The drought has a tendency to reveal forgotten things of a bygone era. And in a couple of instances, the drought has revealed entire ghost towns.

Due to the water levels of Lake Mead in Nevada, remains of St. Thomas appeared last year, according to the Deseret News. This wasn’t the first time that the town appeared above water in its history. Occupants evacuated the area when Lake Mead was being built, but building structures still remain — like the ice cream parlor.

Similarly, the drought in 2021 revealed a different ghost town — Rockport, in Summit County. USA Today reported that low levels in Rockport Reservoir revealed the foundations of the forgotten ghost town, Rockport. The water levels were the lowest that they’ve been in 64 years and all that remains of the town is “faint traces of foundations of old homes and a road.”

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History of the town of Rockport

In 1860, the town of Rockport was settled. Originally, the town was called Crandall, according to the nonprofit Lagoon History Project. Within a year, the town’s name again changed to Enoch City, but after 1866, the town was renamed Rockport.

Rockport soon developed a schoolhouse. The schoolhouse was a communal building of sorts that was used as a church and also as a gathering place. The Lagoon History Project said that the Salt Lake Daily Herald described the schoolhouse in 1875: “They have a neat little school house and 47 children in Rockport, and kept their school in session six months during the past year. The trustees and people appear to be interested in the welfare of their children.”

Historian Thomas Brown said that by 1888, the town was almost entirely comprised of Latter-day Saints and consisted of 21 families, totaling around 150 people. In 1892, the town moved the little schoolhouse and built a larger public hall, which then became their spot for church services. While the town previously had a post office, by 1910, Wanship became the closest town with a post office.

The small town was still vibrant. Brown tracked enrollment numbers in school and found that there were a little over 40 students enrolled during the early 1900s. Still, the town experienced some difficulties. Brown said, “Records show that on 31 July 1933 and on 7 August 1934 floods rushed down Three Mile Canyon causing much damage. Even in the 1940s cloudbursts would cause floods to surge down the canyon especially if fires had burned away the covering of grasses and sagebrush.”

Remona Wardell Atkinson looked at family records and was able to piece together the life of a resident of the town. Fannie Anne was a woman who lived with her family in Rockport.

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She attended the Latter-day Saint Relief Society and made sure her children were baptized. The family enjoyed playing on horses and going sledding in their time in Rockport. The little family would have to travel to Wanship often for their needs and even further to Ogden for medical treatment, but their life at the time was filled with going to dances at the public hall and listening to the fiddler George Wardell play.

The town, more remotely located in Summit County, stayed relatively small throughout its existence. The people who lived in the town were mostly in the agricultural business. Throughout the town’s history, the population hovered around a couple hundred people. Eventually, the town dwindled and families stopped sending their children to school in Rockport, opting instead for them to go to Coalville. Brown said that the town remodeled the school in 1941, but it soon closed.

Eventually, the government decided to look into whether or not it should develop a reservoir. By 1952, officials decided that the little town of Rockport would be dissolved and flooded for a reservoir. The few structures in the town, such as the chapel, some houses and the schoolhouse would be submerged under water.

Even though the town was lost to the reservoir, structures from the town can still be seen in the Pioneer Village at Lagoon Amusement Park, per USA Today. The ghost town is one of several things that the drought has revealed.