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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended November 10, 2000
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 10Nov00

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 Wildlife Foundation.

"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


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