The Historic Gifford Homestead
One mile south of the visitor center along the scenic drive is the Gifford Homestead. The Gifford's were the last residents of Fruita and as Dewey Gifford sold his home in 1969 to the National Park Service, the cultural landscape of Fruita as a farming community forever changed. Today the Capitol Reef Natural History Association, in cooperation with the National Park Service, strives to create the pioneer spirit of Fruita which can be experienced by visiting the Gifford Homestead and enjoying a fresh baked pie, cinnamon roll, and other daily baked goods.
The atmosphere of the Gifford Homestead offers a unique ambiance as one sits under cottonwood trees, walks along the Fremont River, and explores the nearby fruit orchards. In addition to the farmhouse, the Gifford Homestead includes a barn, smokehouse, orchard, pasture, and rock walls.
Residents and Improvements
The original home was built in 1908 by polygamist Calvin Pendleton. He and his family occupied the house for eight years. The original home had a combined front room/kitchen and two small bedrooms. The two upstairs bedrooms were accessed by an outdoor rope ladder. Calvin Pendleton also constructed the barn and smokehouse. The rock walls located on the mesa slopes behind the farmhouse were also constructed by the Pendleton family.
The second residents of the home were the Jorgen Jorgenson family who resided here from 1916 to 1928. Jorgenson sold the homestead to his son-in-law, Dewey Gifford, in 1928.
The Gifford family occupied the home for 41 years (1928 to 1969). Gifford added a kitchen in 1946 and the bathroom, utility room, and carport in 1954.