Cove Fort served as an important way station for travelers, the Pony Express, and telegraph lines from 1867 to the early 1880s. Ira Hinckley and his family, and later Ira’s brother Arza and his family, provided food and lodging for visitors at the fort. Today, Cove Fort is a historic site operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and is open to the public. Tours of the restored fort tell about the families who lived there and about their efforts to provide for the needs of the travelers.
Ira Hinckley, his brother Arza, and local workmen built the fort of volcanic rock in 1867. They built it to protect themselves and travelers from possible Native American raids resulting from the Black Hawk War (1865–68). Native Americans never attacked the fort. During the fort’s use as a way station, the Hinckley family maintained good relationships with local Pahvant Ute and Navajo Indians. Operating a self-sufficient fort was largely a family affair, which included preparing regular meals and rooms for guests and maintaining a small farm, ranch, and blacksmith shop. President Brigham Young was a regular visitor at the fort during his annual visits to the settlements in southern Utah.