The Early Settlers
The Ancient Ones
Evidence of the Anasazi's footsteps across the high plateaus of the area date back 2000 years. They were cliff dwellers who hunted deer and mountain sheep, and farmed the land. The Anasazi reached the peak of their culture from about 700 A.D. to 1000 A.D. In 1300 A.D., they abandoned their homes and moved southward. The cause of their departure is unclear, but it is believed that a severe drought or invasion by the Navajos precipitated their move out of the area.
After the Anasazi disappeared, the area was criss-crossed by nomadic tribes of Paiute and Navajo Indians. The Kaibab Band of Paiutes & the Navajo continue to live here and contribute to our cultural heritage.
In 1776, the first Europeans led by Father Escalante and Father Dominguez, explored this area seeking a route from Santa Fe, New Mexico to California. At that time the region was Spanish territory that later passed to Mexico. As a result of the war with Mexico in 1846, the territory became part of the United States in the 1848 Treaty of Guadelupe Hidalgo. The old Spanish trails of that time later became the foundations for the highways of today.
Early Mormon Settlers
Mormon pioneers settled in the Salt Lake Valley, Utah, in 1847. Within a few years, many new settlements were established as the region was explored. Jacob Hamblin, a frontiersman and Indian missionary, was instrumental in the settlement of the Kanab area. Under the direction of Hamblin, construction of Fort Kanab was started in 1864 to provide a base for exploration & protection from Indian attacks. Frequent Indian attacks made it impractical to maintain the fort and it was abandoned in 1866. Fort Kanab was then periodically occupied until June 14, 1870, when the party of settlers under the leadership of Levi Stewart arrived to establish a permanent settlement.
The Early Settlers
During the late 1860's and 1870's numerous settlers contributed to the establishment of Kanab as a permanent community. This monument erected June 14, 2001 is dedicated to those early settlers and their families whose courage and vision made the settlement of Kanab possible.