Descendants of a pioneer-era attempt at religious communal living have documented their history with photographs and tools, housed in a rock-walled museum on Main Street in Orderville.

Nearly a century after the final vestiges of the LDS Orderville United Order disappeared, the town remains a tight-knit conglomerate of pioneer stock - a situation common throughout Kane County's Long Valley.Longtime Orderville resident Amy E. Levanger, 70, said many of the descendants of the pioneers stayed in the valley, married and started their own families.

"I've lived here all my life," said Levanger, assistant keeper of relics for the Orderville Camp of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers. "I figured up a while back that in 30- or 40-something households in Orderville now, the husband or wife were descendants of the original settlers." In many families, both adults can trace their origins to the handful of pioneers.

The town has grown little since its days as a United Order hub. Not until 1900 did the organization's Corporation of Industries dissolve and residents were left to their own devices. In the 93 years since the project was abandoned, folks in the "Valley" have maintained a united front.

"They tried (the United Order concept) in lots of communities," Levanger said. "Everybody turned in everything they owned." At one point, 800 settlers lived in the Orderville area and participated in the United Order.

"One of the reasons it broke up was because of (the government crackdown on) polygamy," she said. "Another reason is because the young people, growing up in the order, didn't hold any stock." They worked for the others and became discontented.

The Corporation of Industries included a woolen mill, sheep and a cooperative store. The Orderville DUP chapter has rescued many relics of the period for display at the museum, including an OUO (Orderville United Order) branding iron, two spinning wheels and the community's original flag.

The flag, woven of cotton from Washington County and colored with native dyes, is a favorite among the visitors that crowd the small rock building during the summer tourist season, she said.

The museum, located along U.S. 89 east of the Virgin River bridge on Orderville's Main Street, was built in 1957 from rock salvaged from the town's original school house. The DUP operated a similar museum at the school before its destruction.

The new museum houses the original church and school bells, paintings and photographs of the early Orderville settlement and a variety of local antiques.

The museum and similar projects of local history may suffer from the same disinterest that eventually claimed the United Order. Levanger said few young women are active in the local DUP camp and she fears for the museum's future once she and the handful of other caretakers are gone.

"I really don't know whose going to do it," she said. "They're too busy doing other things. We have just a few kids who come in."

The DUP chapter is also responsible for three memorials scattered along Highway 89. A monument six miles north of Orderville between Lydia's Canyon and Hidden Lake marks the site of the original United Order woolen mill. Monuments at the city cemetery and in front of the LDS church on Main Street chronicle the history of the southern Utah settlement.