A drought has brought back an underwater Utah ghost town for the first time in 64 years.
In the 1950s the town of Rockport was home to nearly 27 families, according to the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation.
But it was abandoned after the federal government bought the land in 1952 and later built the Wanship Dam to create the Rockport Reservoir, state park historians said.
Some of the town’s buildings were moved and preserved, including the Rockport Coop and the Rockport School House, historians said. The area was then flooded to fill the 62,100 acre-feet lake.
Come present day, the Rockport Reservoir isn’t so much of a lake anymore — with extreme weather conditions bringing the water to “about a quarter of its total capacity,” the Weather Network reported.
“It’s kind of sad, because of the drought conditions, but it’s a cool little glimmer to look back and see what was there,” said Utah Division of State Parks spokesman, Devan Chavez, the Salt Lake City Tribune reported.
Here’s a video clip that gives more context for that road. pic.twitter.com/d17FLTEnR4
— Devon Dewey (@DevonDewey) September 16, 2021
“It’s helping us remember a little bit of our history,” Chavez added.
Drone test pilot Devon Dewey took pictures of the town’s old roads and homes, which he shared on Twitter.
“Rockport Reservoir is so low right now that many of the foundations of the old town are now visible,” he tweeted.
The town was settled by European-American settlers in 1860. They then fled to Wanship, “a settlement north of present-day Rockport Reservoir” six years later due to the Black Hawk War, according to state park historians.
In 1867, the settlers returned and “built a large wall to prevent any future battles,” historians said. When the war ended in the 1870s they tore down the wall and renamed the town Rockport.
The Bureau of Reclamation owns the reservoir but it’s managed by Utah State Parks, who created Rockport State Park in 1966, according to the park’s website.
Rockport State Park is open despite low water levels — but its boat ramp is temporarily closed, the park said.
Nearly 88.1% of Utah is experiencing extreme drought conditions, according to the state’s National Integrated Drought Information System.