History in Summit County, Utah

Cemetery near Wanship, Utah

Lawsuits are often decided based on history. Heritage Associates was commissioned to find evidence of a long-lost road in Summit County, Utah when a land owner discovered her vast and valuable land inheritance was landlocked. Her neighbors said the old trail was not a public thoroughfare, but part of their land. For her to develop or sell her property, she needed access; otherwise it was worthless.

Dee Halverson spent a year looking for evidence that it was a common use road from the days when Indians, trappers, explorers, miners, and farmers hauled supplies over the mountain to Park City.

Using old geological maps that listed areas by property owners, he tracked down some of their descendants for memories. An 80-year-old grandson remembered ice skating to school and recalled a girl who worked at a bar on the old road in her teens. She was alive in a nursing home in Seattle, with a keen memory of those by-gone days. One story led to another, and soon Dee had directions for short cuts through the canyons, used for over two hundred years.

Because the giant acreage was inaccessible to cars, Dee explored it on a mountain bike to see if the trails hooked up at the top of the canyons. With a little digging, he found evidence of a community.A white column marker was surrounded by several family graves and a little fence. There were some children ages 2, 4, and 6 who had died within days of each other, the father dead within a few weeks. The mom held things together for several years, but still died at age 45. What stories lie within that little cemetery!

Old foundations nearby indicated houses and barns, disintegrating steps led to what looked like a small school. The places matched up with stories from those still living, and a few memories recorded by those already gone. Dee proved the existence of a common use road, and the client got official permission to access her land.

Heritage Associates is a public history company with experience in litigation research. Contact us for access to historic evidence that will prove your case.