A great side trip for the whole family just a short drive outside of Zion National Park lies the ghost town of Grafton Utah. A perfect escape from the crowds and commotion at Zion National Park.
The town was first settled by five Mormon families in 1859 to grow cotton. In 1862 flooding destroyed the original town site which was located one mile downstream and subsequently resettled to it’s present location. Today the site is maintained by the Grafton Heritage Partnership with several buildings standing in various stages of restoration.
The Schoolhouse/Church was built in 1886, it was used as a school, church, meeting house and community center. The building hosted friday night dances drawing cowboys from far out on the Arizona Strip. Classes were held in the building until 1919.
The Alonzo Russell Home was built around 1862 and occupied by Alonzo until his death in 1910. His son Frank purchased the house for $200 and a cow. The last residents moved out in 1945.
The Louisa Marie Russell Home was built by Alonzo for his wife between 1873 and 1879.
The John and Ellen Wood Home was built in 1877.
In 1947 the Ruby Rose Cabin was moved from Beaver, Utah to the Sarah and William Hastings Dugout for the movie Ramrod.
The Grafton Cemetery is located about 1/2 mile south of the town site.
To get to Grafton from Springdale, head west on Utah Route 9 toward the town of Rockville. Keep an eye out for Bridge Road on the south side of the road. Take Bridge Rd across an old single lane bridge that crosses the Virgin River. Turn right on Grafton Rd (250 S) and follow the signs for about 3 miles. You will reach the Grafton Cemetery on your left before arriving at the town site. Note that the pavement ends and becomes a dirt/gravel road. Along the way there are signs posted to drive slow and be considerate to keep the dust to a minimum.