Asay Town

    Seven thousand feet high is certainly no elevation to attempt much in the way of farming, especially by settlers who were used to the warm lowlands of the Virgin River in Nevada. Even dry farming produced mostly immature and stunted grain. The wild grasses in Long Valley made up into good hay, however. That, plus an extensive unsettled valley in 1872, encouraged Joseph Asay to locate just upstream on a small tributary, later know as Asay Creek, of the Sevier River. Several others founded ranches and farms at the forks and the fledgling colony became known as Aaron. A small log church-schoolhouse was built and later Jerome Asay established a store handling groceries and hardware, and a restaurant to accommodate travelers up the long pull to Sevier Summit a few miles to the south. In 1887 a post office was set up in the store officially naming the village as Asay, pronounced Ay'-cee, colloquially known as Asay Town. A sawmill and shingle mill were built further up the creek; they operated till the end of the century when the sawmill was burned down.
    Winters were hard and long, summers were short and cool. Animals were constantly freezing to death, crops were a disappointment. When the sawmill was destroyed, the spirit left the town as well. By 1900 the town was abandoned, many folks moving five miles north to Hatch, others elsewhere around the state.
    Only a tiny ragged cemetery overgrown with grass gives evidence of the town where 24 families once resided. South of Hatch 4.8 miles on U.S. Highway 89 is an historical marker about Asay Town. The actual town site is on private land 0.7 mile up a dirt road west over a small ridge.

© 1972 by Stephen L. Carr, M.D.