new icn messageflickr-free-ic3d pan white

Mountain's cradle

The town continued on until 1906 when the population started to decline after settlers grew weary of struggling for yearsto divert the Virgin River and floodwaters reduced the amount of land to farm. The settlers were compelled to look elsewhere for homes. According to the National Register of Historic Places nomination for the "Grafton Historic District," Polly Hart wrote that "there were several important factors that led to the ultimate demise of this small community. Irrigated land at Grafton was severely limited, and it was all claimed by the first generation of settlers. As children grew up and created families of their own, there was no available farm land, and they were forced to look elsewhere to make aliving. Furthermore, modern utilities such as electricity and running water were never introduced to Grafton, which provided further incentive for the younger generations to move away. The Virgin River was unpredictable and could rise as much as four feet in a single day, destroying dams and washed away farm land. The final blow that led to the abandonment of Grafton was the construction of the Hurricane Canal in 1906."

 

A pioneer-built Hurricane canal began delivering irrigation water to the Hurricane bench twenty miles downstream. Many of the men and boys from Grafton assisted in the building of the canal. Some families dismantled their homes and reconstructed them near their new fields in Hurricane. The last residents moved away in 1945, although the pasture areas around the townsite continue to be grazed by cattle into the present day.

 

Grafton ghost town, south of Zion National Park, Utah, USA.

 

May 14, 2005 * Taken by Lorien

1,806 views
1 fave
3 comments
Taken on May 14, 2005