Trapper Osborne Russell spent the Christmas of 1840 on the Weber River with people of French, Nez Perce, Shoshone, Cree, and Flathead descent. For Christmas dinner the group sat around the fire in the center of the teepee “with their legs crossed in true Turkish style” and ate stewed elk, boiled deer, and boiled flour pudding. For plates they used large pieces of bark. After dinner they smoked pipes and practiced target shooting.
On Christmas Day 1848, two teams of Mormon pioneers began a contest to see who could kill the most predators. The losing team would treat the winners to a dinner.
Solomon Carvalho, photographer for one of John C. Fremont’s expeditions to the West, suffered through bitter cold and deep snows in crossing the Rocky Mountains. But he carefully saved and carried preserved eggs, sugar and arrowroot. “Nobody knew I had them,” he wrote. “These three comestibles, boiled in six gallons of water, made as fine a blanc mange as was ever manged on Mont Blanc.” He served it “to the satisfaction and astonishment of the whole party” on January 1, 1854.
Charles Bailey described a holiday dance where he made the music by whistling. “In those days I could make as good music as a flute or a pickalo,” he said.
Frederick Dellenbaugh, of the 1871 Powell expedition, attended a Christmas celebration in Kanab: “the room was about fifteen by thirty feet and was lighted by three candles, a kerosene lamp and a blazing fire of pitch-pine. Two violins were in lively operation…and there was a refreshing air of gaiety about the whole assembly…. None of our party joined as we were such strangers but we were made welcome in every respect.”
William Avery held a Christmas dance at his newly built log cabin on Huntington Creek. Forty-two men and seven women attended.
During an diphtheria epidemic, 13 Huntington residents died during the last week of the year.
Robert Brewster Stanton was an engineer who in 1889 and 1890 conducted a exploring survey down the Colorado River and Grand Canyon to find a railroad route through the river canyons (!) No, they didn't find one. But they got to celebrate Christmas at Lee's Ferry on the Colorado River.