The Utah Contemporary Dance Theatre is looking for descendants of victims of the Haun's Mill Massacre to receive a special award honoring those victims.
The presentation will be made at the dance group's performance of the work "Haun's Mill" March 27-28. It will be part of its spring program at Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.The 35-minute, multi-media ballet presents the Haun's Mill Massacre as one of the major incidents that ignited a series of events that resulted in the Mormons' trek to the Salt Lake Valley.
Recognized by Utah Pioneer Sesquicentennial Coordinating Committee as an official part of the state's observance, the ballet "presents the story of an oppressed people and the strength of the human spirit as they struggle to overcome the persecutions and trials that seemed to follow them wherever they went," said Derryl Yeager, artistic director.
The portrayal ends with the arrival of the pioneer in the Salt Lake Valley, where they sense they have found a home.
"We would like to honor the descendants of those who were involved in this awful tragedy and let them know that the sacrifice of their ancestors has not been forgotten," the artistic director said.
The descendants will be guests at the performance and will be invited to come up on stage and receive a special award in honor of the victims before the performance begins, he said.
"It is our goal on opening night, March 27, to have the governor present a special award to a descendant of those who were killed on that fateful day."
Killed at Haun's Mill on Oct. 30, 1838, were Hiram Abbott, Elias Benner, Alexander Campbell, Simon Cox, Josiah Fuller, Austin Hammer, Augustine Harner, John Lee, Benjamin Lewis, Thomas McBride, Charles Merrick (age 9), Levi N. Merrick, John Meyers, William Napier, George S. Richards, Sardius Smith (age 10), Warren Smith and John York.
Descendants who would like to participate should call Derryl Yeager at (801) 224-9012.