International Archeaology Day at the John Jarvie Historic Ranch
February 10, 2017

Wool spinning demonstration. (Courtesy of Erin Yeager)
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The Utah Bureau of Land Management, Vernal Field Office, hosted its annual John Jarvie Fest in conjunction with International Archaeology Day. Every year in the fall the Vernal Field Office (VFO) puts together a community outreach activity at the John Jarvie Historic Ranch in Brown's Park, Daggett County, Utah. The activity is a celebration of John Jarvie, and the significance of the Brown’s Park region in Utah and national history.

John Jarvie was an important and renowned business man whose general store along the Green River was the heartbeat of the community. His dugout home served as hiding place for some of the West’s most notorious outlaws, harboring infamous criminals such as Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch. In addition to the reconstructed dugout, the property includes a reconstruction of Jarvie’s store, which also served as an early post office, a large stone building, corrals, a blacksmith shop, chicken coop and ice house.

This year’s festival was held on October 8, 2016. Festival participants had the opportunity to engage in some early pioneer crafts such as: candle dipping, leather working, and rope making. Other activities included live music, pine cone bird feeders, horse and wagon rides, and wool spinning demonstrations. In years past we have also incorporated prehistoric themes and activities such as, atlatl dart throwing or rock art crafts. Future activities may include poetry, story tellers, Native American presentations, history of John Wesley Powell, mountain men, etc.

This year’s festival attracted approximately 200 people from around the region, many coming from Colorado and Wyoming. We also had many volunteers from local business and organizations. The John Jarvie ranch is the historic gem of the Vernal Field Office. Our goal is to continue to promote this event and garner more community participation to make this event a place for families and individuals to gather and celebrate the wonderful history of Brown’s Park.

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