Friday, July 31, 2015

Expanding Our Foote Horizons

I began this blog almost 8 years ago.  During those 8 years I have managed several posts every month.  July 2015 has come to an end and I am barely squeaking in a post although it is a long one.

For over a year I have been on the organizing committee for a Foote Family Educational Conference to be held in Salt Lake City.  My uncle, Keith Foote Nyborg, asked my husband and I (both from Foote lines) if we would like to join him in bringing the Foote Family west for their bi-annual meeting.  The organization board members are mostly from the east and that is where they have usually met in the past.

This has been a labor of love for me and it has been fascinating to watch it all come together.  We secured a block of rooms at the Plaza Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City.  We knew that all The Days of 47 activities in honor of the first pioneers coming into the Salt Lake Valley would add to the fun so we scheduled our conference for July 23 - 26, 2015.  Many were coming with a great love for family history and the Family History Library was just steps from the Plaza.

The views of Temple Square were beautiful from the upper floors of the Plaza.  Footes from sixteen different states began to descend on Salt Lake City by Thursday afternoon.  We spent the evening getting to know one another.

The Days of 47 Parade was staged right on the corner of West Temple and South Temple where the Plaza Hotel was also located so parade watching was easy on Friday morning.

Those new to the parade thought it was wonderful.  This parade has been a pioneer tradition for over 85 years.

After the parade we loaded up two buses with Footes for a tour of the Salt Lake Valley.  This had been my major assignment and I researched and read and visited various locations in preparation for this tour.  I compiled a tour guide for added reading later with pictures of those we would talk about as well as interesting maps including the first early layout of Salt Lake City and the water shed of the Salt Lake Valley.  The tour guide book was a great hit with everyone and worth all the time it took to compile it.  Now I can check off "tour guide" on my bucket list although it really was never on my bucket list.

First bus tour stop was the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum at the top of Main Street near the State Capitol Building.  They hold an open house on Pioneer Day so we were also treated to wonderful eats and a strings band plus the wonderful collection of pioneer memorabilia including the buggy which brought Brigham Young into the Valley for the first time on July 24, 1847.

My granddaughters are churning some butter in front of this beautiful stained glass window honoring the pioneers.
After the museum the buses drove by the location of Timothy Bradley Foote's first property after he arrived in the Brigham Young Company in September 1848 located between 200 and 300 North and 500 and 600 West.  We then entered the I15 freeway on 600 North and headed south to the location of Union Fort just south of the I215 on Fort Union Blvd.

It is now just a monument in a one acre park in the center of a shopping complex parking lot, but this painting shows what it might have looked like after it was built in 1853.  Warren Foote, captain of a wagon train of 100, helped to build this fort and lived in this area after entering the Valley in 1850 as did his sister, Almira Ferguson, and the orphan children of his sister, Betsy Clement, who had died in Iowa. We enjoyed lunch at the Paradise Bakery on Fort Union Blvd. and then followed the Blvd. north to the entrance of Big Cottonwood Canyon seen in the middle background of the painting.

The buses took us all the way to the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon.  This is where the pioneers celebrated their 10 year anniversary of arriving in the Salt Lake Valley in 1857.  This monument honors that location.  Warren C. Foote and Darryl Foote, great grandsons of Warren Foote the pioneer, are standing by the monument.

 Many of the Footes also made the quick hike around Silver Lake just west of the monument.

The bus company told me that loading and unloading the buses would take a lot of our time.  Not my Footes!  They were on and off the buses in record time.  We made our way back down the canyon, to the I215, and then along Foothill Drive to "This is the Place" monument.  From the monument we headed west past Ft. Douglas, Rice Eccles Stadium where the 2002 Winter Olympic opening and closing ceremonies were held, and finally down South Temple past historic homes and buildings to the Plaza.

The Footes held their formal meeting and raffle that evening in the Aspen Room of the Plaza.

Early Saturday morning we were off for a walking tour of Temple Square and other important places.

Those from back east kept commenting on the beautiful gardens.

I learned a few things myself.  Those "marble" columns in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building are actually wood and faux painted to look like marble.

We walked into the Tabernacle just in time to hear the pin drop.

Then it was back to the Plaza for a presentation on the use of before going to the Family History Library for some hands on work of family history.

There is my hubby next to the wall and my son, Eric, in the blue shirt.

On the back row were my husband's cousins.  Remember, we are both descended through the Foote line from David Foote and Irene Lane.  I guess they are my cousins, too!  My husband Glen descends through David's and Irene's daughter Betsy Clement.  I descend through David's and Irene's son Warren Foote.

Later that afternoon we met at the Church Historical Library to view the journals of Warren Foote.

They had been brought out of storage for our viewing.  There were three journals and the emigration log of the Warren Foote Company which arrived in Salt Lake in 1850.

There were pictures of Warren, his wife Artemisia Sidnie, and his children in one of his record books.

He also kept two record books of his ancestors and descendants and his temple work.

Warren's hand writing was beautiful and clear.

This is a picture of Warren (on left) and his brother, David, who came by train from Michigan to meet his brother in Salt Lake in 1888.

Once again there was a large group gathered together for this once in a lifetime experience.

Because my husband and I are related, we named our middle son David Foote in honor of our common ancestor.  He in turn has named his son, Warren Foote.  The names of David and Warren seem to pass back and forth through the generations.

Warren C. Foote, grandson of David Foote , son of Warren Foote, also stood with my son and grandson with these special names.

Warren C. Foote also spoke to us about our heritage.  As he has read through Warren's Journals,  now available to all of us by CD and printed copy and soon to be digitized, he has found a common theme of belief in God, support of our country and its founding principals, and the importance of family.

When Warren finished everyone came forward to view these priceless articles more closely.  They generously let my grandchildren come forward first.

The beginning of Warren Foote's autobiography.

This was a man who experienced most of early church history and was generous enough to write about it for those who would follow.

My youngest son and his family out in the hallway.  I am so glad that three of my children and their spouses and children were able to come see the original journals.  Warren includes his testimony and desires for his posterity in his journals.

Terryl Givens who is a Professor of Literature and Religion, and the James A. Bostwick Professor of English at the University of Richmond, was our banquet speaker on Saturday night.  He is also a descendant of David Foote and Irene Lane through their daughter, Melinda.  His remarks were the perfect capstone to our Foote events.  The banquet was held in the Energy Solutions Arena where we enjoyed a festive Western Barbeque complete with red gingham tablecloths and complimentary bandannas.  I am so glad that my son, Eric, managed a selfie.

After the banquet we entered the arena for the Days of 47 Rodeo.

There were even trained bison.  Yes,  trained bison who would eventually climb and stand on top of their trailer.

On Sunday morning, the official finish of our Foote Family Event was held in the Conference Center as we watched the Mormon Tabernacle Choir as they presented their Sunday morning broadcast of "Music and the Spoken Word."  It was lovely!

Once outside everyone began to line up.

We felt it was important to capture the final moments of our family conference with a group picture.  It was truly a memorable experience and one that I am grateful to have had.