In April 2018, me and a good friend of mine flew into Vegas. Over a 10 day period, we visited 6 national parks, drove 2800 miles and discovered many cemeteries along the way.
One of our stops was Zion National Park. We arrived during a rainy spell and for the next hour, bared witness to the rarely seen waterfalls in the park. Since the day was cold and dreary, we decided to explore the area.
It was in Rockville, where we spied a tiny sign with an arrow that said “Grafton”… Of course, our only option was to follow the signs, which lead us down a residential road and across an old bridge onto another barren dirt road.
As we made our way down the road, there were many postings warning of flash floods and be aware of the weather.
THE HISTORY LESSON: Located along the Virgin River, Grafton was a cotton growing community established in 1859. The area is prone to flooding which is documented by the numerous flash flood signs as you head to the townsite. Because of the difficulties with farming, Graphton also developed cattle ranching as a principal industry for the area.
This town has been abandoned twice. Once in 1866 and finally in 1945.
The cemetery was used between 1862 and 1924 and has an estimated 74 to 84 graves. Many with headstones are missing. The cemetery also includes the graves of southern piaute who were friends of the Grafton settlement.
In 1886 Diphtheria and scarlet fever were rampant in Grafton and took many lives.
2/15/1866 Loretta A. Russel and Elizabeth H. Woodbury died when their swing broke. This is discussed at the cemetery as well as at the townsite. They even have a broken swing at one of the houses. *unsettling*
The townsite is now protected and maintained by the Grafton Heritage partnership project.
Old Arizona was filmed here. This was the first talking outdoor movie ever filmed.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was filmed here.