Fairview is in Central Utah. Founded in 1859. The town’s high elevation provided a fair enough view of the valley to inspire the choice of name in 1864. The first settlers from Mt. Pleasant had named the site North Bend.
Fairview became the center of a wealthy agricultural district which in 1900 supported four general stores, one furniture store, one harness shop, two hotels, one butcher shop, a plaining mill, half a dozen steam sawmills, situated at different points in the mountains, good public schools and a great number of comfortable homes.
To get to Fairview from Salt Lake City or Provo, head south on I-15 and take Exit 258 (US 6) at Spanish Fork toward Price/Manti. Travel approximately 14.9 miles up Spanish Fork Canyon to the Highway 89 turnoff on the right. Then follow Highway 89 south approximately 29 miles to Fairview.
The drive from the mouth of Spanish Fork Canyon to Fairview is scenic and restful and begins with a new facility of 9 large wind turbines seemingly standing sentinel. Spanish Fork Canyon exhibits constant beauty through the changing seasons.
Near one of the highest elevations, just prior to the Highway 89 turnoff, is a turnout where travelers can see the site of a huge landslide that flooded the valley below, cutting off the railroad and destroying the town of Thistle. Shortly after the Highway 89 turn-off is another flood lookout area off the highway.
The remainder of the drive to Fairview is through serene, rolling countryside, dotted with ranchettes, cabins, sheep, horses and cattle.
The Highway 89 Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area also begins in Fairview and follows Highway 89 South.
To get to Fairview from the South, take I-70 Exit 56 at Salina and follow Highway 89 North through the many picturesque Mormon-settled towns along the road.
The Fairview Museum of History and Art, 85 North 100 East, Phone: 435-427-9216. May-Oct, M-Sa 1PM-6PM; Su 1:30PM-6PM.
Several floors of the historic school at the Fairview Museum site house fascinating artifacts and displays portaying local history and color. This building alone is worth a visit but, perhaps, even more surprising for this small town is the world-class art and life-size Mammoth exhibitions in the newer building just to the South of the school.
On August 8, 1988 one of the most complete and well-preserved specimens of a Columbian Mammoth ever discovered was uncovered during the construction at Huntington Reservoir in Central Utah.
Utah State Paleontologist David Gillette was called in by the United States Forest Service (on whose land the specimen was located) to oversee collection efforts. Many of the things learned by Utah paleontologists over the past years have generated international interest in the “Huntington Mammoth.”
Besides being remarkably well preserved, other factors are adding scientific significance to the discovery. These are the bones of an animal that lived a relatively short 10,000 years ago and died at an unusually high elevation of 9600’ (Mammoths have always been regarded as lowland grazers). The skeletal remains of this animal were preserved in a peat bog where he died some 10,000 years ago. The bones were not fossilized and were so well preserved that scientific testing has accurately fixed the date of the animal’s demise.
Amino acids and DNA have also been identified and it has been determined that the animal was 65 years old when he died. He had suffered from arthritis, as evidence by obvious deformities present on the bones and must have been in pain when he moved about. Material found in the rib cage indicated that the animal’s last meal included pine trees. Perhaps of greatest interest to the public at large was the discovery of projectile points with the bones indicating possible interaction between humans and the animal. Hundreds of people visited the discovery site during the summer of 1988. The Forest Service, wishing to capitalize on both public interest and the educational value of the find, asked several institutions to submit proposals for the specimen.
Based partially on its past experience with molding and casting fossils and partially on its intention to do a great majority of this work within public view, the Utah Museum of Natural History was selected to receive the mammoth for mold-making. Numerous replicas cast from the original bones have been made. Two specimens were shipped to Japan and additional casts have been sent to other places in the United States.
In 1995 the mammoth bones were retired to an environmentally controlled facility on the College of Eastern Utah campus. Because the real bones were not fossilized and were wet when they were found, they must be placed in a humidified room and kept at a constant temperature to avoid decay. Tours of this room may be available by special arrangements during the summer months by calling the CEU Prehistoric Museum in Price, Utah.
The Fairview Museum of History and Art in Fairview, Utah, is home to a life-sized replica created from the original bones. This replica is visible from outdoors through the massive east window of the museum.
The South building is handicapped accessible with an extensive gift shop and public restrooms. Enter the South building first and begin your tour with one of the well-versed volunteer docents there.
Known as a fun bargain shopping destination with an eclectic mix of treasures, this locally-owned shop features an ever-changing array of merchandise.<