National Register of Historic Places in Grand County
This monument was relocated in April
2006. The monument was formerly
located at 995 North Highway 191,
which is 1.5 miles northwest of
where the monument now stands....
The plaque reads:
Elk Mountain Mission
In April 1855, forty one men under the leadership of Alfred N. Billings were called to establish a mission in the Elk Mountains. They left Salt Lake City May 7, 1855, arrived at Grand River June 11 and selected the site for a settlement. By July 15, they had built a fort 64 feet square, with stone walls, 12 feet high, 4 feet at the base and 1½ feet at the top. Three of the pioneers, James W. Hunt, Edward Edwards and William Behunin were buried within the enclosure, which was located about 800 feet from this monument.
Daughters of Utah Pioneers (Moab Camp)
Erected Nov. 30, 1940
The Elk Mountains are now called the La Sal Mountains, and the Grand River is now called the Colorado River.
The Elk Mountain Mission was part of a plan by Brigham Young to establish an outer cordon to protect the heartland of Mormondom.
The dream of an outer cordon of settlements became measurably realized with the founding of the San Bernardino colony, the Carson Valley mission, the Elk Mountain experiment, the Limhi mission, the settlement of Las Vegas, the establishment of Fort Supply and the purchase of Fort Bridger. These key positions constituted, a nucleus for a chain of settlements to bridge the intervening wilderness, to provide a haven for incoming caravans of Saints, and to keep down Indian uprisings.
Brigham Young planned to control the entire intermountain region between the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Rocky Mountains.
Excerpted from the NRHP nomination submitted in 1976.