's Cabin in Tropic, southern Utah. - Wikimedia Commons
The original cabin was larger but was destroyed by floods before 1930 (?)
In 1854, Bryce married Mary Anne Park (born 1837) in Salt Lake City. They moved to southern Utah by 1862 where they settled in Pine Valley.

Interior of the replica of Bryce's cabin- Wikimedia Commons
He was called upon to use his carpentry skills to help build local sawmills and is also responsible for the designing and building of the Pine Valley Chapel in 1868. It remains the oldest Mormon chapel still in continuous use. Using his shipbuilding skills he designed it to look like an upside down ship. It is listed on the Register of Historic Places in the U.S.
Pine Valley Mormon Chapel built by Bryce
He farmed at this high altitude but, it’s said, that one day while wandering quite far west in search of his wandering cows he entered the canyon area now named after him. Not as impressed as the modern day visitor, some claim he said it’s “one hell of a place to lose a cow.”  I doubt that such a God-fearing man would have used the word ‘hell’ but the meaning isn’t lost.

Later Bryce moved his large family (in total 12 children) to Arizona in 1880 where the city of Bryce, Arizona was named in his honour. He died there in 1913 and is buried in the local cemetery, his wife having died in 1899.

And…another famous legend

Ebenezer Bryce might be the most famous man of the area but some notoriety goes to Robert Leroy Parker who was raised in Bryce Canyon country. He is more famously known as ‘Butch Cassidy’ of the film ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’ – played by Paul Newman and Robert Redford.

This link gives far more interesting information about the pioneer Ebenezer Bryce’s life.

SlĂ inthe! 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for reading my blog. Please pop your thoughts about this post in the comment box. :-)