Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Town #39: HANKSVILLE est. 1882
Hanksville seems to be out in the middle of nowhere. It is at least an hour away from any other town. The town is just north of the Henry Mountains in southeast Utah and sits along the Fremont and Muddy rivers. It was originally named Graves Valley after Walter Graves who originally mapped the area. In the 1880s, several small towns were established in the area along the river, but Hanksville is the only one left functioning as a town. It is so isolated that they didn't have telephones until 1913, and before 1960, the only electricity came from individual generators fueled by butane and diesel fuel.
West of Hanksville, we found this billboard about the town Giles. Giles was another settlement started in the 1880s. The people of Giles struggled to make a farming community for over 20 years, they finally gave up around 1909. I have great- grandparents that met and fell in love here.
There isn't much left of Giles except some adobe brick foundations. This is what is left of the bell tower of the church/school house.