The former site of the FLDS bishop's storehouse. All photos by Barak Wright.

The former site of the FLDS bishop's storehouse. All photos by Barak Wright.

Among the Ruins of a Polygamous Sect

Short Creek residents rebuild their town


Just off a two-lane Utah highway, past a series of weed-sprung lots, past where the paved road turns to dirt, you’ll find the modest offices of the United Effort Plan Trust (UEP). It’s an obscure organization, but one which holds nearly all the land within this 13-square-mile territory, known as Short Creek. Inside the building, which smells faintly of fresh paint, you’ll find the friendly Jeff Barlow, sitting behind his desk in a blue t-shirt, making his pitch for why, in spite of all appearances to the contrary, Short Creek is taking off. + Continue reading on Religion & Politics.

View unpublished photos from this story below. 

A side entrance to Warren Jeffs' old house.

A wing of the expansive 44-bedroom home formerly belonging to Warren Jeffs.

  One of the downstairs bedrooms in the home formerly owned by Warren Jeffs, where one of Jeffs' wives would have lived. 

One of the downstairs bedrooms in the home formerly owned by Warren Jeffs, where one of Jeffs' wives would have lived. 

A key left in the door to one of the downstairs bedrooms serves as a reminder that Jeffs used to lock up "disobedient" wives as punishment.


 A secret room in the home formerly belonging to Warren Jeffs...

A secret room in the home formerly belonging to Warren Jeffs...

 ...rumored to be a storage room for church documents and plural marriage records.

...rumored to be a storage room for church documents and plural marriage records.


Some of the large homes typical in Short Creek.


Glyn Jones, Site Director at the Short Creek Dream Center, in the dining room of Warren Jeffs' old house.

Warren Jeffs' frequent mantra on the chimney outside his old house. Dream Center's Christmas tree is visible through the window.


  Donia Jessop, newly-elected mayor of Hildale, UT, in front of a photo depicting Short Creek.

Donia Jessop, newly-elected mayor of Hildale, UT, in front of a photo depicting Short Creek.

  Jeff Barlow, Executive Director of the UEP Trust.

Jeff Barlow, Executive Director of the UEP Trust.


  The vermillion cliffs of Short Creek at dusk.

The vermillion cliffs of Short Creek at dusk.