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Where is it?



Camp Lorenzo was a cotton farm run by the Brigham City United Order. It was named after Lorenzo Snow. It existed for a short time from 1874 to 1879.

In February of 1874, my great grandfather, Israel Hunsaker, was married in Brigham City to Lottie Neeley. He was 21 years old. When they had been married for only 8 months in October of 1874, he was called to a work mission at Camp Lorenzo. Several people were sent to Utah*s Dixie to start a cotton farm to supply much needed cotton for the Brigham City United Order. The first supervisor of the project was James May. Israel Hunsaker and about five other men accompanied him. They dammed off the river and irrigated about 50 acres of cotton. In the Spring of 1876 after the farm was established, Israel returned to Brigham City to pick up his wife and his year old daughter, Lauretta, whom he had never seen.

When Israel and his family returned to Camp Lorenzo, he was in charge of the project. From then on, families would come to Dixie for one to two years and then be replaced. Israel stayed and remained in charge of the project until it was abandoned. When the project was abandoned in 1879, Israel rented the farm from the Church. He worked it for about a year. The project was finally sold and Israel and Lottie and their three children left the furm in 1881. People subsequently raising cotton at the site were Virgil Kelley, John D. L. Pearce, Thomas Blazzard, John Averett, William Prince, and Homer Barron

The project was moderately successful, and some good crops were raised. The reason the project was abandoned seemed to be two fold. First, the high cost of maintaining a dam across the Virgin River in relationship to the small acreage. Second was the improved availability of cotton from the South via the railroad.

While working at the project, three daughters were born to Lottie and Israel. Helen was born in November of 1876 in Washington. Belle was born in August of 1878 at Camp Lorenzo. She died the same day. Orpha, my grandmother, was born in April of 1880 at Camp Lorenzo.

Camp Lorenzo is about five miles from Washington. They were a branch of the Washington Ward. They seldom went into Washington, but when they did it was a difficult trip involving crossing the river several times. Quicksand was a constant danger, and the horses had to pull really hard to cross the river.

The two story stone house was probably built during 1878 and 1879. The foundation is 35 feet by 46 feet. It is 24 feet high to the roof line. The project was abandoned before the roof was completed, and the house was never lived in. It appears that the house was built to house several families. The interior wall probably contained two fireplaces. One still exists. It opens into the front room of the house. The other probably opened to the rear of the house.