The Potter Diaries

    The Potter Diaries

    The Diary of Albert F. Potter (Former Associate Chief of Forest Service) is a collection of diary entries spanning about 145 days in 1902 from July to November. In that time, Potter traveled more than 3,000 miles across Utah by train, wagon, horseback, and by foot. In his diary, Potter details his experiences surveying the land and visiting with locals about the possibility of establishing a forest reserve.

    Albert Potter

    Albert F. Potter

    Used by permission, Utah State Historical Society, all rights reserved

    Potter's background was primarily in running a livestock operation in Northern Arizona until a combination of drought and competition with other grazing companies sent him to look for work in public offices.

    In 1900, Potter became a guide for Gifford Pinchot, chief of the Division of Forestry, and Potter led Pinchot across the mountains of Arizona. Shortly after the journey, Pinchot assigned Potter to the task of surveying Utah's forest with the intention of eventually creating several forest reserves throughout Utah.

    USU Forestry Extension is making this diary available to those interested in learning more about Utah's forest and rangeland conditions around the turn of the century and to help put today's conditions in context.

    Potter's diary entries have been retyped as-is with no editing for grammar or spelling. The original transcript is located in USU's Special Collections and Archives.

    To read about Potter's experiences crisscrossing Utah from the Wasatch Mountains the Colorado Plateau, you can either download the entire diary as a PDF or click one of the links below to get started.

    You can also see Potter's route.

    Potter's route provided by USDA Forest Service.

    Salt Lake City to Cache Valley; July 1-9, 1902

    Bear Lake (Garden City); July 10-11, 1902

    Cache Valley; July 12-18, 1902

    Salt Lake City Area (Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons); July 26, 1902

    Alta to Heber; July 27-28, 1902

    Heber Valley, American Fork, Provo; July 31-August 6, 1902

    Heber to Strawberry Valley, Wallsburg; August 7-11, 1902

    Utah County; August 12-18, 1902

    Indianola to Clear Creek; August 19-22, 1902

    White River Basin to Indian Creek; August 23-27, 1902

    Scofield to Fairview; August 28-29, 1902

    Fountain Green to Levan; September 8-11, 1902

    Levan to Fayette; September 12-16, 1902

    Moroni, Nephi, Mt. Pleasant; September 17-19, 1902

    Fairview to Castledale; September 22-25, 1902

    Castledale, Orangeville, Joe's Valley; September 26-October 1, 1902

    Sanpete County, Emery; October 2-9, 1902

    Sevier County to Thousand Lake Mountain; October 10-16, 1902

    Teasdale to Boulder Mountain; October 17-20, 1902

    Teasdale, Loa, Fremont, Salina; October 21-24, 1902

    Salina, Mayfield, Richfield, Salt Lake City; October 25-November 3, 1902

    Joseph City, Marysvale, Beaver; November 4-9, 1902

    Bear Valley, Parowan November; 10-14, 1902

    Panguitch Area November; 15-22, 1902