Grace was settled in 1889 near the Bear River on the eastern side of Gem Valley, sitting at 5,500 feet in elevation, with the Rocky Mountains as it’s backdrop. The colonists came from West Jordan in the Salt Lake Valley. Their immediate challenge was to divert irrigation water from the Bear River onto the fertile but dry land. This was finally accomplished in 1899 with the completion of the Last Chance Canal.
A dam on the Bear River and an electrical power plant were built in 1906, which brought growth to the town, which is now the largest town in Gem Valley with a population of 1,100.
The Bear River enters Gem Valley through a gap in the eastern mountains several miles north of Grace, at an Oregon Trail landmark called Soda Point. At some prehistoric time, a lava flow blocked the course of the Bear River, forcing it in a tight corner around this rocky tip of the mountains. Previously, the river flowed northwest across the valley into the Portneuf River, then the Snake River and out to the Pacific Ocean. Now the river flows southward through the Valley, then into Cache Valley, and eventually into the Great Salt Lake. Just to the northwest of Grace it enters a striking gorge cut through the lava called Black Canyon.