A group of families established the town of Clifton near the junction of the Paria River and Henrieville Creek, in 1874. Ebenezer Bryce and his family arrived in Clifton in 1875, but soon moved upstream to Henderson Valley (New Clifton). Ebenezer helped to complete a seven mile irrigation ditch from Paria Creek. Bryce built a road into the pink cliffs to make timber more accessible. People started to call the amphitheater where the road terminated, “Bryce’s Canyon.” Ebenezer Bryce and his family moved to Arizona in 1880, but the Bryce’s Canyon name stuck.
Clifton was abandoned in 1877. Families founded Cannonville, a mile upstream and Henrieville, five miles east of Cannonville.
In 1890 and 1891, a ditch was dug to divert water from the East Fork of the Sevier River, over the east rim of the Paunsaugunt Plateau and 1500 feet down in the valley. The town of Tropic was laid out in 1891.