Quilt Walk Festival - Panguitch Utah

Last modified on Feb 8, 2016

In March of 1864, the first pioneers settled in Panguitch, UT. They had planted crops but the growing season was short so the crops did not flourish. The winter of 1864 was extremely brutal, the food supply became so scarce that the settlers were starving to death.  7 men: Alexander Matheson, William Talbot, Thomas Richards, Jesse Lowder, John Butler, Thomas Adair, and John Paul Smith using a wagon pulled by two oxen, braved the snow on the mountains and passes that separated Panguitch from the developed settlement of Parowan to bring flour back to their starving colony. Weakened by the lack of food and hip-deep snow, they eventually abandoned the wagon and oxen and continued on foot.

Alexander Matheson's journal tells this story: The men held a prayer circle. When they knelt on a quilt, they discovered they did not sink down into the snow. By laying down the quilts over the deep snow and walking to the end of them, relay the quilt and walk again, they were able to cross the deep, crusted snow. The men repeated this process over and over again till they were able to complete their journey to and from Parowan. They brought back enough flour to help the Panguitch settlers to survive the harsh winter. It took much longer to return to Panguitch, because of the weight of the flour. They were able to make it back to the wagon and oxen and then finally to Panguitch. The colony rejoiced for the safe return of their men and the flour they were able to bring back.

In remembrance of those 7 men who braved their lives to keep their settlers from starving, every year Panguitch, UT holds the Quilt Walk Festival. During the Annual Quilt Walk Festival, local quilters display quilts they have made by both hand and machine. You may also eat a pioneer feast and watch the story of the Quilt Walk performed by local talent.  For more information about the festival go to: Quilt Walk Festival

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