FILLMORE/BEAVER – When Travelling on Interstate 15 through Utah

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I love the idea of unique things you see and find while traveling. I live in one of those unique places that make it on the map so to speak.

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I also love giving you a bit of a history lesson with some of the blogs. I swear it is always interesting. Well, at least short.

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A look at the History of Fillmore Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia

Fillmore was Utah’s first territorial capital and was named for U.S. President Millard Fillmore in recognition of his courage in appointing Brigham Young Utah’s first territorial governor. On 28 October territorial lawmakers selected a spot located on the hunting grounds of the Pahvant Indians, 150 miles south of Salt Lake City.

Because of Indian problems, a fort was constructed in 1853-54 of stone and adobe, and all local people were located within its walls for safety. On 26 October 1853 a team of U.S. Army topographical engineers headed by Lieutenant John W. Gunnison was massacred by Pahvant Utes not far from Fillmore. Seven were killed.
The first settlers were principally American, but later an influx of English, Scots, Welsh, and Scandinavians arrived in the area. Today, Fillmore is a community of 1,956 people.
By Patricia Lyn Scott

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Details of Beaver, where I live, will come in other future blogs. Today I want to share with you’re a blog from MySpace by Lattie Odell entitled “Seduced by a Flashing Beaver”…I have included that which applies to Beaver. Enjoy.

Full Story at: Seduced by a flashing beaver AND… {THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY!}

http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=49137282&blogId=513487108

To those of you familiar with this drive down I-15 from Salt Lake City, you will know that the 300 mile trip is divided into segments of small towns that are set almost perfectly 50 miles apart. Provo, Nephi, Fillmore, Beaver, Cedar City, and finally St. George. I have always divided the drive into these six 50 mile segments, which mentally made the trip seem much shorter. This time however, as I drove in solitude, everything seemed different.

Not far outside of Nephi the weather began to turn sour. The clouds darkened, flashes of lightening began reflecting off my windshield, followed by a heavy rain. My attention soon turned from the beauty of the drive to paying attention to road signs and staying in my own lane. In good weather I was almost certain that I could make this drive with my eyes closed. But this torrential rain made driving with your eyes closed seem almost preferable.

Soon I spotted an old familiar sign, the “Fillmore, Beaver” turn off. Suddenly something struck me funny. Why had I not noticed that before? “Fillmore, Beaver!” Who in the Hell besides the State of Utah would put up a road sign that says “Fillmore Beaver” and not think a thing about it?

I was still chuckling to myself several miles later when I saw a flashing, neon light in the distance. Even before I could make out what the sign said I knew it to be the Welcome to Beaver sign sponsored by the Rotary and Lions Clubs of Beaver, Utah. That sign, featuring a large beaver bordered by a neon light, had been there since I was a child. What had always struck me as strange was that the neon light had been shorted and blinking in the same spot for just as long. This time however, for the very first time, the sign spoke to me.

“Oh, my God,” I thought “A flashing beaver on the side of the road!” This had to be an omen.

The rain began to subside a bit, and I couldn’t keep myself from thinking about the irony of the two signs I had just passed. Never before had I felt a desire to turn off the freeway and visit the small central Utah town of Beaver. Then again never before had I traveled this road alone, it was time for a change. I took the next exit and soon found myself heading smack dab into Beaver. Even that thought made me chuckle.

Each side of the street heading into town was lined with very neat, small, brick houses, each with immaculate yards and brightly colored flowers. Parked in front of one of the houses was a white utility truck, several men dressed in greed coveralls were busy filling the bed of the truck with tree branches. As I passed them by my eyes caught the words “BEAVER TRIMMERS” printed in big bold letters on the driver’s side door.

No freaking way!!!

What was going on here? Was this really as funny as it seemed, or was I just being overcome by a severe epidemic of silliness? I came to the conclusion that the latter must be true. Just then I looked up in time to see a sign posted by a local real estate agency and development firm. The sign declared:

“City life have you feeling Claustrophobic? Try Beaver! Still as wide open as ever!”

This was too much! I knew it couldn’t be just a bad spell of silliness, especially when another sign in front of an approaching fruit stand advertised “Beaver Cherries $4.99″ Sounded like a Hell of a deal to me, so I stopped.

Trying to gain my composure I walked through the aisles of fresh fruit. I had to fight myself to keep from popping one of the “Beaver Cherries” as I passed, but I knew doing so would throw me back into uncontrolled fits of laughter. As I headed back to my car to continue my journey, I passed a homely; zit faced young man sitting in a lawn chair who thrust a small Dixie cup in my direction.

“Sir, would you like a sample of our new Beaver Juice?” the boy asked in a high pitched, nasally voice.

That was the last straw! I could not leave “Wide open Beaver” with its “Beaver Cherries” and “Beaver Juice” fast enough. In fact it seems, I may have been just a bit too anxious to leave. Just before making it to the Freeway on-ramp I glanced into my rearview mirror only to be greeted by red and blue flashing lights.

“Oh Christ, not the BEAVER POLICE!”

After several minutes a Barney Fife looking fellow in horn rimmed, mirror glasses leaned his head in my window.

“Good afternoon sir,” Barney said in the same nasally voice as his son back at the fruit stand. “May I ask if you have any business in Beaver today?”

“Just visiting,” I answered

“So you are unfamiliar with Beaver?”

“More than I care to admit,” I said staring at my steering wheel and biting my lip to maintain my composure.

“Do you have any idea why I pulled you over today sir?” Barney asked.

“For pulling out too quick?” I asked, unable to resist the wise crack.

“That is correct sir” Barney proclaimed while pulling off his sunglasses in an effort to show the seriousness of what he was saying. “While you may have been within the posted speed limit, that speed limit applies to conditions permitting. With today’s rain fall you can see that the roads are quite wet.”

“Yes sir,” I said trying to be as polite as possible.

“While I’m not going to cite you this time,” Barney said “I will leave you with this warning,”

“Okay,” I nodded, receptive to any advice Officer Barney offered that would keep me from getting a ticket.

“After many years of patrolling this road it has been my experience that Beaver can become quite slippery when wet.”

“Thank you very much, I’ll try to keep that in mind.” I said fighting back the fits of laughter that swelled within me, as Barney walked back to his patrol car.

I finally made my escape from Beaver and continued on to St. George, where my very impatient daughter awaited me.

“Dad, where on earth have you been?” she asked waiting to hear what creative excuse her old man could pull out of his hat this time.

“You’re not going to believe this hon,” I said putting my arm around her waist. “But I stopped for a little Beaver on the way.”

“DAD!!!”

I wonder what my wife will think tomorrow as I give that flashing beaver a wink and a smile as we pass on by… Without stopping!!!

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Someone didn’t like the publicity that the sign was getting. The sign was taken down. The sign I have taken is coming the other direction of the Interstate. It is as if you were going to pass through Beaver from Las Vegas Nevada.

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The above truly says it all. I had fun learning about it and sharing with you today. Yes, on Twitter I get many questions regarding “my” beaver. I love my comeback with Fillmore. Tends to take away from the original rude question. But it is all in fun. Fillmore Beaver is nothing BUT endless fun in the high desert of Utah.

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One Response to “FILLMORE/BEAVER – When Travelling on Interstate 15 through Utah”

  1. owentravell.com Says:

    The great topic, and very helpfully. thanks

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