Ghost Town: Iosepa - Tooele County

Discussion in 'Ghost Town Database' started by cruiseroutfit, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. cruiseroutfit

    cruiseroutfit Moderator & Supporting Member Supporter Contributor Registered

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    Site: Iosepa
    Years of Occupation: 1889-1917
    Status of Site: Open
    Classification:
    Remnants: Yes, a neat cemetery and memorial markers.
    GPS Coordinate: 40.542° N,112.733° W

    Iosepa_June_2013 (4) (Small).jpeg
    Townsite marker (Photo by Ryan Davis)

    If you haven't had the chance to wander into Utah's West Desert and visit Iosepa, do it.

    In 1889, Hawaiian immigrants and converts to the LDS church had been asked to move from their Salt Lake Valley homes to a to-be built city in Skull Valley, an hour west of Salt Lake. Its name would be Iosepa, the Hawaiian form of the name Joseph, named in honor of Joseph Fielding Smith of the LDS Church. For nearly 30 years the towns stalwart residents (many of which suffered from leprosy) worked to build homes, capture water for irrigation, grow crops, raise livestock all while battling the hardships of the desert. The town's citizens did a remarkable job with the scant resources they had to work with, setting up settlement so remarkable it was awarded the Utah state prize in 1911 for being the "Best kept and most progressive city in the state".

    Iosepa_June_2013 (1) (Small).jpeg
    Checking out the memorial marker (Photo by Ryan Davis)

    All that is left of this once prize city is the well adorned cemetery and a much newer pavilion used by the towns descendents for memorials and celebrations. Following the mass departure by the residents, the assets were sold off to a private ranching interest. In the follow years the towns streets and homes were slowly dismantled and eventually the town was plowed to flatten the fields for livestock.

    Iosepa_June_2013 (2) (Small).jpeg
    Iosepa time capsule (Photo by Ryan Davis)

    Some of the best Iosepa information on the web comes from our very own forum member, Bonniville Mariner (Clint T). Clint has done a fantastic job documenting the small lake created by damning the local spring waters. Kanaka Lake as it was later called, was used by the settlers for recreation and fishing opportunities. Clint recently proved that carp still occupy the lake, whether or not they are remnants of the original stock hasn't quite been proven. Check out Clint's site here: http://bonnevillemariner.wordpress.com/category/iosepa/

    Additional Reading:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iosepa,_Utah
    http://www.kued.org/productions/polynesian/history/
    http://www.ksl.com/?sid=27432550&ni...waiian-paradise&fm=home_page&s_cid=featured-3
    http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/ut/iosepa.html

    To Get There:
    Head west from Salt Lake City along Interstate 80 to exit 77, Skull Valley Rd. Head south on SR196 (Skull Valley Road) for approximately 14 miles. Watch for the Iosepa signs on the left (east) side of SR196 indicating the turnoff to the Iosepa cemetery. Follow the short gravel road to a small parking area adjacent to the cemetery. Alternatively you can reach the site from the south via Dugway or Rush Valley. Google Maps Link

    Iosepa_June_2013 (3) (Small).jpeg
    Iosepa Memorial (Photo by Ryan Davis)

    Iosepa_June_2013 (7) (Small).jpeg
    Hawaiian Figurine (Photo by Ryan Davis)

    Historical Photos courtesy of the Utah State Historical Society

    iosepa_1.jpg

    iosepa_4.jpg

    iosepa_10.jpg

    iosepa_9.jpg

    iosepa_15.jpg

    (See below for further historical photos)

    Feel free to post up any Iosepa stories or pictures you might have.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015
  2. Kevin B.

    Kevin B. Member Contributor Registered

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  3. cruiseroutfit

    cruiseroutfit Moderator & Supporting Member Supporter Contributor Registered

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  4. mistapuggs

    mistapuggs Administrator Contributor Registered

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    That was fun to stop by there Kurt, I'm glad we did. That neck of the woods can seem pretty nasty in the winter but I think it's beautiful country and honestly I could think of worse places to settle. It seems like you're 200 miles from civilization out there but in reality you're what, 30 minutes from about whatever you need. Cool stuff.
     
  5. cruiseroutfit

    cruiseroutfit Moderator & Supporting Member Supporter Contributor Registered

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    Updated with additional site information.
     
  6. cruiseroutfit

    cruiseroutfit Moderator & Supporting Member Supporter Contributor Registered

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  7. cruiseroutfit

    cruiseroutfit Moderator & Supporting Member Supporter Contributor Registered

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    Additional Historical Iosepa Photos courtesy of the Utah State Historical Society:

    iosepa_2.jpg

    iosepa_3.jpg

    iosepa_5.jpg

    iosepa_6.jpg

    iosepa_7.jpg

    iosepa_8.jpg

    iosepa_11.jpg

    iosepa_12.jpg

    iosepa_13.jpg

    iosepa_14.jpg
     

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