Grafton is Listed on the National Register of Historic Places
The history of Grafton gives us many examples of dedication to hard work and sacrifice. The “Grafton Historic District” encompasses 62 acres of the historic town site settled in l862. Contributing cultural and natural resources include four residences, a schoolhouse, pastures and orchards, roads, fences, and a system of irrigation ditches and related walls. As well as five agricultural outbuildings (barns, granaries), and five visible foundations and many archeological sites. The buildings and features of Grafton have exceptional historic value in illustrating and interpreting the heritage of this community and are tangible reminders of people, events and ideas that have shaped its history. Abandoned in 1945, Grafton, is a unique example of a nineteenth century Mormon settlement that, except for natural decay, remains largely unchanged since its settlement period. The few remaining buildings have not been architecturally altered. The listing on the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places is intended to provide recognition and public awareness of a property’s significance’s at the local, state and national level. A major benefit of listing in the National Register is the availability of tax credits for qualified restoration work along with other financial incentives that are intended to encourage preservation of historic building. We are pleased to have finally accomplished this goal after many years of trying. The nomination is available on line at http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/research/index.htm
Cemetery Clean Up
In July, David G. Russell who is the great great grandson of Alonzo and Louisa Foster Russell brought his son and the Varsity Scout Troop 7360 from Bluffdale,Utah to cleanup the Grafton cemetery. There were ten 14-16 year olds and five dads.
The Virgin River forms Grafton’s northern boundary. The river tells an important natural history, especially as it relates to the town’s human history. It was the river that both gave life to and drove residents away from Grafton.
In December, the river flooded sections of pastures in Grafton leaving about 3 feet of sand. The flood tore down fences next to the river that needed to be repaired. The river also took over the field the Grafton Heritage Partnership owns on Highway 9. Now, when the water level is high the river runs down the middle of field. The schoolhouse and other remaining buildings are up on a terrace and safe from flooding. The river came to bottom of that terrace. Due to the damage from flooding Rockville’s residents that lived along the river requested the banks of the river be armored with rocks to protect their homes. Because it was declared a state and federal emergency the river banks in three areas were armored. County officials felt the terrace at Grafton did not need to be armored. A chimney on the Russell home collapsed and needed to be replaced.
Descendants of Grafton will hold their annual Grafton Reunion, September 24th, 2011 at the Grafton town site from 12-2:00 PM. Everyone is welcome. Bring your lunch, hat and chair and memories to share. We will have a display of historic Grafton pictures in the schoolhouse. The Grafton Heritage Partnership will have items to sell to raise funds for the Grafton Project such as books, pictures of Grafton and t-shirts. There will be a program and if you have any stories you would like to tell about Grafton or a song to sing, let us know and we will put you on the program.
We realize the vision of preserving Grafton’s buildings and landscape cannot be accomplished overnight, but requires our ongoing oversight and maintenance. Your donation allows us to move with our on going restoration plans for Grafton. Donations are gratefully received and tax deductible. You can donate with a credit card on our secure web page www.graftonheritage.org, Click on support us. There is a donation box at Grafton’s gate.
Grafton Heritage Partnership Project, PO 630184, Rockville, Utah 84763
Jane Whalen, President 435-635-2133 firstname.lastname@example.org, Jack Burns Vice President
Therese Feinauer, Secretary, www.graftonheritage.org