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Christmas at Mt. Pisgah, 1852

George Freestone was just 14 years old when his family spent the winter near Mt. Pisgah in Iowa on the Mormon Trail. As Christmas 1852 approached, “the prospect for having anything to eat looked blue indeed as [their] provisions were gone,” and George’s father started a 20-mile journey to restock. Three days before Christmas, while his father was gone, George “saw three large turkeys” coming and “threw some cans of corn as far as [he] could in their direction” to lure them closer before capturing them. “Christmas came, so did father with provisions,” George recalled. “Mother roasted and basted those turkeys in fine shape and although I have eaten more than sixty Christmas dinners since then, that was the best of them all.”

George Freestone, “A Christmas Story—My Christmas Dinner on Mt. Pisgah,” Vernal Express, Dec. 24, 1915, 1