Fort Kanarra (1861-1872) - A Mormon settler fortification established in 1861 before the Ute Black Hawk War, Finally located in present-day Kanarraville, Iron County, Utah. Named after a Piute Indian Chief, Canarrah (or Quanarrah), who lived near the settlement. Probably abandoned as a fortification after the end of the Ute Black Hawk War in 1872.
Established in 1861 at the request of Brigham Young. The new Fort was built on Kanarra Creek about one mile east of the present location by settlers who moved from Fort Harmony. A great rain during the winter of 1861-1862 had all but destroyed the Adobe Fort Harmony and the settlers split into two groups. John D. Lee took about half the settlers and established New Harmony while the second group of settlers moved up Kanarra Creek and established a settlement about one mile north of the present town of Kanarraville. This second group was joined by other settlers from Toquerville.
In 1865 a severe three-day wind storm all but leveled the new town and it was decided to move it to the better location of present-day Kanarraville. In 1866 the settlers were joined by a group from Kanab and the townsite was surveyed.
By this time the Indian troubles had escalated into the Ute Black Hawk War (1865-1872) and it was necessary to fortify the new town. The settler homes were built in a barricade style with the backs of the cabins forming the outside wall of the fortification, some thirty cabins formed the outer perimeter surrounding a large public square. This settlement was known as Fort Kanarra. The surveyed town lots were drawn for but were not occupied. People began to occupy their town lots about 1867 and the log town meeting house was moved to a townsite.
The settlers were not bothered by the local Indian tribes but on 31 Oct 1869, a Navajo raiding party from Arizona stole all but a couple of the settlers horses. The next morning, the town men went to New Harmony for horses to follow the raiders. They tracked them over the Kanarra and Cedar Mountains and recovered the horses. The people of Kanarra were never bothered by Indians again.
Probably abandoned as a fortification after the end of the war.
Marker only at 40 S Main Street, Kanarraville , Iron County, Utah.
Visited: 18 Oct 2018