Five Blocks Project: First Encampment Park

Written by  Paisley Rekdal

From Sheri Sohm's 4th grade Extended Learning Program at Hawthorne Elementary School, for the UMFA's 2012-13 5 Blocks exhibition:

"First Encampment Park was created in 1997 to honor the pioneers who arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. The first group of pioneers to enter the valley included 109 men, 3 women, and 8 children. They had to push their way through high grass before they found an area suitable to set up camp for the night. The park marks the spot where they spent their first night, and the names of some of the pioneers are inscribed on the granite rocks.

William Clayton
Clayton was from England and invented the roadometer to calculate the distance the wagons traveled each day. The roadometer was an early version of the odometer.

Thomas Cloward

Cloward was a shoemaker who made the first pair of shoes in the Salt Lake Valley. A catalog listed the price of a pair of his ladies shoes at $7.50. That would cost $186 today!

O. Porter Rockwell
Rockwell was Brigham Young's bodyguard during their trek to the West. After the pioneers's arrival he became the first deputy marshal. Rockwell was famous for his skills with shooting and once said, 'I never killed anyone who didn't need killing.'"

About the writers, and about 5 Blocks:

Coinciding with the 100 year anniversary of Hawthorne Elementary School, students in Sheri Sohm's 4th grade Extended Learning Program explored the neighborhood surrounding their school in an exciting discovery of the past and present. They examined buildings and structures, natural landscapes, and small things typically overlooked. Searching with their five senses, students explored their neighborhood as a living organism where people live and affect their community: a dynamic place of change.

Students met with members of the community, posing the question: Why do places change? The students uncovered how community decisions are made, and how they can become more actively involved in shaping their neighborhood.

After walking around their school and the surrounding Liberty Wells neighborhood, each student was assigned a house to closely examine. After taking photographs and completing a series of drawings, every student created a three-dimensional artistic vision of the house. In groups, students researched and prepared materials for the historical sites: Wilford Woodruff Houses, First Encampment Park, Perkins' Subdivision, and Chase Mill. The interesting facts they discovered are written on labels throughout the UMFA's 2012-13 5 Blocks installation, an exhibition of youth artwork created in collaboration with UMFA educators by students at Hawthorne Elementary (Salt Lake City School District) and Granger High School (Granite School District). By studying the visual stories in images from the Utah State Archives and Historical Society, students developed a deeper understanding of the places that once existed and the people who lived in the area.