History of Fruita, Utah

A one-room schoolhouse built in 1896 and renovated by the National Park Service in 1966 served the Fruita community for nearly fifty years not only as a school but as a place to hold social events such as dances. At times it was also used as a place of worship and town hall. It needs to be mentioned here that Fruita never had more than ten families living there at any given time.

By the early 1930's word had gotten out about the beauty of the Capitol Reef area. Despite its extremely remote location and narrow access road, a few tourists began arriving changing forever the simple lifestile of its residents. In 1937 Fruita was absorbed into the newly created Capitol Reef National Monument. Decades later, in the 1950's, visitation to the monument increased and many old-time residents grasped the opportunity to cater to the visitors needs in order to supplement their income. Fruita was no longer isolated from the world. The frontier way of life was gone forever. The National Park Service essentially purchased Fruita and in 1971 created the Capitol Reef National Park. Today, all trees and remnants of Fruita are maintained by the NPS.

G. William Wiersdorf

See: George E. Davidson, Red Rock Eden; Rose Houk, Capitol Reef; The Spirit of Capitol Reef, Stephen Trimble.

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