Mormon Pacific Historical Society


Dennis Atkin


Iosepa, Skull Valley, Tooele County, Utah, Polynesian settlements


Many of the articles in newspapers, journals and magazines which have been published during the past forty or forty five years about the Polynesian Colony of Iosepa, Skull Valley, Tooele County, Utah, have emphasized extreme sympathy for the colonists. These writers have deplored the bleakness of the location of this town and its immediate surroundings as contrasted with the beautiful green farming lands and towns in other areas of northern Utah. In Skull Valley the farming areas were smaller and the desolate areas were larger than in other places they have seen. In some of the nearby areas of lower elevation the land is not as fertile as it is higher up toward the eastern mountains where there is much better drainage. In the lower areas there is a higher salt content both in the soil and in the water. Only certain plants will grow under those circumstances and the water is not fit for human consumption.


Dennis Atkin is currently serving a mission with his wife for the Church Historical Department in Salt Lake City, Utah. He is a former History Professor at Northern Arizona University. He previously presented at MPHS.