History of Grafton, Utah

Grafton (Washington) is located about two miles southwest of the town of Rockville on the south side of the nearby Virgin River. The west entrance to Zion National Park is only 4 miles to the east. The settlement was established in 1859 by Nathan C. Tenney and others from Virgin. The fertil Virgin River valley provided opportunity for the early settlers to grow cotton. However, Indian raids and continuous flooding discouraged many. Although the town thrived for some time, people began to move to safer places and by 1921 Grafton had become a ghost town. Inscriptions on headstones at the nearby cemetery give credence to the settlers suffering. The earlies burial date is 09/05/1862 and the latest is 09/01/1924.

Today several buildings remain. A two-story home and a small adobe meeting house built in 1886 served as church, local school, and social hall, have been restored. Other nearby buildings are left untouched to age gracefully.

"Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (1969) and "The Electric Hoseman" (1979) were partly filmed in this area.

G. William Wiersdorf

See: Utah Place Names 1997, John W. Van Cott; Grafton; The American Southwest; Waymark.

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