COLORADO CITY – Nearly a month after its dedication, a stone monument commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1953 police raid on this polygamous community is gone.
Colorado City Mayor Dan Barlow, who was 21 at the time of the raid and was arrested along with dozens of other men, said little on Wednesday about the monument’s disappearance or the closure of a museum commemorating the raid.
“It’s gone. We just talked it over and came to the conclusion that we should back off, let things settle down,” said Barlow, 71. “There’s just too much publicity right now.”
Among the high-profile stories keeping Colorado City in the news was the conviction last month of former police officer Rodney Holm on felony charges of bigamy and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. Other news reports have focused on allegations of welfare fraud by polygamist families and Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff’s recent polygamy summit.
The old Short Creek Schoolhouse Museum and Heritage Park, renovated with volunteer help and restored with $20,000 in grant money obtained 13 years ago, was to have been a place where residents could learn more about their past.
“We closed the museum and gave those things back to the people,” Barlow said. “Someday they’ll be on display again. We’ll use that building for something else.”
The July 26 opening, featuring artifacts, news stories and photos of the raid, was celebrated by several hundred residents of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City.
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