By Kent Larsen
Trust Buys Historic Mormon Town to Protect It From Development
GRAFTON, UTAH -- The Grafton Heritage Partnership has saved the
historic Mormon ghost town of Grafton, Utah, spending $1.35 million
to purchase the town and conservation easements on surrounding land.
The town's few remaining buildings may be familiar to those that have
seen the movie "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," which was filmed
in the town in 1969.
Grafton, on the banks of the Virgin river, was settled by Mormon
pioneers in 1859. By the 1960s, it was a ghost town, and was used as
a filming location for the 1969 movie "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance
Kid." At that time, the six remaining buildings in the town were
still in good shape.
However, since then, the buildings have deteriorated, and in 1997, 18
conservation groups joined together to form the Grafton Heritage
Partnership, to save the scenic ghost town. The partnership restored
the historic schoolhouse in town, while working with two local
property owners, former residents and descendants to preserve the
entire area surrounding the town.
The purchase is also the first involving the environmental agency,
the Grand Canyon Trust, which is dedicated to protecting and
restoring the canyon country of the Colorado Plateau. Also involved
in the project are local historical societies, the Virgin River Land
Preservation Association, the Utah Quality Growth Commission, the
Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, and National Fish and
"Our family is very interested in preserving Grafton," said St.
George resident LuWayne Wood, whose great grandfathers Wood and
Hastings settled here. "To preserve the roots is tremendous."
Grafton Heritage Partnership Celebrates Purchase of Historic Ghost Town of Grafton, Utah
Grand Canyon Trust Press Release 9Nov00 D6