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History of Escalante, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia (Links Added)
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Although the Anglo-American settlement of Escalante began in the spring of 1875 by a group of men from Panguitch desiring to find a location with a milder climate, signs of inhabitation of the area reached back much farther with evidence of the Fremont and Anasazi cultures in the area.

In 1866, during the Black Hawk War, Captain James Andrus's cavalry pursued Indians through the area, naming it Potato Valley. A.H. Thompson, who was the chief map maker of John Wesley Powell's crew, traveled through the plateau regions on different trips naming the points and mapping the trail. On an excursion in 1875, Thompson's party met four Mormons from Panguitch planning to establish a settlement in the area. Thompson advised the pioneers to name it for Father Silvestre Velez de Escalante


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