Park of the Week: Camp Floyd/Stagecoach Inn State Park and Museum
The United States Army, Mormon pioneers, stagecoach travelers, and the Pony Express met at Camp Floyd and the town of Fairfield. The Army arrived in 1858 and constructed Camp Floyd to suppress a supposed Mormon rebellion. The Army remained here for three years before being recalled for the Civil War. Today, Camp Floyd State Park features three structures and a cemetery. Visit the museum and Stagecoach Inn and learn about this nationally important historic site.
Constructed in 1858 by the soldiers of Johnston’s Army, the Commissary Building served as a store of military equipment and provisions. It was sold to the Beardshall Family at auction in 1861, when the army was recalled for the Civil War. The building was relocated to its current site where it was used as the family’s home in Fairfield. All other camp buildings were either sold, dismantled or destroyed. Today, the Commissary Building serves as the Camp Floyd museum.
Across the street from the Camp Floyd Commissary is the fine Stagecoach Inn, a two-story adobe and frame hotel built by John Carson in 1858. Stagecoach Inn was the first stop south of Salt Lake City on the Overland Stage Route and also a stop on the Historic Pony Express Route. Because of its proximity to old Camp Floyd, the clientele naturally included large numbers of armed personnel. It was one of the few respectable establishments in this frontier town. Seventeen saloons and other entertainment locations catered to the needs of a military population. The inn was restored from shambles in June 1959. It contains furnishings of the period, indicating the hospitality of the inn – not elegant, but comfortable.
The Fairfield District School was constructed in 1898 with federal funds received when Utah became a state in 1896. Designed by architect Richard Watkins, who also designed Peteetneet Elementary School in Payson and Maeser Elementary in Provo; the school is notable for the two-color brick masonry. The building closed in 1937, when students were bused to Lehi. The Fairfield District Schoolhouse is fully restored and available for school groups to enjoy an authentic one-room schoolhouse experience.
Picnic and day-use facilities are available, so pack a lunch and enjoy Utah’s connection with the Civil War and Pony Express.