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Photos: Salt Lake County compound of polygamist leader Rulon Jeffs is in decay

Published June 14, 2013 10:14 am

Alta Academy • The facility was also a school for the FLDS.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Photographer Trent Nelson recently visited Rulon Jeffs' old compound at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon and found rust and high grass.

Everything looks like it could use a scrubbing or new coat of paint.

The FLDS also operated the Alta Academy school on the site. Old photos show some of the compound and school in the heydays.

Jeffs and his son, the school's headmaster, Warren Jeffs, closed Alta Academy in 1998 and sold the property. Rulon Jeffs died in 2002.

Judging from property records, the current owners haven't done much with it. The Salt Lake County assessor website shows while the land value has held steady, the value of the buildings has declined precipitously. In all, the 2013 market value of the property is $674,600, according to the assessor website.

In 2008, it was $1.2 million.

Leaving the place to rot might be fine with some. Alta Academy is the site where a niece and nephew of Jeffs' say he sexually assaulted them.

Willie Jessop recently gained control of Warren Jeffs' compound in Hildale and says he plans to use it to better the community there. The Little Cottonwood Canyon compound has long been out of FLDS hands, but would you like to see someone do something with the property to remember Warren Jeffs' victims or otherwise help people? And what strikes you about these photos?

Twitter: @tribunepolygamy