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Panguitch Quilt Walk

Sometimes when teaching Utah Studies, teachers tend to focus on the Salt Lake and Utah Valley areas. Well, what about the rest of Utah? How did cities such as Logan, Farmington, Panguitch, and St. George come about?

Brigham Young called many people to settle a new area of Utah. Once someone was called, and if they accepted the call (it was voluntary), that person asked others to accompany him to help build a new community. These people usually had certain skills that were needed in building a community, such as a blacksmith, farmers, carpenters, etc. These people would then uproot and create a new settlement elsewhere.

Panguitch, Utah is a good example of adventures and hardships faced in settling a new town. Mormon pioneers founded Panguitch in 1864, and because of the harsh climate, didn’t grow much that first year. As a result, they faced starvation unless they got some help, fast! Seven men decided to make the trip to a neighboring town to purchase flour and other supplies, but their wagons got stuck in the deep snow. They then decided to lay down quilts and walk across the snow, switching quilts as they walked. Pretty smart, if you ask me. Panguitch still has their Annual Quilt Walk every summer in commemoration of that event.

This activity is best done outside where there’s plenty of room, and if there’s snow on the ground!

Materials:

  • Four quilts or blankets (Quilts would be more authentic, but could get dirty in this activity)
  • Two bags of flour (if you don’t want to use flour, you could 2 full boxes that weigh about as much)

Divide the class into two teams. Then pull the boys out of each team. Give each team of boys 2 quilts and tell them they can only stand on these quilts to and from their destination, which can be whatever distance away (you choose). These teams will race each other to see who gets food back to their team the fastest. They must use teamwork in alternating these quilts to the flour and back to the “starving” girls. It’s important that they actually lie the quilts out fully. This would have helped spread out their weight across the snow, and prevented sinking.

Every town/city has a story pertaining to its founding. Find them by looking at the city website, or by typing in “history of ____, Utah” in your search engine.

One Response to “Panguitch Quilt Walk”

  1. My Great Grandfather participated in the “Quilt Walk.” I do like this activity. I would let the girls as well as the boys do the quilt walk, though that isn’t how the original one was done!

    I think this type of history/activity helps make history more interesting and meaningful. Thanks for sharing your ideas with us.

    Debbie

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