Myths and Legends Uncovered About The History Of Zion Park

Jan 2, 2019

Myths and Legends Uncovered About The History Of Zion Park

America’s third-most popular national park, Zion, is not without its myths and legends.  What else could one expect when delving into the history of a region which is not only a geologic paradise, but also an area which was occupied first by prehistoric Indians, then historic Navajos and Paiutes, then explorers and Mormon Pioneers, other enterprising homesteaders, and now an eclectic mix of “Americans.”  The history of Zion Park carries some true and legendary stories, as well as myths, which are just that.  Thanks to historical societies and second-hand accounts, one particular legend–both entertaining and scary–will be presented here.  This article explains the juicy details of both busted myths and the intriguing legend of Hog Allen.

The Legend Of Hog Allen

Let’s begin with some truth in the history of Zion Park.  Albert “Hog Allen” Smith was part homesteader, part land claimer, part family man, part loyal friend, and part vengeance seeker.  Owning land was more important to him than having money. It is recorded that he once stood up on his horse’s saddle, overlooking the southern part of Zion’s north-fork country, and with a sweep of his arm, declared it his land.  It has since been called Hog’s Heaven. Evidently, he swore to chase off any homesteaders who dared to stay on his land.

Hog Allen raised hogs for butchering and used powerful oxen to clear the land for horses to haul lumber from the north fork mountains.  While working for the Watson lumber company in the 1890s, he and a Watson boy were repairing a wagon. The wagon fell from its levered-jack, smashing Allen’s finger.  He blamed the boy and chased him to beat him with a large steel pin. The Watsons protected the boy, and Allen vowed to “get them,” leaving their employ. Hog Allen died suddenly at age 55, after eating some of his famous melon harvest.  He was buried in Hog’s Heaven. On the one-year anniversary of his death, two Watsons mysteriously died, and so the legend was fueled.

Hog Allen’s wife, Nelly, is also part of the history of Zion Park.  After her husband’s death, she moved with their children to Cedar City.  Later, when Nelly returned to retrieve his remains, the coffin was opened, and Nelly screamed, “Close it!  Close it! This is a terrible dream!” Allen’s body position had changed, arm placements, facial expression, longer hair and fingernails, etc.  Nelly wanted nothing to do with the macabre scene.

Myths Debunked

The history of Zion Park also contains some amusing myths.

Myth 1:  Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid built a cabin hide-out in Zion Canyon.  Not so. Though Cassidy grew up in nearby Circleville, Utah, virtually all of his train and bank robberies occurred out of state, where quick hide-outs were secured.

Myth 2:  Donald Trump attempted to purchase Zion National Park from the federal government.  Uh, No. There was a sighting of Trump, enjoying the Park; however, all he was heard to say was, “This canyon is HUGE!”

Myth 3:  Sasquatch occupies the northeast corner of the park, which explains why much less wildlife is seen there.  Wrong again. Wildlife is abundant throughout the park, from large predators to smaller scavengers; and nobody has brought forth empirical evidence of a residing Sasquatch in the history of Zion Park.


Myths and Legends Uncovered About The History Of Zion Park

Article By: Clear Content Marketing


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