The decade of the 1970s brought dramatic changes to Ferron as it did to other Emery County communities. The completion in 1971 of the Mill Site Dam and Reservoir at the mouth of Ferron Canyon not only improved the water supply for agriculture and domestic purposes but also made water available for the Hunter Power Plant, several miles to the northeast. Construction of the Hunter plant, together with the development of coal mining operations to fuel its three massive steam-electric generating units, brought a tripling of Ferron's population between 1970 and 1980 to a peak of more than 2,000 people. The Mill Site project also had important recreational benefits, including fishing and boating facilities at the lake and the construction nearby of Emery County's only golf course, with greens and fairways winding picturesquely among Mancos Shale cliffs and pinnacles.
See: Emery County Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Castle Valley: A History of Emery County (1949); Allan Kent Powell, Emery County: Reflections on Its Past and Future (1979); Emery County Historical Society, Emery County 1880-1980 (1981); Lowry Nelson, "Boyhood in a Mormon Village," in In the Direction of His Dreams: Memoirs (1985).
Edward A. Geary