Before you enter the Grafton Ghost Town, make sure that you have stopped and spent time in the Grafton Cemetery. Our Grafton Cemetery post (here) will give you detailed directions on how to get to Grafton, Utah.
Grafton is a pioneer town from the mid 1800s. Settled in 1859 by a group of Mormon Pioneers, it became home to over 100 residents who settled in this area to become a town of community and faith. They began to harvest cotton and became so focused on such that they neglected to grow enough of the other crops, such as corn, to feed their families. The town of Grafton resides alongside the Virgin River. The river caused the town quite a few problems in 1862 when a raging flood nearly devastated the entire town. The Grafton Heritage Partnership Project has done a wonderful job converting this town in to an educational Ghost Town. They have some very informative brochures and signage as you visit the existing structures. There is also a donation box on site that I urge you to add a few dollars to. I’m a huge advocate of maintaining glimpses in to our history and beginnings; it is incredibly important to all our posterity!
There are only a few structures that remain, which are highlighted on the map above. Please be courteous of these buildings and treat them with respect. We want to keep these around for years to come!
The schoolhouse below was also used as the local church. Peek in the windows to see signage with more information.
This home and the school were built with bricks made from CLAY!! That is a lot of work!! Make sure the kids get up close to see these. This area is also home to a lot of movies! Movies such as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, as well as The Arizona Kid were filmed here.
It is always fun to visit pioneer homes with my hubby. He is 6′ 7″ and barely fits in any of the homes. As you can see below, my 7 year old daughter looks like this home was built just for her!
As I warn in my cemetery post, you will not want to travel to Grafton shortly after a rain, or during a rain storm. The roads are all dirt and quickly turn in to mud. We couldn’t travel beyond the schoolhouse due to the conditions of the road. This was 1-2 days after a rainstorm. There is also a large hill on the way to Grafton that warns it may become impassible when wet. PLEASE take caution and check the weather before you head out, especially if you are not in a 4-wheel drive vehicle. Even with slightly wet and mud-packed roads, our minivan did fine with the exception of the road below. We didn’t even attempt this after a truck came through and said he nearly got stuck.
I’m a sucker for history. I love visiting old towns and reading about those that settled it. There aren’t a ton of homes you can visit the inside of, but you could make an afternoon of this and pack a lunch. Be prepared to have the history of the town with you (much of which can be found on the signs and in the brochure). The stories will make this site come alive. On my cemetery post (here), there are links to historical accounts given in the first-hand by those that experienced. Much worth the printing of the story to bring with you to read aloud to the family!