Leaving Nevada behind for the moment, Devin and I turned our wheels toward St. George, Utah where we stayed with one of my dear friends from college, Andrea and her cute little family. After crashing at her place for the evening, Devin and I made some plans for what we wanted to check out.
The ghost town of Grafton was on my list of places to visit, so that is where we decided to head. On our way there, we passed through the town of Virgin where we saw this roadside tourist attraction we thought looked fun to check out.
The inside of the “fort” has a souvenir shop full of everything from rattlesnake heads and jewelry, to weapons and pottery. There was also a petting zoo with Alpacas, sheep, ponies, and a donkey. Around the petting zoo there are buildings that look like an old west town from a Tim Burton movie. They were pretty cute.
Virgin Trading Post
In 1847, Brigham Young and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints arrived in the Utah Territory after fleeing religious persecution. This was one of many settlements set up along the Virgin River to grow cotton. In 1862, a raging flood destroyed the tiny town, but the pioneers would rebuild.
Grafton would experience plenty of difficult times, with limited land, and repeated flooding. The men of Grafton helped build a canal to deliver Virgin River water to a wide bench 20 miles downstream. When the Hurricane Canal was finished in 1906, many Grafton families packed everything, some even their houses and moved to Hurricane. Lacking in electricity, drinkable water, and children to keep the school open, Grafton gradually became the ghost town it is today. The last resident left in 1945.
Ghost Town of Grafton, Utah
On our way back to St. George, and just outside of Grafton, we stopped to take some photos of a cool little outdoor gallery someone had set up along the dirt road and barbed wire fence.