Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Deseret Stone, 1853

Deseret Stone, 1853

By: Ardis E. Parshall - March 07, 2014

Utah Territory, under the direction of Brigham Young, sent this stone in 1853 as its contribution to the Washington Monument (another stone with the Utah name was sent years later). The stone was quarried in Manti, of the same material later used in the Manti Temple; it was carved by pioneer artist William Ward, and is found in the Monument stairway at the 220-foot mark. The stone is carved to be read normally, but daguerreotypes (this is a very early picture of the stone) display in mirror image.





  1. Not having ever visited the Washington Monument, what other kinds of stones are displayed that are not state stones? Is this unique, or did other territories also contribute stones?

    Comment by kevinf — March 7, 2014 @ 10:59 am

  2. “(another stone with the Utah name was sent years later)”

    Yeah, I do find it notable that there’s nary a mention of the name “Utah” in this stone. I’d like to hear the backstory on that one. Utah Territory had been named and in existence for three years by the time of this stone.

    Comment by David Y. — March 7, 2014 @ 11:44 am

  3. I’ve been in a conference all day and not able to blog …

    The Monument is built of stones donated by all kinds of organizations — states and territories, but all foreign countries, businesses, religions, professional groups, just about anybody who was willing to donate. I don’t know if any other state or territory has more than one stone, the way Utah does, but I’ll bet some googling would turn up some interesting stories.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — March 7, 2014 @ 6:12 pm

  4. The National Park Service website, on its Washington Monument page, has links to photographs of all of the carved stones inside the monument. (I’m fighting a cold and too tired to look up the link right now.) The stones used to be visible to anyone crazy enough to climb up or down the stairs of the monument (me and my cousins several decades ago.) But then visitors were required to take the elevator up and could only go down the stairs, and then the general population became less fit and the stairs were no longer used at all, except for the poor people stuck in it during the earthquake a couple of years ago. The monument has been closed since then. Anyway, I believe the internet photos were posted to compensate for the impossibility of seeing the stones in person.

    Comment by LauraN — March 7, 2014 @ 10:16 pm


    Comment by wonderdog — March 8, 2014 @ 4:56 am


    Comment by wonderdog — March 8, 2014 @ 4:57 am

  7. Thanks, LauraN, for that pointer, and wonderdog for finding and posting the links.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — March 8, 2014 @ 7:54 am

  8. Hmmm.. Looks like Thomas Burr at the Trib has been cribbing from Keepa.

    Or his timing is extremely coincidental.

    Comment by The Other Clark — May 19, 2014 @ 12:41 pm

  9. Wouldn’t be the first time I wondered about that, Clark, only it’s usually the DNews!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — May 19, 2014 @ 12:54 pm

  10. Yeah, I saw the Trib article this morning and wondered why there was no mention of the (more-informative) Keepa post. C’mon!

    Comment by David Y. — May 19, 2014 @ 2:53 pm

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