Fruita Historic District

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205 Main St, Capitol Reef National Park, USA - (970) 243-3222

Fruita Historic District Capitol Reef National Park Reviews

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Fruita Historic District May 08, 2007
In the midst of the desert, the Fremont river has created an oasis. It is here that Mormon settlers established the town of Fruita in the 19th century, home to about 8 to 10 families in its heyday. They managed to make a successful living by farming and created the beautiful orchards that still (partially) stand until today and are protected and maintained by the National Park Service. There are peach trees, cherries, apricots, apple and when in season, picking fruit (for consumption on site) is allowed. The last resident of Fruita moved away in 1969 and, in addition to the orchards, some historical buildings (like Behunin cabin, the schoolhouse, a blacksmith's shop and the Gifford Farmhouse and barn) can still be seen. Behunin cabin (a good example of an early Mormon settlers home) and the schoolhouse are situated right on UT Highway 24, the highway to Capitol Reef NP,and you don't have to enter into the park to take a peek. Gifford Farmhouse is next to the campground.

Proof that the community of Fruita was thriving, the need was felt to construct a school. Only 8 to 10 families lived in Fruita, but Mormons traditionally had large families so in 1898, the one-room schoolhouse was built. Students of all ages were tought together in one classroom. The school was functional untill 1941 when a lack of students forced it to close. The building you see today has been restored and furnished to look like it did in the 1930's. It is situated right on Highway 24 (the road from Torrey to Hanksville) and can be visited without buying a ticket to the park.
View of Gifford farmhouse and barn.
Fruita historic schoolhouse.
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Fruita Historic District Map
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Capitol Reef National Park
photo by: mnico78