As mentioned previously, the morning of Day 9 we left a cold, windy, rainy and snowy Bryce Canyon to begin our trek home. A few miles south of Bryce Canyon off of Hwy 89 is a very small, rural town named Alton, UT.
So without further ado.... I would like to welcome you to Alton, Utah, population 119. The home place of my heritage in Utah.
This sign that welcomes everyone to Alton was donated by my family in 2008 at the 100th birthday celebration.
My maternal grandmother and her 4 sisters grew up here.
Please read this plaque.
Jonathan Heaton, the founder of Alton is my great-great grandfather.
Further down you will see the names of my great-grandparents, John Stanley and Clarrisa Amy Heaton Glover. They are the parents of my Grandmother. Clarrisa is my mother's namesake, only she was given the shortened version of Claire.
Only in a rural town! Ha!
Another reason for us to visit Alton was that it was Memorial Day weekend and we wanted to decorate my ancestor's graves with flowers.
The grave sight of my great-grandparents
My great-grandparents passed away shortly before I was born so I never got the chance to get to know them. However, I have been told some wonderful stories about them. I look forward to meeting them someday.
The Alton Cemetery is full of Heaton's, Glover's, and Roundy's. I am related to them all.
In fact if you have one of these surnames or know someone with these surnames and are from the Southern Utah area, I am most likely a relative.
The entrance to the Alton Cemetery
This view is looking at the cemetery.
Among the cedar trees and sagebrush you will find my ancestors graves.
Another view of the cemetery.
This is a view of the Alton valley looking from the cemetery.
This is the property where my grandmother's home used to sit. The house burned down a few years ago. It used to be next to that small red garage. Sad to see it is gone.
I have so many wonderful memories of Alton. There were many family reunions held here when I was younger, and my grandmother has shared some really fun and amazing stories about her life growing up there.
The welcome sign says it all. Alton, Utah... A pretty little place. The scenery surrounding this area is breathtaking!
To read more about it go here and here. And if you ever find yourself in Southern Utah, do stop by for a visit.
A few short miles down the road from Alton is Kanab, Utah. And right before you get into town is a place we wanted to visit called the Moqui Caves. This is a museum of natural history displaying life of ancient Anasazi Indians of Southern Utah, as well as many other artifacts.
As we walked into the cave we were greeted by a man named Lex Chamberlain. He begins by telling us about the history of the caves and about his father, Garth Chamberlain who originally bought the cave and turned it into what it is today. He explained that his father was an amazing artist (many of his creations are on display),and an ex-NFL player that played for the Pittsburgh, Steelers after being drafted from BYU. Next he tells us that his father was also born in Alton, Utah. When he told me this, and I let him know my family history of Alton, we began talking about our ancestors and learned that his relatives are also Heaton's, and discovered that we are cousins (removed a few times)! It was amazing!
He gave us a more personal tour and showed us all the family pictures he had as well as the works of art his father created. It was wonderful! Finding relatives you don't know about is really exciting! This place was amazing! I can't describe the feeling that I had on this day after visiting Alton and the Moqui Caves. We stayed much longer than we planned to but it was well worth it. I encourage all of my family and friends who have not visited this place to do so.
This was the last big stop of our trip. Our stopping place for the night was Gallup, NM. The next morning, on our 10th and final day was a 13 hour car drive from Gallup to Fort Worth.
Our whole trip was amazing! We saw my daughter and niece graduate, we got to see and spend time with many family members that we haven't seen in a long time, we got to meet family that we have never met before and visited places so spectacular that the memories of this trip will last a lifetime.
And the best thing is that I got to see and experience it all with my best friend and husband. Love Him! Can't wait to do it again sometime.
If you have never been to southern Utah I recommend that you get there someday. There are so many National Parks and neat places to experience.