located at the confluence of the Fremont River and Sulphur Creek, Wayne
County, was settled in the latter part of the 1870's and 1880's
by a few stout LDS pioneers. The first settler is thought to have been
Franklin W. Young in 1884, a squatter. Nels Johnson, however, seems
to be the first landholder of record to actually stake his homestead.
the name of the town was called Junction, because of its location between
the two rivers. In order to avoid confusion between it and several other
towns by the same name, it was changed to Fruita in 1904.
to the life-giving water supply of the Fremont River, early pioneers
soon discovered that they could raise crops such as alfalfa, various
vegetables and sorghum, a tropical cereal grass used for molasses and
syrup. Fruit trees by the thousands, planted below the spectacular cliffs
of the Waterpocket Fold by the early settlers, still thrive in the good
soil of the bottom land. Franklin W. Young refered to Fruita as the
"Eden of Wayne County". A thousand years ealier the Fremont indians, whose petroglyphs are found in the area, relied on the same river to irrigate their crops.
to 1904, a spectacular cottonwood tree, still alive and doing well,
served as the "Post Office",
a shady place to congregate and anxiously await the arrival of the mail.