As a part of the National Park Service's mission to protect and interpret its resources, it is important to make valuable, historical information readily available. To further that goal, I am pleased to present this volume in our occasional series of publications on the Intermountain Region's past.
This report, prepared by Historical Landscape Architect Cathy Gilbert (Pacific West Region) and Historian Kathy McKoy (Intermountain Region), provides detailed historical information encompassing more than 100 years of continuous agricultural use of the river-bottom lands of Fruita. Once a small, remote farming community of Mormon settlers and their descendants, the valley became regionally famous for its cultivation of privately-maintained fruit orchards through the 1950s. Acquired by the National Park Service during the 1960s, Fruita's estimated 2,500 fruit trees (primarily cherry, apricot, apple, and peach) continue to be maintained and fruit made available to park visitors on a pick-your-own basis.
Fruita is an excellent example of a historic vernacular landscape, one which illustrates peoples' values and attitudes toward the land and reflects patterns of settlement, use, and development over time. This study recognizes and describes the complex nature of Fruita's cultural landscape and the landscape's inherently dynamic nature. It documents the features, values, and associations that contribute to this particular landscape's historic significance. The research, documentation, and analysis of changes which have taken place in Fruita over the last century provides a basis for recommendations that will assist the park to achieve the goal of sensitive and appropriate management of the important historic resources encompassed by the boundaries of the Fruita Rural Historic District.
John E. Cook
Mission: As the Nation's principal conservation agency, the Department of the Interior has responsibility for most of our nationally-owned public lands and natural and cultural resources. This includes fostering wise use of our land and water resources, protecting our fish and wildlife, preserving the environmental and cultural values of our national parks and historical places, and providing for the enjoyment of life through outdoor recreation. The Department assesses our energy and mineral resources and works to assure that their development is in the best interests of all our people. The Department also promotes the goals of the Take Pride in America campaign by encouraging stewardship and citizen responsibility for the public lands and promoting citizen participation in their care. The Department also has a major responsibility for American Indian reservation communities and for people who live in Island Territories under U.S. Administration. NPS-D63, September, 1997.
Last Updated: 01-Apr-2003