Mill Fork Cemetery

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When my Grandma passed I started listing her along with other ancestors on Find A Grave. I knew from her paperwork, where loved ones resting area’s were and had made many a visits to the grave sites. I started off with her little Brother Raymond F. Durbin Jr., who died at a young age 10 months old in Sept 21, 1929 and her Grand Father Fredrick Augustus Durbin, who passed when she was only a couple months old in December 23, 1926. It was less than 100 years since their deaths and I had visited their sites several times. Unknown to me though was that those documents didn’t get properly recorded, were lost and I had a lot of digging to verify their resting sites. This made me realize how easy it is for people to be forgotten and lost. That was when I started volunteering for Find a Grave, and other important Genealogical organizations.

This cemetery I pass by several times each year on US 6 between Spanish Fork and Helper Utah. It is in a remote area, on a very narrow road. This last winter I decided to look up the Cemetery see what it was all about. It looks deserted, but that is far from the case. And the history of Mill Fork was amazing. During 1875-1879 the Utah and Pleasant Valley Railroad who were formally known as the Denver and Rio Grande Western began builing through Spanish Fork Canyon. There were three sawmills built at Mill For to help with the construction of the railroad. A booming town was forming because of the progress. Large water tower and a small reservoir were constructed, a general store was built, population grew to 250.

Timber for the railroad wasn’t the only driving force for Mill Fork who also had an large amount of Charcoal that helped keep the town thriving. Residents were working either with cutting wood for the railroad or with their Kilns. But as with everything that happens in the West, towns fade as fast as they were built. In 1890 the Store and Charcoal business both closed, most had left Mill Fork by 1900, only a few homesteaders had remained until 1930’s. When trains advancing to Diesel Locomotives, the water stop was no longer needed. and Mill Fork Station was closed for good in 1947, and removed during the late 1950’s. Nothing remains of the little town that formed a railroad in an area that is harsh to say the least but the Cemetery.

Many years later the Historical Society of Utah discovered Mill Fork and have worked very hard restoring and preserving the memories of those who worked hard to develop a railroad in a hostile weather environment.

One of the most important things I learned while searching for proof of my ancestors resting places was that photographs that were taken years ago help in many cases. It gives a location, a layout, surrounding markers help locate loved ones who may have lost their headstones or never had any markers outside the copper one placed at the time of the burial. This picture helped the Genealogist who transcribed the Cemetery that my Great Great Grandfather Fredrick Augustus Durbin had been buried. This photograph was taken in the early 1930s, I know this because Phillip Durbin, the other little brother of my Grandma wasn’t born until May 1930. The photograph shows this to be the older part of the Cemetery. Records were still being kept by the Catholic Church and the Angel in the background was what helped locate the area, and confirmed his resting place. There was no marker and the exact place still hasn’t been found. This is why photographs and records are so important.


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  3. Beatiful site! How have you get that layout?

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