Grafton was founded in 1856, and later became known as the birthplace of Mother's Day, on May 10, 1908. The town was a major retail and industrial center for north-central West Virginia, with its economy steadily expanding including the creation of Grafton Dam and the steady expansion of tourist sectors in the wilds around Grafton, initiated to rival and later even surpass the steel production industry.
In the 21st century, the robust mixed economy was joined by Grafton Steel, one of the largest mills in the region. Selected as a government preferred war contractor, the biggest employer in the valley was suddenly given free rein to crush labor laws and ignore environmental regulations. By 2077, this resulted in rampant devastation of the ecosystem, accelerated by dumping toxic sludge directly into the waterways, and mounting numbers of injuries and death among the workers. Ignored by the company's owners, most importantly CEO Arthur Wood, the situation deteriorated steadily. By June, the situation was so bad that the only viable option going forward was to shut the mill down, but Governor Evans refused to even entertain the notion - even if it meant strikes.
The company tried the usual heavy-handed tactics: Intimidation and sacking troublesome workers, like Otis Pike. The strikes finally hit in September 2077, following on a string of sabotage attempts at the mill. The striking workers shut down the mill. Sudden loss of steel production from the city resulted in Sugar Grove launching a surveillance operation, to root out suspected communists and saboteurs responsible for damage to what was a vital war asset.
As with the rest of Appalachia, automation did not spare the city itself, with a mainframe installed. Originally meant to act as the mayor's assistant, when the Great War came and the society collapsed, it took over management duties, running the town without human help. Unfortunately, it grew progressively more demented, proportionately to the deteriorating state of the valley - now known only as the Toxic Valley to the survivors.
Heading into town facing north from the nearby train station, the path leads onto West Boyd Street. There is a small black house with a mattress and some junk items. Further up the road is a stone warehouse with a chemistry station inside. Ahead of it are a couple of tents with ballot printers strewn about. A ruined train yard is found on the west side of the city; some of the boxcars can be looted and there is a fusion generator next to a shed. Past an intersection, there are more inaccessible buildings like a church and a breakfast restaurant.
One shop with a number of boxes on its first floor can be entered, with small apartments above it. There are holes in the wall on the third floor that lead out to the rooftops, one of which has an oil slick trap with a frag mine in its center. This area leads to other destroyed buildings, including one with a ledge that a super mutant uses as a camp, complete with a cooking station.
The end of West Boyd Street meets with Beech Street, also the location of the Grafton Police Department. It can be entered from a breach in the back of the building that leads to a jail cell or via a door on the second level. A car has crashed into the room with the front desk, while the second floor is used for storage and recreation. A fire escape leads to the roof, where two duffle bags can be found. More rooftops can be accessed from here, the last of which has an ammo box and a mattress, as well as various alcohol bottles.
Moving north on Beech Street, there is a large alleyway to the left where much of the fighting during the Protest March event takes place. A building with a voting booth set up inside can be entered from here, and a floor safe can be found among the rubble behind its front desk. Its second and third floors also have apartments, the former of which was the home of Darius Angler. It also connects to two other buildings with scaffolding that overlook Main Street. Near the police station is the Grafton Pawn Shop.
On Main Street is a Responders trading post, the home of vendor bot Greg, as well as two more entrances to the voting building. The mayor's office can be found at its intersection with Beech Street. The first floor has a reception and meeting area, alongside an unlocked safe behind a desk. The Grafton mayor is on the second floor next to an office with a terminal and safe, as well as an overseer's cache and a staircase to the roof.
While Main Street continues on to a bridge out of town, heading west leads to an unspecified, shorter road with a few boarded-up homes. Behind the end of this street is Tygart Valley River, the town's toxic river. A bridge back on Beech Street leads to another residential part of town across this river, with a gas station next to a booby-trapped convenience store. There is another election tent with ammo inside on this side of the city.
The southern outskirts of Grafton are home to Francis Street and West Wilford Street; both are also residential areas. There is a post-War campsite between the two roads, and it has a cooking station in it. West Wilford has the only home that can be entered in this zone - Otis Pike's old house, which has a kitchen on its first floor and a bedroom on the second. The basement has a bit of storage, a jukebox and Otis' terminal. There is one other house overlooking the high school football field, not part of any road, though it is mostly sunken and cannot be entered.
- Overseer's log - Grafton - Holotape, in the overseer's cache beside the Grafton mayor.
- The Beast of Grafton - Part 1 - Holotape, inside the mayor's building, behind the counter on a shelf immediately to the left as one enters.
- The Beast of Grafton - Part 2 - Holotape, located in an election tent on the south side of town.
- Camp Tomahawk postcard, Grafton Dam editorial and notice of termination - Notes, in Otis Pike's house in the outskirts of Grafton. The postcard and notice of termination cannot be taken.
- Ghoul's note - Note, hanging on the boarded-up door to the church in Grafton.
- Darius Angler's manifesto, part 1 - Note, east from the train station, in the building with the "Grey Tortoise" billboard out front, upstairs.
- Darius Angler's manifesto, part 2 - Holotape, inside the bedroom next to the kitchen of the same building, on a small nightstand.
- Mayor Mudge's private memo - Holotape, in the mayor's office, on a filing cabinet behind the mayor's terminal.
- John Bunton's holotape - Holotape, on the rock in front of the crashed truck on the west side of town.
- Plan: Water filter - On a middle wooden crate near the alleyway cooking station.
- Fusion core - Near a metal shack at the junction in the train tracks on the immediate outskirts of Grafton, inside a fusion core generator.
Grafton appears only in Fallout 76.
Behind the scenes
Grafton is based on the real-world town of Grafton, West Virginia, known in West Virginia folklore as being home to the Grafton monster. Likewise to the sign in-game, it is also where Mother's Day was first celebrated, on May 10, 1908.
The pool table on the second floor of the police station may de-spawn, causing the skeleton and items on top of it to float in midair until pushed into.[verified]