GRAFTON is one of those little
ghost towns that everyone has to visit at one time or another - or multiple
times. My first visit was in 1990,
and each time I go, it seems there is something new to discover. It is located on the south
side of the Virgin River, 3.7 miles west of
dates to 1859 when the Mormon Church was in process of colonizing Southern
Utah, which they dubbed
The townsite was too good to abandon, so they resettled a little further from the river on higher ground. Within a couple years, several hundred acres were under cultivation with fruit orchards, corn & wheat, cotton and sheep. Mulberry trees were also planted for silkworm raising. In 1868, Grafton peaked with some 28 families. The 1860s were an unsettled period in the American West, and many times settlers and the Native Americans had little “problems.” Grafton was not immune, and during the mid-decade, a number of attacks occurred, killing several settlers. Disease and accidents also claimed a number of the folks and their kids.
In 1866, Grafton was abandoned for a short time, and resettled in 1868 by some 28 families. This was Grafton’s peak period, and for the next 30 years the bustling little town continued to persist, even though the population declined from 200 to about 120 in 1900. But all good things end, and the population decreased rapidly. By 1907 Grafton was a ghost town.
Grafton is one of the best little ghost towns in the country, and the handful of buildings have been restored and the site is now a National Historic District. Remaining buildings include:
The site has been used for filming of several movies, including the bicycle scene from the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Remember them bicycling along the main street while the song “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” played?
The vertical, bright redrock cliffs to the north, deep green trees and unusually blue sky and oft-times boiling thunderheads, make this beautiful, compact little ghost town one of the most photogenic in the country. Its buildings have graced the covers of several ghost town books. DON’T FORGET YOUR CAMERA!
· N½ Sec 3, T42S, R11W, Salt Lake Baseline & Meridian
· Latitude: 37.1672050 / 37° 10’ 02” N
· Longitude: -113.0799425 / 113° 04’ 48” W
· Ctr Sec 3, T42S, R11W, SLM
· Latitude: 37.1630385 / 37° 09’ 47” N
· Longitude: -113.0807758 / 113° 04’ 51” W
This is one of the towns featured in my newest book, GHOST TOWNS: Yesterday & TodayTM.
This was our Ghost Town of the Month for Oct 2009.
Visit Ghost Town USA’s Utah Ghost Town Pages
Also visit: Ghost Town USA’s
A few LINKS to outside webpages:
FIRST POSTED: October 02, 2009
LAST UPDATED: August 06, 2010
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