Dewey Gifford calls Fruita “paradise” as he remembers his time farming and ranching in the area from 1928 to 1969. He describes growing apples, peaches, and pears in the orchards while his children attended school at the Fruita Schoolhouse. Gifford lived in what is now the Historic Gifford Homestead.
Being a new teacher at the Fruita schoolhouse wasn’t always easy, as Janice Oldroyd Torgerson reflects on her year teaching in 1934. She was paid $57 a month and moved from her home in Lyman, to live at ‘Tine Olyer’s home. Torgerson describes pranks by her students as well as moonlit walks among the Fruita cliffs.
Rick Pickyavit narrates the story of the ancient Fremont Culture who farmed among the canyons and Fremont River of the Waterpocket Fold. Park visitors can interpret the stories depicted by these people by viewing the petroglyph panel along Utah Highway 24. From bighorn sheep to trapezoid-shaped human figures, these petroglyphs describe the lifestyle and culture of the Fremont Culture.