Mulberry Tree at John And Ellen Wood’s Home in Grafton
The mulberry trees have a long history in Utah, returning to the days of Brigham Young and his vision of a self-reliant community. He brought silkworm eggs and mulberry seeds from France and encouraged the settlers to grow them for silk production. In Grafton, people planted mulberry trees and harvested the cocoons of the silkworms that fed on their leaves.
According to Lyman Platt’s book Ghost Town of Rio Virgin, in about 1874, silk production became prevalent in Grafton. Brigham Young sent silkworm eggs to Grafton, and mulberry trees were planted, on whose leaves the silkworms fed. However, cotton, and silk production lasted only a few years; the settlers grew food instead to survive.
The story of the mulberry trees in Rockville is a fascinating one. In 1940, Rockville’s main street was lined with mulberry trees that provided food for birds, shade, and fruit. But the state wanted to make the road wider and decided to chop down the trees. However, Mrs. Warren Hirchi was not happy about this. She loved her trees and did not want to see them go. She climbed up one of the trees and refused to come down. The workers left, but they came back later. Unfortunately, she could not stop the inevitable. The state cut down mulberry trees and replaced them with new ones that did not bear fruit.
Today, you can still see some of the original mulberry trees along Grafton Road. They are part of Grafton’s history and heritage. We want to honor that by planting more of them in Grafton.
Butch Cassidy 10K/5K Run
Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023 @9am.
The Town of Springdale will hold the Butch Cassidy 10k/5k run, the best race that Southern Utah has to offer. Run from Springdale to Grafton and participate in this great tradition in Zion Canyon! They will include everything people love about the race, the “Catch Butch” competition, the selfie contest, Butch Cassidy look-alike, the poker hand, and some fabulous prizes. Proceeds benefit the Grafton Project.
For more information, go to the Town of Springdale’s web page.
You’re Invited Grafton Reunion
September 23. 2023, 11-2 pm
The Grafton Reunion, a family tradition since 1961, will take place on September 23, 2023, west of the Russell Home near the cottonwood trees. The reunion celebrates the history and heritage of the Town of Grafton and its residents. All are welcome to join the festivities. In case of rain, the reunion will be moved to the Rockville Recreation Center on Main Street in Rockville.
Everyone is encouraged to bring their picnic lunch and lawn chairs. Rather than having a formal program, they are encouraging everyone to spend the time enjoying the sights, socializing, and getting better acquainted. They will have some relaxing old-time musical numbers — and anyone else who would like to bring their instruments and play a tune is welcome. Also, anyone interested in setting up a display related to Grafton, its inhabitants, or pioneer living is highly encouraged.
The Grafton Heritage Partnership will have t-shirts, books, and pictures for sale. If you have any Grafton pictures pre-1980, we would love a copy.