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During World War II, a Japanese internment camp was located in Utah. The Topaz War Relocation Center, located in Millard County, held more than 8,000 Japanese Americans who were forced to leave their homes on the West Coast.
Garfield County, UT, located in southern Utah, has a rich and diverse history that stretches back thousands of years. The region has been inhabited by Native American tribes for centuries, with the Paiute people being the predominant group. They lived off the land, hunting, gathering, and engaged in agriculture.

In the 19th century, European explorers, fur trappers, and missionaries began to venture into the area. During this time, a significant event was the infamous Mountain Meadows Massacre of 1857. A wagon train of emigrants passing through the area was attacked by a local militia and Native American allies, resulting in the deaths of over 120 men, women, and children.

Settlement in Garfield County began in the late 1860s and early 1870s with the establishment of several small communities, including Panguitch, Tropic, and Escalante. These early settlers were primarily Mormon pioneers, seeking to establish agricultural communities. They faced many challenges, including arid conditions and conflicts with Native American tribes, but gradually succeeded in building permanent settlements.

In the early 20th century, Garfield County became known for its scenic beauty and natural wonders. Bryce Canyon National Park, established in 1928, attracted visitors from around the world, contributing to the development of tourism in the area. Today, Garfield County continues to be a popular destination for outdoor recreation, with its stunning landscapes, hiking trails, and access to national parks and monuments.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Garfield County, Utah.

  • 1882 - Garfield County is established by the Utah Territorial Legislature.
  • 1892 - Bryce Canyon National Park is established, becoming a popular tourist destination in the county.
  • 1905 - Capitol Reef National Monument is established, preserving unique geological features.
  • 1937 - Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is established, protecting a large area of rugged landscape.
  • 1968 - Death of Everett Ruess, a well-known artist and explorer, in the Henry Mountains.
  • 1975 - The film "Planet of the Dinosaurs" is shot in Garfield County.
  • 1996 - President Bill Clinton designates the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
  • 2006 - The Kaiparowits Power Plant is proposed, sparking controversy and debate.