August 14, 1998
Dear Pratt Cousin,
You are invited to attend the 1998 Pratt Family Reunion to be held Saturday, October 24th in Salt Lake City, Utah. For the last year and a half, five LDS stakes have been planning and creating a small park in the Sugarhouse area of Salt Lake City (on the intersection of 2100 South and 2300 East) which will feature an 8-foot, heroic-sized statue of Parley P. Pratt. The project is named "The Big Kanyon Lasting Legacy Project," because the Parley’s Canyon area was originally dubbed Big Kanyon by the pioneers. The dedicatory ceremonies for the park and statue will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 24th, and the park will be dedicated by Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In conjunction with the dedicatory ceremonies, the Jared Pratt Family Association will be sponsoring a reunion in the morning and early afternoon on the day of the dedication.
Pratt family history in the Big Kanyon area is significant. Orson Pratt’s advance party camped near the area along what is now Parley’s Creek on July 22, 1847, after entering the Salt Lake Valley (yes, before Brigham Young and the rest of the group). Later, Brigham Young and other territorial officials gave stewardship over the area to Parley P. Pratt, who built his toll road through the canyon in 1849-1850.
Special invited speakers at the reunion include Ed Fraughton, the nationally-known sculptor of the statue of Parley, who extensively researched the life of Parley in preparation for the sculpture; and Lex de Azevedo, popular LDS musician and descendant of Parley P. Pratt. We are currently in the process of confirming the remaining speakers.
The reunion activities will he held at an LDS stake center located at 1930 South and 2100 East (this is the building at the western end of the parking lot). The dedicatory ceremonies will be held at the park location on the corner of 2100 South and 2300 East (the streets will be closed for the dedication).
1998 Pratt Family Reunion Schedule:
10:00–Family Meeting, where we will discuss various items of family business, including new officers for the Jared Pratt Family Association. If you are interested in serving as an officer on a reunion committee responsible for planning future reunions, or in another capacity within the family organization, please contact us before the reunion. We will also discuss the status of the Pratt home page on the Internet, which can be found at www.pratt-family.org, which we plan to update and extensively improve shortly. Watch for changes before, and about, the reunion on the Pratt home page.
11:00–Historical presentation on the Pratt family. We are still in the process of confirming who will make the various presentations, but they promise to be excellent.
12:00–Break for lunch; there will be a place to eat picnic lunches, and there are several nearby fast-food restaurants.
1:00–In the afternoon session, we plan on inviting the local stakes involved with the project
to attend. The presentations will include a presentation on the music written by Parley P. Pratt by Lex de Azevedo, a presentation by sculptor Ed Fraughton, and others.
3:00–End of family reunion – rush for good seats at dedicatory ceremonies.
4:00–Dedicatory ceremonies, which will include speeches from Elder M. Russell Ballard; Jon Huntsman, Salt Lake businessman and descendant of Parley P. Pratt; and a representative of Salt Lake City. The music will be provided by two choirs.
As part of the reunion, we would like to display items significant to the Pratt family, to one of the five sons of Jared Pratt (Anson, William D., Parley P., Orson, and Nelson), their wives, and any of their more than ninety children. We would also like to catalogue historical and biographical information on the children and grandchildren of Jared Pratt, as well as other descendants. If you have any historical information, letters, biographies, autobiographies, etc., written by or about them, please contact us or bring them to the reunion.
Also, once more we are planning on updating the LDS Church Ancestral File with the information on the descendants of Jared Pratt which we currently have in our database (about 26,500). While this represents a very significant portion of the descendants of Jared Pratt, there is still much information missing on many lines. If you have not yet submitted your genealogical information on how you descend from Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson, or information which you have on other descendants of Jared Pratt, please do so quickly, so that we can update and correct our records before submitting our information to the Church files.
The Big Kanyon Lasting Legacy Project has asked that we inform the family about their current fundraising efforts. The park and statue of Parley P. Pratt will cost approximately $180,000, which will come entirely from private donations; currently, the committee has raised $110,000. If you would like to financially support this project, please contact us, and we will happily provide more information for you. The park will also feature names of pioneers engraved on a paver or granite boulder; these pioneers can be from any time and any field of endeavor. The cost of purchasing a pioneer name on a paver is $300.00. There are several bronze 24-inch replicas of the large statue of Parley available for major contributors. We are appreciative of the efforts of this committee in celebrating both the history of their region and the history of Parley P. Pratt with this spectacular statue; donations of any size are most welcome and will certainly assist in funding this important project. Donations can be sent directly to The Big Kanyon Lasting Legacy at 2290 South Berkeley Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84109.
Thank you once again for your time. We are confident that once again the Pratt Family Reunion will be a positive and uplifting experience for all involved. If you have any questions about the reunion, the historical search, or the descendants, search, please feel free to contact us at (801) 943-4648 Also, we will be providing updates on the reunion itinerary on the Pratt web site at www.pratt-family.org. Do not throw away this letter; because of the costs of a large mailing, this will be the only letter informing you about the reunion. Please make sure that your extended family and other Pratt relatives that you know are invited to the reunion. See you at the reunion!
Robert J. Grow, President
Jared Pratt Family Association
9767 Little Cottonwood Place
Sandy, UT 84092