Kumen Jones House
The house was built by Jones in the late 1880’s.
Born in Cedar City, Utah on May 5, 1856, Kumen Jones married Mary Nielson, daughter of Jens and Elsie Nielson, in 1878. At age nineteen, Kumen became a true “cowboy,” employed by the C. C. Company to herd cattle through the rangelands near Zions Canyon.
In 1878, he was called to be a member of the initial exploring party sent from Paragonah in April, 1879, to determine a feasible site for settlement of the San Juan Mission. Based on their findings, they advised the leadership that “it would be out of the question for the company to attempt to get through on this route.” Nevertheless, when the “unanimous decision” was made by the expedition’s leaders “to go to work and make a way through,” Kumen joined the Hole-in-the-Rock Expedition.
The transition from stockade-style fort to two story homes, from encampments to the full-fledged town, did not take long. Homes like this one showcase the fine craftsmanship that typifies Bluff stonework. With the help of local stone masons and carpenters Nicholas Lovace, Ed Thompson, and H.T. Hibbs, the Kumen Jones house was built along with other large houses in the historic Bluff townsite. The house became a Victorian eclectic, cross-wing home with two stories. The foundation was stone with quarried Bluff sandstone walls.
In 1882, Kuman took a second wife, Lydia May Lyman, who had 10 children. Mary Jones also had a son. Mary studied midwifery, a valuable avocation in this remote area. Tragically, Lydia Lyman died in a fire in 1906. After this tragedy, Mary and Kuman ran a co-op store for many years. After devoting the majority of his life to the establishment and success of Bluff, Kumen Jones died in 1946.
Around 1975, a fire engulfed the Jones house destroying the entire interior and roof. The fire caused the collapse of several stone walls. The ruin seenat the Bluff Fort is all that remains of this once fine home. Sections still standing include the north and east walls, parts of the west and south walls of the mainwing, and the southeastern cornerwalls of the south wing. Some window openings are arched with stones cut in a quoin pattern on the side. Despite its now ruinous state, the elegant stone work is still visible.