Tuesday, June 27, 2006
This past weekend was our annual ward Father and Sons Outing. This year the camp site was the Ghost Town of Iosepa, Utah. Iosepa is in Skull Valley, located in Tooele County. It is about an hour’s drive from our home.
Iosepa was a settlement of Hawaiian members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They came from Hawaii in 1889, in order to receive their Temple Ordinances. Iosepa is Hawaiian for Joseph, in honor of Joseph F. Smith, who was a friend to the Hawaiian Saints, and would eventually become president and prophet of the church.
The settlers worked for a church-owned corporation called the Iosepa Agriculture and Stock Company.
The land is very barren and desolate in Skull Valley. Not much water. Just a lot of sage brush and jack rabbits. – Oh, and let’s not forget the gnats and mosquitoes too! And a future home of a new high-level nuclear waste facility, if the Skull Valley Band of Goshute Indians has their way.
The Polynesian Saints scraped out a living as best they could from this barren land. They frequently received food subsidies from Salt Lake City. They continued until about 1917, when the Hawaiian Temple was nearing completion, when they returned back to their home in the islands.
There is nothing left of the town of Iosepa. There is still one working farm in the valley. The cemetery is the only reminder that Iosepa was there. A monument now looks over the cemetery, and the valley below.
It was here, next to the cemetery that our fathers and sons camp was located.
You can see more photos of Iosepa here.
Posted by David B.