Seeley based the story of the reluctant fiancee on two couples he knew where the husband was willing to come to Castle Valley but the wife didn't want to leave the comforts of the Sanpete Valley. Niels Peter Miller and his wife, Ellen, were one of the couples. Miller made his wife a dugout with a mud and log roof, which was a cut above many at the time. Upon their arrival in the valley, she said, "Has it now come to this that I have to live underground?"
That line, along with other original lines gleaned from family histories and journals, remains in the script.
It's a long ways (250 miles round trip from American Fork), but it makes for a sweet journey into the past and the lives of pioneers in an area lesser known.
If you go ...
What: Castle Valley Pageant
Where: 4785 North Desbee Dove Road, Castle Dale, Emery County (Signs on Highway 10 will direct visitors to the pageant site (not locatable by GPS), approximately eight miles outside of town
When: 8:30-10:00 p.m., Aug. 2-4, 7-11 (A mutton fry is served at the rodeo grounds starting at 5 p.m., with pioneer village activities in the pageant arena from 6:15-8:15). The pageant is performed only on even-numbered years.
Cost: free admission and parking (free shuttle between Emery County Fairgrounds and pageant)
For lodging information: Call Mark Justice at 435-687-2403
Sharon Haddock is a professional writer with 35 years experience, 17 at the Deseret News. Her personal blog is at sharonhaddock.blogspot.com.
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