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Historical Sites | St. George

Here are some wonderful Historical Sites around St. George. Go back in history while visiting the Tabernacle, Pioneer homes and old local stores, that are still operating today!

Jacob Hamblin Home

During the 1800`s Mormon pioneers arrived in Southern Utah. Jacob Hamblin was a missionary and known to help keep peace among the Mormons and the Indians. Hamblin was among the first to settle in Utah in 1847. In the year 1853, Jacob Hamblin was having a skirmish with an Indian. Hamblin pulled out his pistol to shoot the Indian down, but the pistol didn`t fire. This is when he realized that they should not be fighting with the Indians, but instead, they should live in peace with them. Jacob Hamblin helped to build a fort in Santa Clara, Utah. Santa Clara is only five minutes away from the beautiful St. George Utah real estate of Tenaya Sands. During the time of the Mormon settlers St. George, Utah was a difficult place to settle due to the hot, dry climate. The Jacob Hamblin home was finished in 1863 and is one of the few pioneer homes still standing in the St. George, Utah area.

Location: 3325 Hamblin Dr, Santa Clara, UT 84765
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Ancestor Square | St. George

In the heart of downtown St George, historic shops and buildings have been restored in a quaint area called Ancestor Square. The Square features small shops, boutiques and galleries, within easy walking distance other downtown attractions and many motels.

Location: 2 St. George Boulevard, St. George, UT 84770
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Silver Reef Ghost Town

Rich veins of silver were discovered in the hills north of what is now the town of Leeds, along I-15 about 15 miles NE of St George. A boom occurred in 1870 and a town sprang up, rapidly becoming the largest community in southern Utah. At its zenith, it boasted some 9 stores, 6 saloons, a bank, several restaurants, a hospital, 2 dance halls, 2 newspapers, and 3 cemeteries. By 1891 the mines had produced about 25 million dollars worth of ore. But the veins played out quickly and the town went bust. The old Silver Reef Wells Fargo Express office is on the National Historical Register and is now houses a small museum. Foundations of a few other old buildings can be seen. Tailings from mines can be seen in the surrounding area. New mining efforts are undertaken now and again, and much of the area is closed to exploration. A few dangerous open shafts dot the countryside and so explorers need to use caution.

Location: 1903 Wells Fargo Road, Leeds, UT 84746
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Daughters of Utah Pioneers

Through the generous donation of Hortense McQuarrie Odlum, the Museum was built in 1938 to house pioneer relics, photos and histories of those stalwart people who came to settle Southern Utah under the direction of Brigham Young beginning in mid-1850. June 17, 1938, the day of the Museum`s dedication, a day involving nearly all city and religious dignitaries, as well as most members of DUP in Washington County. For the DUP to have its own building to preserve the precious remembrances of the early settlers was a dream come true. Several full pages were published in the local newspaper heralding the event and thanking Hortense McQuarrie Odlum for donating the funds to have the Museum constructed.

Location: 145 North 100 East, St. George, UT 84770

Mountain Meadow Massacure

The Mountain Meadows massacre was a series of attacks on the Baker-Fancher emigrant wagon train at Mountain Meadows in southern Utah. The attacks culminated on September 11, 1857, with the mass slaughter of most in the emigrant party by members of the Utah Territorial Militia from the Iron County district, together with some Paiute Native Americans.

Location: Veyo, UT 84782
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St. George Temple

The building is located in the southwestern Utah city of St. George. It was designed by Truman O. Angell and is more similar in its design to the Nauvoo Temple than to later LDS temples. The St. George Temple is the oldest temple still actively used by the LDS Church. The temple currently has three ordinance rooms and 18 sealing rooms, and a total floor area of 110,000 square feet (10,200 m2). It was originally designed with two large assembly halls like the earlier Kirtland and Nauvoo Temples. The lower Assembly Hall was partitioned with curtains to provide the ordinance rooms for the Endowment Ceremony. In 1938, the lower Assembly Hall was rebuilt with permanent walls dividing it into four ordinance rooms. The four ordinance rooms were later changed into the present three rooms, at the time the endowment ceremony was changed from a live presentation to one presented on film. In the 1970s, the temple was closed for extensive remodeling. LDS Church president Spencer W. Kimball rededicated it in 1975.

Location: 250 East 400 South, St. George, UT 84770
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St. George Tabernacle

The St. George Tabernacle is a historic building in St. George, Utah. It opened in 1876 to serve as a public works building, originally hosting church services and court hearings. Today, it is open to the public and hosts many public events, such as concerts.

Location: 18 South Main Street, St. George, UT 84770
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St. George Opera House and Social Hall

The St. George Opera House and Social Hall was originally built in 1862 as the first public building built by the community. In it`s earlier years it started out as a Wine Cellar and a place for education, recreation, and entertainment. As the community grew and evolved there become a need for more space, adding an additional wing in 1880 built with a mechanical floor that could change the incline level the room was ideal for theater performances with a floor that could incline towards the stage yet still be used for dances and parties it became the Social Hall. During the early 1900`s the Social Hall adopted the name "Opera House" from the many performances such as Robin Hood and Pinafore as operettas and vaudeville shows.

Location: 212 North Main Street, St. George, UT 84770

Harrisburg Settlers Home

(Harrisburg, UT)) - Close to where the Quail and Cottonwood Creeks join the Virgin River is where Moses Harris and his family settled in 1859. The site is now covered by the Quail Creek Reservoir. It was not a very successful settlement because the land was marginal in growing crops and it was difficult to irrigate, according to Paul Dean Proctor and Morris A. Shirts, authors of the book, Silver, Sinners and Saints, A History of Old Silver Reef, Utah. Following a disastrous fire, the settlers moved away in the spring of 1860. In the spring of 1861, the Harris family returned and selected another settlement site three miles upstream to the west, which was later named "Harrisville."

Location: Near Quail Lake

Woodward Building

Woodward Elementary School is a two-story structure built of locally quarried stone. Volcanic stone for the foundation had been intended for an the earlier Academy building which was never built. The walls are rough-faced, regular coursed red sandstone. Following a scheme similar to that of the Washington Elementary school and the Old Dixie College building which is located at the opposite corner of the Tabernacle Block, it is characteristic of many school buildings of the period. From the rectangular, truncated hip roofed central mass, gabled bays project on each elevation forming a symmetrical configuration. Atop the main entrance pavilion is a hipped roof bell tower or cupola. Under the wide eaves are decorative brackets. Entrances on the east and west elevations are round arched. Windows are double hung sash types arranged in groups of three and four. Lintels are rough-faced blocks, coursed in conjunction with the walls. Sills are fully dressed ashlar elements which break the coursing somewhat. Like the Old Dixie College building the Woodward School seems heavily influenced by late Victorian forms, but especially by the Richardsonian Romanesque style in the handling of materials, simplicity of form, window treatment and minimum detail. The rough-faced masonry and round arched entries are of course the primary indicator of this parallel.

Location: 75 W. Tabernacle, Saint George, UT 84770, United States
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The Old Cotton Mill

Brigham Young, sensing there would be a disruption in the cotton markets resulting from the U.S. Civil War, sent people down to southern Utah to a Cotton Mission. They started experimenting with raising cotton in Utah`s "Dixie". The first extensive manufacture of cotton cloth was begun in 1865 when a cooperative cotton factory was organized under the direction of Brigham Young. This meant the cotton lint would not need to be baled and sent to others to produce cloth. Appleton M. Harmon was selected to supervise the building of a mill and the installation of the necessary machinery. The Washington site was selected because of nearby water power from the Virgin River. The building of the mill was started in 1866 and the first story was occupied in 1867. Local farmers began growing more cotton. The building was raised to two and one-half stories in the fall of 1870. At that time, it was the largest factory west of the Mississippi. New equipment was shipped in from Missouri that permitted wool as well as cotton to be made into cloth.

Location: 385 W. Telegraph Road Washington, UT 84780
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Old Judd`s Store

Judd`s Store is the oldest ongoing business establishment in St. George. Until it taken over by the Green Gate Village, it was the oldest family-owned business in St. George. Judd`s Store was constructed and opened in 1911 in front of the house Thomas Judd purchased from Joseph Bentley in 1908 and across the street from the new Woodward School. It was built of the same thickness of locally manufactured adobes that had been used in the home. Thomas Judd bought out the inventory of the store maintained by the Bentley`s in the Pratt-Bentley Home. At some point, it was connected to the front of the house, but that connection was later removed to restore the store to its original condition. The store was very successful, carrying general merchandise, and catering to the needs of the sheep and cattlemen which were numerous in early days of Dixie. When Thomas` son, Joseph Judd, took over, he continued to run the store but boarded up the rest of the structure. The store remained in the Judd family`s possession until 1982. At that time, the city wanted to condemn the store and turn it into a parking lot. Cooler heads prevailed and Dr. Mark & Barbara Greene purchased the building making it into a focal point of their Green Gate Village. The store has been restored and is still open today. To step into Judd`s Store is to step back in time. Particularly outstanding is the ceiling which the Greenes rescued from another business establishment of pioneer days, Snow`s Furniture Store, which was located one block to the east.

Location: 62 W Tabernacle St, St. George, UT 84770

Green Gate Village

The centerpiece of the Green Gate Village Historic Inn, this large, two-story home with, adobe walls 18 inches thick, was built by Orson Pratt in 1862. Orson Pratt was one of the most remarkable men in LDS Church history. He joined the church in Kirkland, Ohio in 1830 at the age of 19 and was immediately called by Joseph Smith to serve the first of several missions. He was the first Elder`s Quorum president in the Church and subsequently an original member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wherein he served for the balance of his lifetime. Orson experienced first hand the hardships, persecution and many forced relocations of the saints. After an arduous trek across the great plains and Rocky Mountains in the summer of 1847, Orson and Erastus Snow were the first two men to view and enter the Great Salt Lake Valley in advance of Brigham Young`s wagon party. Because of Orson`s mathematical expertise he helped lay out the plat maps for that and other Utah cities to follow. In addition, he was an author, editor, publisher, scientist and an educator. He crossed the continent many times on horseback, wagon, and rail, and crossed the Atlantic Ocean sixteen times on three-masted sailing ships, taking the gospel message to the British Isles.

Location: 76 West Tabernacle St. George, Utah 84770

Pine Valley Chapel

The settlers of the Pine Valley logging and saw-milling community wanted to build a church that would also function as a school and community building. Ebenezer Bryce was approached to design and supervise the construction. The chapel was constructed of local pine and set on a foundation of granite and red limestone. Since Bryce`s experience was as a shipbuilder, the attic of the building is essentially a ship`s hull turned upside down. Each of the walls was constructed flat on the ground, then lifted up and tied at the corners with strips of rawhide. The chapel was completed in 1868. Bryce later moved to Garfield County and Bryce Canyon National Park was named after him in the 1920`s.

Location: 52 W. Main Street (at Grass Valley Street) Pine Valley, UT 84781
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Brigham Young Winter Home Historical Site

The Brigham Young Winter Home and Office is a historic residence and museum located in St. George, Utah. Brigham Young was the foremost Mormon pioneer and led the church to the Utah Territory. As Young grew older, his arthritis precluded him from spending winters in the Salt Lake City region, so his followers built him a winter home in St. George in the arid Dixie region of Utah. Young seasonally occupied the home and office from 1873 to 1876. The building was eventually deeded to the Utah State Parks and Recreation department and is now open as a museum.

Location: 67 W. 200 North, St. George, UT