St. George is often referred to as "Utah's Dixie." Upon arrival here, pioneers discovered that, with the help of irrigation, cotton could grow abundantly in the St. George area. Since that time it has attracted visitors from all over the world, due in part to its pleasant winter climate and stunning red-rock surroundings.
Below are listed some Mormon historic sites in the St. George area. This is not an exhaustive list, and visitors looking to see some of the more obscure or less popular historic sites are encouraged to research other sites of interest before visiting the area.
Nellie Unthank Memorial, Cedar City
Located on the campus of Southern Utah University in Cedar City, the Nellie Unthank memorial pays tribute to a woman who traveled across the plains to Utah, losing both of her feet in the process. Despite this disability, she became an important settler of the St. George area and raised a family here. The statue shows her as a physically active, optimistic young girl.
Heritage House Museum, Kanab
The Heritage House Museum is a Victorian-style house that has been restored and now offers a glimpse into pioneer-era life in Utah's Dixie. It is located on the corner of Main Street and 100 South in Kanab, and is open during the summer, Monday-Friday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. for tours.
St. George Temple, St. George
The St. George Temple, built of plastered sandstone, sticks out against its red-rock surroundings. It was the first temple built in Utah after the arrival of the Mormon pioneers, and was dedicated in early 1877. Although its story is not as well-known as that of the Salt Lake Temple, the completion of this building required noteworthy sacrifices as well. Although the general public is not admitted into the temple, a visitors center on the temple grounds, open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., offers tours as well as informational videos and pamphlets, and all are welcome to wander around the beautifully groomed temple grounds and admire the architecture of the building.
St. George Tabernacle, St. George
Labeled "The Jewel in the Desert," the St. George Tabernacle is a beautiful building reminiscent of a typical New England-style chapel. Its interior, which seats 1,200, was renovated and restored in the 1993, and it is now open for church services, daily music recitals, and the weekly Dixie History and Music Series. The clock below the tabernacle spire was built by Thwaites and Reed, the oldest clockmakers in the world and the company responsible for maintaining Big Ben. The tabernacle is located at 18 South Main Street and is open daily during winter from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and during summer until 6:00 p.m.
Brigham Young Winter Home, St. George
Mormon Church president and territorial governor Brigham Young had this home built when health problems necessitated time spent in a warmer climate. It has since been restored and furnished with much of the furniture and artifacts that were originally part of the house. The Brigham Young Winter Home is located at the southeast corner of 200 North and 100 West. It is open for tours daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (until 7:00 p.m. in spring and until 8:00 p.m. in summer). For more information call (435) 673-5181.
Old Pioneer Courthouse, St. George
Although originally built as a courthouse, this downtown landmark has also been used as a school, an office building, and a Chamber of Commerce. A visitors information center is currently located there.
Jacob Hamblin Home, Santa Clara
An early convert to Mormonism and pioneer, Jacob Hamblin (1819-1886) is famous as a liaison between the first white settlers and native tribes in Utah. This house, which he occupied between 1863 and 1869, has been restored and filled with pioneer artifacts. Tours are given daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (until 7:00 p.m. in spring and until 8:00 p.m. in summer. For more information call (435) 673-5181.
Mountain Meadows, near Pine Valley
Mountain Meadows was the site of one of pioneer-era America's most infamous massacres. Immigrants often stopped at Mountain Meadows on their way to the West Coast, and for unclear reasons a skirmish ensued in September, 1857, between Mormon settlers and pioneers passing through the area, which resulted in the deaths of about 120 men and women. Although individual members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were involved in the massacre, the church as a whole and its leaders played no part in the battle, and today the church maintains a marker at the site of the massacre.