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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Grafton





Grafton today





Alive and well.





Where on a starry night and in the middle of Summer you can dance with the descendants from this almost forgotten place of the American West.  

Really not forgotten because of a catchy little tune 
from the Movie "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid".  

The open space in front of the old schoolhouse was the perfect place to film the now famous bicycle ride scene.  











The marker announces "Killed by Indians April 2, 1866".







Gravestones are everywhere.  Mounds of graves, unmarked, are everywhere.  





I had the uneasy feeling that I was walking on their graves.  In fact, I fell over that stone in front of the enclosed gravesite.  






Too young to die.






It's a lovely valley.

 Brigham Young, the leader of the Mormon Church, sent his followers to this valley with the mandate to grow cotton. 















My Friend and every day walking partner Lynn has added this interesting note about this charming little house:


It was actually my great, great Grandfather who built this house.  My Grandfather was born and raised in Grafton.  One of the sweet things about the house is the detail in the brick, especially the foundation.  When they came to Grafton, of course it wasn't full of pastures and orchards as it is now, and I think he wanted something pretty for his wife in what must have seemed a God-forsaken place.  To have taken the extra time to make that brick detail seems a lovely thing to me.  






The house Lynn's great, great Grandfather built.  




There it is on the left. 









Many from the same family.





Repeated floods, Indian raids and famine finally drove out the last resident in 1945. 






And did you know that Zion National Park is just a half hour drive down the road?  

Wishing you a wonderful week. 

Gina 



10 comments:

  1. Dear Gina - so the little building was a school after all. I looked at it and thought of a school first, but then thought no, it is far too small.
    The rocks and terrain are really interesting colours for me to see as they are so unlike anything that I am familiar with.
    Were they successful at growing cotton? it looks as if it would have been hard work as the ground appears to be very arid.

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    1. Dear Rosemary, The Settlers soon realized that they needed all of the available and irrigated lands to grow food crops in order to survive. The arid and high plateaus were reserved for grazing cattle.
      We are lucky in that Utah is blessed with spectacular scenery in all directions.

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  2. Dear Gina,
    The life of early settlers on inhospitable land was so harsh as you remind us with this very informative and beautifully photographed post. I do feel lucky to walk on soil made more inviting by those who came before me
    and toiled endlessly in constant danger of losing property or life, again and again.
    Warm greetings, Sieglinde

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    Replies
    1. Dear Sieglinde, You are so right. Not only did the Settlers have to worry about the floods from the Virgin River but they also had to move to a nearby town, Rockville, to be safe from Indian raids. They worked their fields and cared for their animals during the day but retreated to the safety of the town at night.

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  3. Bonjour,

    Merci pour le partage de ce joli billet. Vos photos sont fantastiques... Je découvre un très joli site.

    Gros bisous ♡

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  4. Bonjour Martinealison, Maybe one day you can come for a visit and experience for yourself the beauty of the American West.
    Gros bisous, Gina

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  5. How easily one can forget historical stories like this one you have related today when we live with so many conveniences in such comfortable surroundings(that is, most of us...). It is very descriptive to have said it would be hard not to think of it as God-forsaken land. Pioneers really were sturdy and determined as your friend relates. As you said, the beauty around there is uncomparable and that must have been part of the draw to fight hard to make a go of it. The person who found that setting for the movie must have had a warm heart when it was the selected spot for such happy scenes in Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid! Who could forget those shenanigans on the bicycle?

    Mary in Oregon

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  6. Dear Mary, Exactly. How can one forget what you call the "shenanigans" on the bicycle. Having been there I noticed how irregular the ground was. I still ride my bicycle and know how difficult it would have been to perform all of those stunts. Apparently Newman did all of his stunts except the last one where he rides his bicycle backwards and falls into the fence.

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  7. I love the tombstones....some misplaced stone mason from Europe was sharing his passion for carving.

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    1. Dear Theresa, It's so nice to hear from you. I see that you are doing beautiful gold work.
      I was surprised to see that some of the tombstones were so well preserved, especially the one which was protected from the elements by being within the wooden enclosure.

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