IOSEPA, Skull Valley UT – 16 FEB 2012

While leaving Dugway, I again drove past the Palm tree sign for Iosepa, this time I had to see what was left of the ghost town.
Iosepa is the Hawaiian word for Joseph (as in Joseph F. Smith 6th President of the LDS church).

All that remains is a grave yard about a half mile northeast of the original town, of which no traces remain.
Every Memorial Day weekend, the descendants of the original pioneers, gather at the grave site, to honor those who came before…holding a giant luau with traditional Polynesian entertainment. The Iosepa Historical Association build a pavilion, kitchen, water well, bathrooms and changing room to accommodate the gathering which draws over 1,500 people.
Historic marker seems to sugar-coat the demise…in the Honolulu Magazine (Nov. 2008), they state the LDS church asked the inhabitants to relocate back to Hawaii to assist with the construction of a temple there…not everyone was please to leave…at least two family remained behind. But the town site was sold to the Deseret Livestock Company (owned by the church) forcing the hold outs to relocate to the Salt Lake area.
View more of my cemetery art: MvAdler on Flickr