The Gifford farm lies in the heart of the Fruita valley, a desert oasis described by Wallace Stegner as "...a sudden, intensely green little valley among the cliffs of the Waterpocket Fold, opulent with cherries, peaches, and apples in season, inhabited by a few families who were about equally good Mormons and good frontiersmen and good farmers."¹ The 200 acre Fruita Rural Historical District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Capitol Reef Natural History Association, in cooperation with the National Park Service, has renovated and refurnished the Gifford farmhouse as a cultural demonstration site to interpret the early Mormon settlement of the Fruita valley. The house depicts the typical spartan nature of rural Utah farm homes of the early 1900s. In addition to the farmhouse, the Gifford homestead includes a barn, smokehouse, garden, pasture, and rock walls. The former kitchen (a non-historic addition to the original house) has been converted into a Natural History Association sales outlet. Items for sale include reproduction utensils and household tools used by Mormon pioneers in their daily tasks. These unique handmade items are made by local artisans and craftsmen and include such things as butter churns, flour sifters, rag dolls, quilts, aprons, woven rugs, soap, crockery, candles and toys. A wide selection of books, historic postcards, jams, jellies and dried fruit, as well as locally baked fruit pies and homemade ice cream, are available.
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