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Report - Captain H.A. Smith’s Cabin, Escalante Canyon, Colorado, USA – July 2011

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by 747_kirki, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. 747_kirki

    747_kirki Death Valley is Mine
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    Just another little attraction I found whilst out exploring the wild west today... It is located along an off-road track about 11 miles from US Highway 50, south of Grand Junction in Colorado. Passable to a car – but fairly remote out here and hot (98 degrees today), so if anyone is visiting take it easy and make sure you have good tyres. It's also prime Rattler country, so beware! :eek:

    After 11 miles down this road, which goes over a railway line and through several dry creeks – passing through Escalante Canyon - you reach the old home of Captain Henry Smith (not Hannibal from the A-Team!) who came to Escalante Canyon after serving in the Civil War. He was a tombstone carver by trade. The Smith Cabin site actually consists of two cabins. The first cabin was Smiths main home and was built by erecting three walls against a large slab of Sandstone. :tumbleweed

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    Inside this cabin Smith carved out a niche in the sandstone rock for a bed:

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    And next to his bed he carved a slot to hold his guns - which I really digged. What a cool beside table...!
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    He also carved his name on the outside of his house:

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    Since Smiths place was about halfway up the canyon it made a good spot for travellers to rest for the night. To be hospitable Smith built another cabin behind his with a loft and beds. This second cabin had a secret room built into the back that consisted of a set of shelves attached to some hidden hinges. This building is unfortunately in a poorer state, and this hidden feature no longer remains intact:

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    Above his cabin on the flat surface of the cliff face, Smith carved his initials and the initials of R. Bowen which was a blacksmith friend of his. Under Bowens name he carved a horse shoe with a star in the middle which was the emblem of the black smith. Since this time, other people visiting have added their initials to the rock…

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    A few miles prior to reaching Smith Cabin from U.S. 50 you will come to an old dilapidated cabin. This cabin was the home of Harry Walker, who I have read was a bricklayer. The cabin was built using only the materials available nearby which was stone and mud. The house is still stands and was put together using mud dug from their yard.

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    When you get back to the highway, be sure not to stop for hitchikers, as there is a 'prison' just next to the road. In fact, other signs just before this one specifically tell you not to stop and pick anyone up...!

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    And I do love driving on US highways, especially when these big rigs overtake you doing 80mph:

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