Capitol Reef
Cultural Landscape Report
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We would like to recognize a number of individuals who contributed to this study of historic Fruita and its landscape. During the 1980s, George E. Davidson, then the park's Chief of Interpretation and Information Services, alerted the park in the Cultural Resources Management Plan that a "historic scene enhancement plan" was needed to guide management in park planning. Davidson recognized the significance of and was an early advocate for Fruita's cultural landscape, urging management to consider how park development impacted the historic scene. In addition, the information on lifeways and land use that Davidson gathered during that period in oral interviews with past residents contributed to our understanding of the landscape. Davidson's appreciation for the history of Fruita and his ability to see the interpretive potential in its rural landscape was instrumental in developing the scope of this project. This cultural landscape study was conducted shortly before Davidson's retirement from his position as park management assistant and from the park service in 1993. His editing acumen and historical knowledge of Fruita and the surrounding region were indispensable during our research and writing of this report.

Superintendent Chuck Lundy's sincere interest in and enthusiastic support of this study, as well as the helpful attitude of his entire staff, made conducting our fieldwork at the park a real pleasure. Other park staff who assisted us include former Historian Brad Frye (now at Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area), who reviewed and commented on early report drafts. Former Chief of Resource Management and Science Norm Henderson coordinated our initial fieldwork and 1992 National Register of Historic Places evaluation of the landscape. During the cultural landscape report phase of the project, Henderson was reassigned to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Archeologist Lee Kreutzer became our main contact and technical reviewer. She was instrumental in coordinating our research activities at the park and in reviewing numerous drafts of this report. Her skilled editorial eye, knowledge of the resources, and perceptive comments greatly improved the quality of the final draft. For the excellent, detailed fold out map of the Fruita Rural Historic District included in this report, we thank the park's Geographic Information System specialist, Jennifer Norton.

Cora Oyler Smith, a resident of Fruita for over fifty years and now residing in Richfield, Utah, provided a wealth of historical information during an oral history interview conducted in May 1993. Her vivid memories and descriptions of life in the close-knit farming community of Fruita made the landscape truly come alive in our imaginations. We also appreciate the assistance of Treasure Recorder Loma Blackburn at the Wayne County Courthouse.

Finally, the authors of this study are most deeply indebted to the contribution of former Orchard Manager Kent Worthen Jackson. Jackson spent some of his childhood years assisting his father, Worthen, tending the orchards of Fruita for the park service. Shortly after completing a degree in archeology at Brigham Young University, Jackson returned to work for the park service in Fruita's orchards for twenty years. During our study, Jackson shared his intimate knowledge of the history of each orchard, made possible by his meticulous keeping of detailed orchard records, a practice begun in the 1960s by his father. His knowledge of the irrigation system and past management practices was also a significant contribution to the study. In addition to numerous informal interviews with Jackson held in 1992 and 1993 (when fieldwork for this report was conducted), a formal oral history interview was made with him in October 1995. Kent Jackson passed away at the age of 47 on November 5, 1995, leaving a living legacy of orchards to future generations. It is with gratitude for his contributions to the National Park Service and to his memory that we dedicate this report.

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Last Updated: 01-Apr-2003