Ghost Town: Clarion, Sanpete County, Utah

Discussion in 'Ghost Town Database' started by Skylinerider, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. Skylinerider

    Skylinerider Moderator & Supporting Member Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    1,207
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    42
    Occupation:
    IT manager
    Location:
    Ephraim, UT
    Home Page:
    Site: Clarion
    Alternate Names: Sample or N/A
    County, State: Sanpete County, Utah
    Years of Occupation: 1911-1930's
    Status of Site: Open
    Classification: Class 2 - Neglected Town
    Type: Agriculture
    Remnants: Foundations and cemetery
    GPS Coordinate: 39°07′20 N 111°53′11 W
    NRHP Reference#: N/A
    Date of Last Visit: 11/19/2013
    A group of Jewish Americans from New York and Philidelphia settled at Clarion, a few miles southwest of Gunnison. The group was led by Benjamin Brown, a Jewish Socialist. His idea was to colonize vacant land in the west with Jewish immigrants. In 1911 Brown bought 6,085 acres from the state of Utah at a price of $11.20 an acre. He also purchased water rights at $35 a share. The going was difficult at Clarion almost from the start. Only one was a farmer, the others were weavers, machinists, and other various occupations, not well suited to scraping a living from the land. Rifts both in the community of Clarion and with the local Mormon population also had a hand in the abandonment of Clarion. Wealthy philanthropists paid to transport the colonists to California. Only two remained in Utah, Brown who became a wealthy poultry grower and founder of the Utah Poultry Grower's Assoc. and Maurice Warshaw who became founder of the Grand Central retail chain. Source:The Other 49ers: A topical history of Sanpete County - Sanpete County Commission

    Further Reading:
    Robert Alan Goldberg, Back to the Soil: The Jewish Farmers of Clarion, Utah, and Their World (1986)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarion,_Utah
    http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/ut/clarion.html
    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/...tlement-lives-on-in-Jewish-hearts.html?pg=all
    http://thecowlocale.com/2012/12/18/revitalizing-a-ghost-town/

    Directions to Get There: N/A
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 3, 2015
  2. LiveRust

    LiveRust Member Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    22
    Ghost Town: Clarion, UT

    Site: Clarion, UT
    County/State: Sanpete County, 5 miles South West of Gunnison, Utah
    Occupation: 1911-1935
    Status: Open
    Classification: Class 1 - Barren Town
    Type: Agricultural
    Remnants: Foundations, cistern,
    Date of Last Visit: 2012

    Clarion was established as an agricultural community by a group of Jewish people of Russian decent from Philadelphia and New York in 1911. There was a large movement at that time among Jewish communities throughout the world to improve the Jewish culture through "getting back to the soil". Jewish people had been increasingly settling in large cities and it was believed that if there was an effort to encourage movement towards agricultural communities that it would improve Jewish self-confidence, destroy anti-sematic stereotypes, and encourage self-sufficiency. In addition to Clarion there were some 40 other such settlements in Argentina, Canada and Israel. Jewish investors from New York as well as Jewish Businessmen in Salt Lake City helped fund the purchase of property in Sanpete. In 1911 there were 23 families in Clarion. By 1912 there were 150 families in the community. There were two difficulties faced by the Jewish settlers. They had very little experience with farming, and there was little available water. Following a period of drought and poor production the settlement was foreclosed upon in 1915. Most of the Jewish families left at that time. Some remained behind to try to make it work. There was another influx of Japanese settlers who purchased some of the vacated farms, as well as some local citizens. One such family from nearby Manti Utah sold what property they owned in Manti to buy property in Clarion in the early 1920's. They were Ed and Hannah DeMill and their children. By 1925 the population of Clarion had grown enough that the Clarion Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was organized. Ed and Hannah had a baby boy born to them in Clarion in 1927 who they named Donald DeMill, my father. By 1932 there were 166 members of the Clarion Ward. My aunt wrote about going to school in Clarion where they had a two room school house. Grades 1-4 in one room and grades 5-7 in the other. Students of older grades were bussed to Gunnison to school.
    They attempted to build a cistern in Clarion that evidently failed. Families in Clarion had to travel to Gunnison or nearby Centerfield to get drinking water and transport it back to Clarion.
    Drought continued to plaque the settlement of Clarion and following a court settlement in which Clarion lost their rights to water from the State Canal to the town of Delta, most of the residents moved on. In 1934 the Clarion Ward was dissolved. Ed and Hannah DeMill moved into their mother's home back in Manti. Don DeMill's brother hauled the DeMill home from Clarion to Gunnision. With the internment of Japanese citizens during WWII, most of the Japanese families were removed from Clarion as well. Some of these Japanese farmers returned after the war and continue farming near Clarion today.

    Additional Reading about Clarion: Back To The Soil, by Robert Goldberg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 2, 2013
  3. cruiseroutfit

    cruiseroutfit Moderator & Supporting Member Supporter Contributor Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Messages:
    14,606
    Likes Received:
    594
    Trophy Points:
    117
    :cool:

    Really dig your family connection too!
     
  4. lordhelmet

    lordhelmet Member Contributor Registered

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2009
    Messages:
    1,005
    Likes Received:
    26
    Trophy Points:
    52
    Location:
    Cache County
    Nice, thanks
     
  5. Taco Blonco

    Taco Blonco Member Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    12
    Location:
    Ephraim
    I have heard of this ghost town before. and have been meaning to go visit it.
    I had no idea you had family that lived there. That is very cool Troy.
    I always wondered how your family got started down here.
     
  6. Taco Blonco

    Taco Blonco Member Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    12
    Location:
    Ephraim
    A little more info on Clarion i ran across.

    Clarion was four miles west of Centerfield and five miles southwest of Gunnison on the west side of the Sevier River. In August 1911, the Jewish Agricultural and Colonial Association of Philadelphia purchased six thousand acres of land from the Utah State Land Board. The Jewish association dispatched an engineer and an advance party of twelve men (some with families) to survey the area and prepare the ground for homes and crops. Homes, a church, and a school were built, followed by a canal, then a post office in 1915. After six years of crop failures, the colony was declared bankrupt in 1917. The soil was alkaline and inappropriate for intensive cultivation, so the settlers gradually dispensed. Japanese families then moved into the area in 1921, but World War II disrupted their settlement and the land reverted to the local citizens. Most of the foreign residents of Clarion were gone by 1934.
     
  7. Taco Blonco

    Taco Blonco Member Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    12
    Location:
    Ephraim
  8. LiveRust

    LiveRust Member Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    22

    we usually find a few pieces of broken dishes when we visit. It's the running joke to tease my dad about catching crap when he broke it as a kid. We don't know which foundation was their home. There is a ravine that people have dumped things in there too. My guess is most of the garbage in the dump is post Clarion days.
     
  9. Skylinerider

    Skylinerider Moderator & Supporting Member Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    1,207
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    42
    Occupation:
    IT manager
    Location:
    Ephraim, UT
    Home Page:
    So when are we gonna head out there? I haven't used my metal detector in a while.
     
  10. cruiseroutfit

    cruiseroutfit Moderator & Supporting Member Supporter Contributor Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Messages:
    14,606
    Likes Received:
    594
    Trophy Points:
    117
    x2. Need to get to know mine better.
     
  11. bad luck

    bad luck Member Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    22
    Location:
    Moab
    History is fascinating, I didn't know that Jewish people worldwide were trying to get back to the land in the early twentieth century. But Israel was not created back then, so did they just settle in their ancient homeland, with hostile Muslims all around? Thanks for the information, ghost towns always have an interesting history.
     
  12. Skylinerider

    Skylinerider Moderator & Supporting Member Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    1,207
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    42
    Occupation:
    IT manager
    Location:
    Ephraim, UT
    Home Page:
    Here's some photos from a recent drive out there last week. You really have to be watching for these ruins or you will drive right past them.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. cruiseroutfit

    cruiseroutfit Moderator & Supporting Member Supporter Contributor Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Messages:
    14,606
    Likes Received:
    594
    Trophy Points:
    117
    Thanks for the update Curt!
     
  14. Skylinerider

    Skylinerider Moderator & Supporting Member Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    1,207
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    42
    Occupation:
    IT manager
    Location:
    Ephraim, UT
    Home Page:
  15. TroyDeMill

    TroyDeMill Member Registered

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2015
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    12
    came across a few photos of early Clarion I thought I'd add
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Kevin B.

    Kevin B. Member Contributor Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    1,407
    Likes Received:
    163
    Trophy Points:
    67
    Location:
    Magna, UT
    Way cool.
     
  17. cruiseroutfit

    cruiseroutfit Moderator & Supporting Member Supporter Contributor Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Messages:
    14,606
    Likes Received:
    594
    Trophy Points:
    117
    Very cool, thanks Troy!
     

Share This Page