Two Important Pioneer Trails Lie to the South of Here
Historic Temple Trail
The Temple Trail which has two parts, was used during the years 1874-1876 to bring lumber by ox-team from two sawmills at Nixon Springs on the south face of Mount Trumbull to St. George, eighty miles away, for constructing the L.D.S. Temple. Forty-five volunteers from local communities constructed the roadways during April and May of 1874. Over a million board feet of lumber were produced by the sawmills which operated during the warmer months only. Much of the production went along the main trail that drops down over the Hurricane Cliffs about twenty miles south of here and on to St. George, the trip taking seven days. Part of it was taken to Antelope Springs via the alternate trail and then hauled on to St. George when the winter snows stopped the sawmill work. The latter route descends the Hurricane Cliffs twelve miles to the south of us through a declivity that was later used by the Honeymoon Trail.
Historic Honeymoon Trail
The Honeymoon Trail had a number of points of origin, but one destination: the St. George Temple. For some, it started at the Mormon settlements in Arizona such as Snowflake and St. Johns. It crossed the Colorado River at Lee's Ferry, went through Pipe Springs and followed the winter leg of the Temple Trail on down the Fort Pierce Wash and into St. George. Utah residents such as those living in Orderville or Glendale picked it up as it passed south of Kanab. Following dedication of the St. George Temple in 1877, groups of young couples, with chaperones in tow, would make the trek to St. George by wagon or by buggy to exchange wedding vows in the Temple. Spring and Fall were the favored times; the weather was mild and they could be better spared from farm work. It was arduous, but for those who were young and in love, it was a great honeymoon.
"We commerate this plaque to the great pioneers, Who made Hurricane home in those early years. The Temple and Honeymoon Trails together, In historic memory will live here forever."
This plaque was sponsored by the Joseph T. Wilkinson, Jr. extended family to honor their parents and great-grandparents. Joseph T. and Annie Webb Wilkinson "They were steadfast and immovable in keeping the commandments of God." (Alma 1:25) Steadfastness was demonstrated when two days after their marriage, they went on a three and one half year "honeymoon" serving as missionaries to the Tahitian Islands. While there they participated in the development of the written Tahitian language. Under church direction they published a monthly newsletter and translated the L.D.S. hymnbook into Tahitian.
Upon returning, they settled in Hurricane for six years. Joseph was principal of the Hurricane school during the 1911-1912 and 1915-1916 school years. They took a homestead at Cane Beds where they taught school, ran the Post Office, and operated a small cattle ranch.
Joseph and Annie were dedicated to family, church and music. Their six children who lived to maturity, along with most of their progeny, have responded to gospel teachings, and have been valiant in their faith.