Kitchen/Big Room: The kitchen/big room was the heart of Cove Fort, and served to express a commitment to hospitality. Food was prepared in the kitchen and served by the Hinckleys for family members, hired help, and travelers.
Specifically, guests at Cove Fort’s kitchen included Latter-day Saint settlers on their way to new homes, Church leaders visiting the Saints in outlying settlements, prominent non-LDS leaders such as General Thomas L. Kane, mail carriers, native tribal members, and travelers of every description.
The room was also used for religious services and special meetings. When Brigham Young and other Church leaders visited the fort, residents and neighbors would gather here to hear news of the Church and Utah Territory, and received spiritual support for their endeavors.
Washing and Weaving Room: Home economics were essential to the operations of Cove Fort. In the washing and weaving room, clothes and dishes were washed and bodies bathed. In addition, someone sat at the loom and wove cloth and rag rugs.
Guest Rooms: Travelers and guests at Cove Fort received board in the kitchen across the courtyard. Those who operated Cove Fort sheltered and welcomed strangers and travelers.
Hinckley Family Rooms: The last three rooms along the north side of the fort served as a private residence for the Hinckley family. Here they rested from the labors of caring for travelers and managing the various operations of the site. This is where they wrote letters, sewed clothes, cared for children, read, studied, and prayed.
Telegraph Office: The telegraph room was also used as an overflow dining room. The Cove Fort telegraph station was part of a communications line that connected Church settlements from north to south by 1866. Most telegraph communications carried Church and territorial business, helping to bridge the great distances over which Church members had settled.
Stage and Post Office: The six rooms along the south wall were used for business, domestic, and social activities. Travelers could rest and refresh themselves while the stagecoach horse teams were changed. Coaches stopped at the fort each day, one from the north and one from the south.
The stagecoach company owned and boarded stock at Cove Fort. Fresh teams would be brought from the barn or corral and hitched to the coach parked outside the gate. Hired hands groomed and fed the teams.
Postal express riders delivered and picked up mail collected at the fort from nearby residents, ranches, and miners. One mail carrier, William Anderson, would leave Fillmore at 6:00 a.m. on Monday and arrive in Cedar City Wednesday evening near 6:00 p.m. He would average 47 miles a day.
Stagecoach and postal routes connected the line of settlements that stretched from Idaho to Nevada and northern Arizona. These settlements were planned and laid out carefully by Church leaders to find a home for tens of thousands of immigrant Saints who gathered to the western United States.