Desert Lake, Utah

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Desert Lake, Utah
Ghost town
Desert Lake is located in Utah
Desert Lake
Desert Lake
Desert Lake is located in the US
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.