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Hidden Utah: The ghost town overlooked by Zion
by JENNIFER AUSTIN | Clipper Editor
Mar 06, 2012 | 857 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Grafton, Utah Photo by Jennifer Austin
GRAFTON — Most everyone has heard of or visited Zion National Park in Springdale, but my favorite Utah destination is on a dirt road just south of the park.

Driving through Rockville, it is easy to miss the sign that points to Grafton, a ghost town that was once a famous destination for filmmaking.

Grafton was settled in the mid-1800s but flooding and silt made farming difficult. Residents were attacked by Indians and would flee Grafton to the larger surrounding communities for protection. By 1890, four families remained, with the last family leaving in 1944.

Much of Grafton is still privately owned, and unfortunately that is the land most beautiful to look at when visiting. The land seems to stretch out forever, and if you happen to be there when the sun is setting you are in for a remarkable view. However, a private fence blocks much of it off.

The remainder of Grafton is still worth visiting, however. An old cemetery tells the stories of those who once lived there and how they died, including young children who died when a tire swing broke.

In the summer of 1997, the Grafton Heritage Partnership began preserving the remaining buildings. An old schoolhouse, which had previously been vandalized, was restored and is now under 24-hour surveillance. Many old homes and fences have also been restored and are available for a quick tour free of charge.

austin@davisclipper.com
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