Where is it? GPS DATA:
Duncan's Retreat 37' 11.036N - 113' 08.104W - UTM 12310542E  4117208N
Martindale Grave Site 37'11,028N 113' 07.952W  - UTM 123107E 4117189N



Rebecca Duncan William Duncan Nancy Ferguson Ott Nancy Ferguson Ott







Duncan's Retreat
Ghost Town

Many of the Pioneer Journals refer to "Duncan's Retreat. Many have asked, "where is Duncan's Retreat?" It seems that very few know where it was located.

The final remains of Duncan's Retreat are visible along the highway between Virgin and Rockville. Very little remains today - an old gravesite, signs of an old irrigation ditch, a section of a rock wall. Like the town of Grafton upriver, Duncan's Retreat was another victim of the unpredictable, flooding Virgin River.

Duncan's Retreat was first settled by Chapman Duncan, Alma Minnerly and a few others in late 1861. Shortly afterwards several other families moved here also.

A lot of people moved away the new settlers came. By January of 1863 about 70 people lived here. In 1863 a post office was built, a school was built in 1864 along with a meeting house. In 1866 floods took its toll on the town also and over the next few years high water from the Virgin River destroyed the fields and killed the town. By 1891 the town was deserted. All that remains of the town today is a grave of the lady named Nancy Ferguson bought who died here in town in 1863 per grave is located on the north side of Highway nine.

Duncans Retreat was on the upper Virgin River, halfway between present-day Virgin and Rockville, Washington County, Utah

The flood in January 1862 washed away nearly all of the land that they hoped to farm. These first settlers moved away and sold their claims to William Theobald, Joseph Wright, William Wright, Clayborne Elder, Jonathon B. Pratt, Robert W. Reeve, and Thomas Burgess.

Up to a dozen families settled there and began farming raising corn, wheat, sorghum cane, and cotton. A post office was established in 1863 and a schoolhouse was built the following year. Indian troubles and a flooding Virgin River which constantly changed courses and washed away most of the cultivated land soon had most of the settlers moving downstream to Virgin City and going to their farms upriver each day. Later after a period of reoccupation and many years of trying to keep a dam in and their farms from washing away the Virgin River finally won the battle, forcing the settlers from their homes and farms and Duncan's Retreat was virtually a ghost town by 1892.


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