The Mormon Refuge. We have already spoken of the new place of refuge chosen by the people known as 'Mormons,' near the Utah Lake, near the routes to California and Oregon, in the basin of the Great Salt Lake, among the Southern spurs of the Rocky Moun-tains. The following is an extract from a letter written last October by a young New Englander since deceased, whose letters have been recently received by his friends. It gives the best idea of the country we have met with. We do hope that the Mormons will not be molested in this new pos-session, and that their brethren who are still de-tained by poverty on the banks of the Missouri and throughout the West will be speedily enabled to join them. SALT LAKE VALLEY, Great Basin, Oct. 14, 1847. * * * Since my last I have gone through places and over such mountains as would make the heart of a Bosto-nian quake were he to come upon them unawares and un-expected—such as canyons, where the water has gullied away the mountains for ages, leaving the banks on either side nearly perpendicular, to the height of 400 feet for 50 miles in extent, and only a space at the bottom wide enough to admit our wagons in single file and a small brook which we had to cross frequently with great dif-ficulty and danger. The place called the South Pass is simply a place where two ranges of mountains seem to terminate or change their course. The Wind River mountains can be seen on the north-west about 95 miles off, with snow on their tops at all seasons of the year, and another range at the southeast, about 100 miles off; the same range, I think, form the eastern boundary of this valley. If you were to enter this place with no more ex-perience than you now have of the Western country, you would think at first it was about five miles long and three broad—with no timber or water sufficient (unless you should spy the Salt Lake on the north-wes-tern boundary;) but by examining and measuring you would find it to be about 26 miles broad, and from 70 to 100 miles in length; and the ‘canyons' in the mountains on the east side supply abundance of timber—the prin-cipal is fir, which is the same as you use for ornamen-tals in Massachusetts, but they grow to a great height here, and the timber is the most suitable for building; there are also some sugar maple and oak, the young saplings of which are to be preserved to set out for shades and ornament, and the others are to be sparing-ly used for purposes that the fir will not answer. There are many small trees of the latter kind springing up, and if it had not been for the fires that sweep the valleys and mountains yearly, this would have been undoubted-ly a thick timbered valley. There is quite a large stream of water running from the Utah Lake from the south, northward, directly through the center of the valley, and emptying itself into the Salt Lake at the north-west—we call it the Jordan. Emptying into it there are very many brooks which are formed by the melting of the snow and ice in the mountains, and also from the springs which abound in the valley as well as in the 'canyons.' There is no wild fruit here save mountain currants, 'service-berries' and elder-berries. There is no rain here at all, and the land is watered by a simple process of irrigation, by turning the course of the creeks or brooks as you desire the water to flow, which is very easily done with a hoe or shovel. The soil is a rich mellow loam resembling ashes, and can be as easily worked. We shall need no ice-houses, for we are set-tled on the east side, about four miles from the moun-tains, and the snow-water does not get warm before we get it at our doors; and also by digging a foot or two you can form a spring in some places near the main springs. Among the curiosities is the Salt Lake, 25 miles off, even so salt that it is impossible for a man to sink himself above his arm-pits, and after bathing there awhile and drying himself, one may rattle the salt out of his hair quite fast—his head will be white with it. Also the hot springs and the warm springs; the former are 'boiling hot all the time. The spring or hole it issues from in the mountain is as big as a barrel, and the water pours out horizontally. The latter are not so large quite, but they resemble the former both in color (blue) and smell of the water, which is like brimstone, but very clear; they are about two miles from this loca-tion, and the people resort thither to bathe in the warm; springs, which are blood warm. There is red and white clay, also lime-stone and many other kinds of stone in the mountains. For our safety from the Indians we are building an inclosure or fort, 138 rods long, and 40 broad, to live in this Winter, and are also inclosing a portion of land sufficient to put in the Fall wheat. Our out-buildings, &c. are to be built of unbaked brick—the old California name is "adobie." They are mixed like mortar and formed in boxes about the size of four common bricks, and dried in the sun, which makes them very durable. They say in South California the people build chiefly in this way, and they last commonly one hundred years. All the houses in Santa Fé are of this kind.
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