Reuters

A small community of fundamentalist Mormons literally carved homes into the side of a massive sandstone rock in Utah.

In a desert in the south of Utah, about a dozen families know what it is to live between a rock and a hard place. As The Atlantic's Alan Taylor writes:

"The Rock," was founded about 35 years ago by Robert Dean Foster, who set out to create a safe, remote space for a Christian community that embraced plural marriage. Large houses were built by using dynamite to blast caves into the sandstone cliff, then finished into relatively modern homes complete with running water, electricity, internet access, and more.

Below, photos by Reuters photographer Jim Urquhart. See more at The Atlantic's In Focus blog.

Enoch Foster, a fundamentalist Mormon practicing polygamy, along with his first wife Catrina Foster and several of his 13 children from his two wives, enter the Charity House at the Rockland Ranch community outside Moab, Utah, on November 2, 2012. The "Rock" as it is referred to by the approximately 100 people living there in about 15 families, was founded about 35 years ago on a sandstone formation near Canyonlands National Park. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart)

An aerial view of Hatch Rock, home to Rockland Ranch in Utah, courtesy of Google Earth. A half-mile wide, the sandstone formation rises nearly 500 feet above the surrounding landscape. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart)
 
Girls play on a trampoline near a home blasted into a rock wall in Rockland Ranch, on November 2, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart)
 
Homes emerge from cliffside in the Rockland Ranch community, on November 2, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart)
 
Abel Morrison, a fundamentalist Mormon practicing polygamy, tends to a community garden with several of his children in Rockland Ranch, on November 2, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart)

 

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Maps

    Mapping Where Europe's Population Is Moving, Aging, and Finding Work

    Younger people are fleeing rural areas, migrating northward, and having fewer children. Here’s how that’s changing the region.

  2. Environment

    Nasty Ads Force Londoners to See Their Pollution Problem

    To build support for a new charge on older cars, the mayor’s office tells the public, “If you could see London’s air, you’d want to clean it too.”

  3. Life

    In Montreal, French Expats Find Language Doesn't Translate to Community

    More Parisians are moving to Quebec seeking lower rents, jobs, and an easy cultural fit. But as housing prices rise, so does resentment among the city’s locals.

  4. POV

    One of the Greatest Threats to Our Lifespans Is Loneliness

    What would society be like if health insurers and public bodies invested as much in encouraging social encounters as exercise and good diet?

  5. Transportation

    Do You Want Your Subway Map to Look Pretty, or to Reflect Reality?

    Londoners recently got the chance to find out.