Desert Lake, Utah

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Desert Lake
Ghost town
Desert Lake is located in Utah
Desert Lake
Desert Lake
Location of Desert Lake in Utah
Coordinates: 39°22′24″N 110°46′57″W / 39.37333°N 110.78250°W / 39.37333; -110.78250Coordinates: 39°22′24″N 110°46′57″W / 39.37333°N 110.78250°W / 39.37333; -110.78250
Country United States
State Utah
County Emery
Founded 1885
Abandoned 1910
Elevation[1] 5,577 ft (1,700 m)
GNIS feature ID 1427348[1]

Desert Lake is a ghost town in Emery County, Utah, United States. It was inhabited from 1885 to about 1910.[2]


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.[3] In 1896, the dam broke, causing significant damage.[2] The LDS Church provided $1000 to rebuild the dam, and also to extend a ditch to Cleveland.[3]

The 1900 United States Census reported Desert Lake's population at 127.[4] 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.[5]

A problem throughout the valley occurred as farmers irrigated land, which dropped the water table and caused alkali in the soil to rise.[3] The alkaline soil eroded adobe structures and caused many crops to fail.[3] 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.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Desert Lake
  2. ^ a b Thompson, George A. (1988). Some Dreams Die: Utah's Ghost Towns and Lost Treasures. Salt Lake City, Utah: Dream Garden Press. pp. 111 – 112. ISBN 0-942688-01-5. 
  3. ^ a b c d Taniguchi, Nancy J. (2004). Castle Valley, America: hard land, hard-won home. Logan, Utah: Utah State University Press. p. 113. ISBN 0-87421-589-7. 
  4. ^ Geary, Edward A. (1996). A History of Emery County. Salt Lake City, Utah: Utah State Historical Society. p. 115. ISBN 0-913738-05-0. 
  5. ^ a b Carr, Stephen L. (1986) [1972]. The Historical Guide to Utah Ghost Towns. Salt Lake City, Utah: Western Epics. p. 85. ISBN 978-0-914740-30-8.