This summer’s increased temperatures have been a major factor in the wildfires consuming natural landscapes and structures alike out west. Although, it’s not the only side effect. In Utah, regions of the state continue to experience extreme drought leaving one large reservoir at a major low as a result. In fact, the drought has spawned the reappearance of a Utah ghost town as water levels continue to drop.
Droughts throughout the western state have seen the emergence of sunken automobiles and natural canyons alike. However, as Utah’s Rockport Reservoir suffers major drought, the pieces of the old town have begun to emerge from their watery depths. According to KSL.com, Rockport Reservoir currently sits at only 26% capacity.
The drought saw sections of the old small town emerging as the water levels dropped. Local authorities shared in the above video that the foundation of one of the town’s buildings typically emerges a lot, appearing at only 60% capacity. Although many of the other rundown structures emerge a lot less frequently. The official continued, sharing that he hopes the reservoir seeing levels this low will be eye-opening for people.
Further, because of the low water level, state park officials have closed the main boat ramp, taking place as early as the beginning of this summer. However, authorities have continued to allow small boats and craft to utilize the lake. Although they’ve emphasized recreationists should do so “at [their] own risk.”
Explore the Drought-Stricken Reservoir Housing Ghost Town of Rockport
Nevertheless, the drought has revealed a major piece of history for the Utah region. The town which previously lay beneath Rockport Reservoir’s waters underwent several name changes. Prior to the construction of the reservoir in the 1950s, Rockport initially saw settlement European-American settlers in the 1860s. Prior to Rockport, the small town, which probably housed about 200 individuals at max, was known as Crandall and Enoch City, among others.
Later, during the Black Hawk War, the settlers abandoned the town. Although they returned several years later according to KSL and transformed the settlement into a fort, thus giving the town the name Rock Fort.
Additionally, local historians said about 27 families previously occupied the Utah town. While the settlement saw much change throughout the later 19th century, the Wanship Dam project saw approval in 1952. Later, the land which Rockport occupied was purchased by the federal government. However, before officially submerging the area, authorities relocated several of the town’s structures for preservation purposes. The Rockport Schoolhouse and the Rockport Coop were then moved to Pioneer Village at Lagoon Amusement Park.
Officials also saw the relocation of one of the town’s chapels. The structure now resides in Rockport State Park campgrounds.
1957 saw the submersion of the rest of the town of Rockport. However, apparently, as drought worsens, the town has not completely disappeared.