The 1950 census found 1,442 residents in the Huntington precinct. The population fell by one-third in the next ten years as mining jobs disappeared. This economic decline was reversed in 1972 when construction began on Utah Power and Light Company's Huntington steam-electric generating plant in the mouth of the canyon. The construction plus development of coal-mining operations to supply the plant gave the town the character of an energy boom town for a few years. Industrial development not only enabled some former residents to return to the community but also attracted new permanent residents, bringing more diversity to the town's former character as a Mormon farm village. While the community is still predominantly Mormon, the Mission San Rafael was established in 1977 a few miles south of Huntington to serve Catholic families in western Emery County. Baptist, Assembly of God, and nondenominational Protestant religious services have also been held in the community. The 1990 population of Huntington was 1,875.
See: Allan Kent Powell, Emery County: Reflections on Its Past and Future (1979); Emery County Historical Society, Emery County, 1880-1980 (1981); Edward A. Geary, "The Town on the Prickly Pear Flat: Community Development in Castle Valley," in Jessie L. Embry and Howard A. Christy, Community Development in the American West (1985).
Edward A. Geary