Friday, February 4, 2011

Mt. Timpanogos

Whenever we drove "out West" to visit my grandparents I would gaze in awe at Mt. Timpanogos and search for the Indian Maiden sleeping there. Legend has it that if you look at Timp at just the right angle you will see the outline of her deathly slumber across the mountainous peaks.
Timpanogos this week (my neighborhood view)
There are several versions of this legend. The most concise one I found is from exploreutah.com.
"A Young Native American maiden, whose lover had to go to war, climbed to the summit of what is now known as Mount Timpanogos to await his return. But, alas, he was killed in battle and never returned to claim her for marriage. She stayed up on the mountain, still waiting, not knowing of his fate until she eventually died of a broken heart." 
As a child I couldn't always tell her head from her feet, but this image from a Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympic pin clarifies the view:
Do my children know this story? Do they know the history of their home town? Do I?

I grew up surrounded by Mount Vernon, Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Monticello. My state's history was our Country's history!

But this state, this valley, this city, is my children's history, and I suppose, that after 13 years it is part of my history as well.

Embrace the local stories and legends, Julie. They are all yours now.

15 comments:

Suzanne said...

I love the view of Mt. Timpanagas from Orem. When we lived in Orem (right after my husband graduated from BYU) I could look out my front windows and see that imposing site. So beautiful.

Dixie Mom said...

I've always loved that mountain, since I was little and we made trips to Utah to visit relatives. And then I really loved it when we spent 2 years in A.F. And then every time I flew to Utah I would get all excited when we flew by the mountain when we landed and I would tell my kids..."We're here!" And I've always loved the legend along with it. I'm a little obsessed with knowing the history of where I live so when we moved to A.F 14 years ago, I went to the library there and checked out books about everything there! A.F. doesn't have much great history, but the surrounding area is fascinating!

Life is good! said...

thanks for the history about the mountain. whenever we go past i remember the indian maiden laying there but i never bothered to look up the legend. photo is beautiful!

Lacy said...

I didn't know that story, thanks for sharing. I can't wait to tell my family and see if they are impressed :) My brothers live in Sandy and Provo, so we have seen Mt. Timpanogos a few times before.

Laura said...

Gorgeous neighborhood view! I admit when I first looked I thought her head was her feet, like you did. Love those local legends. Local lore was especially fun when we lived in Hawaii!

Saimi said...

My Niece was married in that temple, I wonder if she knows of the story. I love old legends thanks for enlightening me!!

Kendra said...

I love the mountains! They are always such a beautiful view!

Mom to Many said...

My SIL and I were discussing this just the other day. Trying to see the maiden that is.
Such beautiful mountains. :o)

Cheryl

Kelden said...

Oh that shows it so well!! I love it!

Garden of Egan said...

I had heard the story before but could never figure out how she lay.
I had one of my friends years ago stand there and point it our for hours.
I'm a dunce.

Seeing the pin just now.....*lightbulb*........."oh I see it!"
Thanks!

Ailinh Harris said...

Very neat history! We were married in the Mt. Timpanogos temple, and I cannot believe I didn't know that story. I will definitely have to tell my husband. And I love it! It makes me feel so honored to be married in the city surrounded by that mountain.

Joy For Your Journey said...

I grew up in Orem, and have always loved that mountain. And now when we drive to Utah to visit family, I love coming around the mountains from the south and catching our first view of the "Sleeping Maiden". It is one of my favorite sights.

Cherie said...

Beautiful picture! Now I have looked at Mt. Timp many times and even climbed to the top once but I never knew this legend/story. Thanks!

Adam Oblad said...

Here is the story from my family history:


The Legend of Timpanogos

Listen my grandchildren and you shall hear
Not the story of Paul Revere
But the story of an Indian Maiden who
You can see on the mountain, just east of you

This Indian maiden was beautiful to behold
Her story of love will now be told
Her real name was Wampanogos, meaning full of love
Her lover, a choice brave from the heaven above

Wanpanogos had eyes like blue diamonds
And a complexion that was fair
Upon her curvaceous shoulders fell
Her long and darken hair

Timpanac was her companion
A Brave, fine and strong
Fleet as a deer, honest as life
He could do no one any wrong

One day the chief called many tribes together
To witness the marriage of his daughter and Timpanac forever
Wampanogos and Timpanac had fallen in love near the cave
She was an Indian Princess and he was a noble Brave.

But many Braves from all the other tribes
Also loved Wampanogos because of her beauty
So the Chiefs of each Indian group petitioned
Chief Sowette that a contest was his duty

So Chief Sowette decided on a race
To determine the fastest brave in the place
Wampanogos agreed because she knew
Timpanac would surely come through

Now the valley the Indians had gathered and met
Was northeast of the high mountain you cannot forget
The best young braves of each tribe were chosen
To race up the mountain to decide on the best
Timpanac was ready and so was one not so honest
Who started out ahead with evil in his chest

The chief sowette had decided that
If Timpanac ran and was not a good
He would reconsider his daughter’s marriage
For the sake of the Indian brotherhood

Now Wampanogos truly worshipped Timpanac
And no other did she love
She silently thought he could make it
That no other one would come out above

The race began and sometime later the first returned
Who was he? The one who had gone to do wrong
He had ran ahead of Timpanac on this way up
To set obstacles and a trap that was strong

After all the braves had finished the run
There was no returning of Timpanac, her choice
Wampanogos petitioned her father ol chief Sowette,
That something was wrong and she lifted her voice

She dashed out of the valley then stopped
To pray at the cave
Then on, on she went up the mountain side,
Hoping the life of Timpanac she could save

Near the top of the mountain she found Timpanac
Laying under a rock near the frozen glacier crest
He had fallen a quarry under the trap
Her heart was pounding within her troubled breast

When the many Indian Chiefs found the two there
Wampanogos had died on her frozen lover’s arms
They decided to leave them frozen as they were
For love had conquered all human harms

And so the Indians descended from this holy place
And decided the mountain should be named for both
Mount Timpanogos seemed to combine each name
The resting place of the Indian couple betroth

So today, as you look at the top of Timpanogos Range
You can see the Indian maiden lying across the top
And lower, at the cave of the very same name
You will find the big red heart that failed to stop.

Told by William Hans Oblad Junior in April 1977

Julie said...

Thanks, Adam, for sharing your family's version here!