In 1885, several families moved from the town of Cleveland, Utah to an area they called Desert Lake, and built a 500-foot (150 m) embankment dam to impound a 300-acre (1.2 km2) irrigation reservoir. In 1896, the dam broke, causing significant damage. The LDS Church provided $1000 to rebuild the dam, and also to extend a ditch to Cleveland.
The 1900 United States Census reported Desert Lake's population at 127. Six years after the Census was taken, in 1906, the Desert Lake area was surveyed. An LDS church, a general store, several frame homes, and a school were constructed. The general store also served as the town's post office.
A problem throughout the valley occurred as farmers irrigated land, which dropped the water table and caused alkali in the soil to rise. The alkaline soil eroded adobe structures and caused many crops to fail. As the alkali in the soil concentrated, the residents of Desert Lake moved about 6 miles (9.7 km) away and founded the town of Victor. A few log homes make up what's left of the town of Desert Lake.