Featured city from around the valley
Cedar Fort is approximately 25 miles off the Lehi exit on I-15. The town began as a farming town, and many residents still farm today.
One of Utah County’s westernmost communities, Cedar Fort was first settled in 1852 when LDS prophet Brigham Young sent three families to start a settlement. Indians drove them out, but the families returned a year later and stayed for generations.
To thwart the constant threat of Indians, early settlers surrounded their homes with fences made of sharpened cedar pickets — or so they thought. Later residents discovered the cedar-smelling trees in the area were actually junipers. The fragrance of juniper trees fills the town after each rain.
The old stone wall
As the settlement became a more permanent town, the residents wanted more protection from the Indians than just their juniper pickets. So they began building a stone fort. The fort was never finished, but its ruins are still one of the town’s primary tourist attractions.
Cedar Fort is still home to descendants of some of its first settlers, including 18 Cook families and four Barry families.
Volunteers fill all of the city’s elected positions, including the city fire department, which paid for its fire station with county grants. Residents say this selfless attitude is a long-standing attribute of Cedar Fort-ites.
For Cedar Fort, Pioneer Day lasts an entire week. The summertime festivities include parades and picnics as well as a chuck wagon breakfast, concert in the park, carnival, log sawing contest, re-enactment of the town settlement, and the big town rodeo, complete with a rodeo queen contest. The town rodeo started in 1923 with a makeshift arena composed of cars in a circle. Now Cedar Fort has a formal arena, and area residents have won national rodeo awards.
What started 80 years ago as a slumber party prank has turned into a full-town water fight. During “pioneer week” the residents of Cedar Fort gear up with hoses, super-soakers and even old detergent bottles full of water to join in the all-day town water fight.
Adjacent to Cedar Fort is the small town of Fairfield, which is home to the Camp Floyd Stagecoach Inn State Park and Museum. Camp Floyd was a way station for the Pony Express. The old military commissary and inn still exist today. Camps and other events are held at the park throughout the summer.
Camp Floyd, located in Fairfield — just five miles from Cedar Fort — was a way station for the Pony Express during its heyday.
This original school building was erected in 1810 and is still used for elementary school classes today.