Take a step back.  

St. George Temple

During a period of scanty food supplies, malaria, alkali soil, and floods, the St. George Temple was built over six years by approximately 250 members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who lived in a community of 1,100 inhabitants. These laborers dug the foundation for the building by hand, pounded together a foundation of black volcanic rock, cut stone for the exterior walls from the nearby quarry , and hauled one million feet of lumber by oxen from mills at both Pine Valley Mountain and Mt. Trumbull in Arizona.

Women wove rag carpets for the interior hallways and fashioned fringe for the alters and pulpits from Utah-produced silk. The historic photo was taken while three craftsmen posed on the parapets, including George Laub, wearing the white apron, Robert McQuarrie holding the saw, and Aaron McDonald. Completed in 1877, the building is currently closed for extensive renovation. 

Historic Washington County Courhouse

St. George was designated the seat of Washington County on Jan. 14, 1863 when the Utah legislature unexpectedly moved the County seat from New Harmony. Construction on the courthouse began in 1866 and was completed in 1876, then used as a courthouse until 1960.

The building has a full basement, which originally served as a jail. The first floor served as offices for county government. The large room on the second floor was used as a schoolroom and the courtroom. Other interesting features include the 18-inch thick interior doors, the old chandeliers, original paintings of Zion National Park and the Grand Canyon, a security vault, the exterior cornice work, and the cupola.

The cupola was designed for hangings, though none were ever performed there. The building is still in use, which is a testament of the skill and care used in its construction. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places (#19700000634) on September 22, 1970, the building currently is open to the public as a museum and for lectures and other such meetings. Photograph taken about 1910.


St. George Tabernacle

About the St. George Tabernacle, historian Mary Phoenix stated “….When Brigham Young visited St. George about one year after the first settlers had entered the valley, he found the citizens suffering from the same malaise that had affected earlier settlers. Every dam they had placed in the Virgin River had washed out just as the water was needed most. Food was scarce until the next harvest.

The intense summer heat unbroken by any shade, the swarms of flies and the malaria many contracted were driving many to leave. Unless there was immediate help, there would soon be no Cotton Mission. Brigham’s solution to such problems was always to unite his flock in a big project in which they could all take pride and in their enthusiasm they often forgot their personal problems. He wrote Erastus Snow, presiding apostle. ‘I want you and the brethren to build, as speedily a possible, a good, substantial, commodious well-furnished meeting house, one large enough to comfortably seat 2,000 persons (there were less than 200 people in St. George at the time) and that will not only be useful, but also an ornament to your city, and a credit to your energy and enterprise.’ To the credit of these poor, over-worked, hungry people they did just that. The cornerstone was laid on Brigham Young’s birthday, June 1, 1863. ….The last stone was placed on the tower on Dec. 29, 1881 and the interior of the building [was] completed for dedication in May, 1876. It is impossible for us to even imagine the back-breaking human effort that went into the construction of the Tabernacle.

Bishop’s Storehouse

Built in 1887, the bishops’ storehouse received and stored the tithes and offerings donated by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The goods were distributed to the widows as well as the poor and needy in the community. The building later became a baker owned and operated by the McArthur family.


The St. George CO-OP Building

In the early days of St. George, stores did not exist because of the high cost of transporting goods and because no one had any money. Bartering was the pre-eminent trading system. When the cooperative movement was launched in Salt Lake City with the goal of protecting those in the Utah Territory from outside price gouging, the Southern Utah Cooperative Association was organized in 1868, which morphed into the St. George Co-op.

This institution became a driving force that influenced the financial progress and growth of Southern Utah for over fifty years. Irritated that no women sat on the board of directors, “the Sisters” formed their own co-op, placing the little store directly across the street from the Co-op where they could purchase cotton thread for 5¢ instead of 25¢. Currently the Bear Paw Café occupies the building.


Thomas Judd’s General Store

Located at 62 West Temple, Thomas Judd’s General Store is the oldest ongoing business in St. George. Constructed in the 1870s, the building first opened as Richard Bentley’s dry goods store after he had grown tired of running the business out of his home. Built with adobe bricks stacked two-deep, Thomas Judd took over the building in 1911, operating a store that catered to the needs of the area’s cattlemen, sheepherders, and their families, selling everything from rope to hay to men’s dungarees to groceries and fabric.

After Thomas Judd’s death in 1922, the store stayed within the Judd family, through son Joseph, then grandson Tom, who catered to the students attending school across the street by selling a wide variety of treats. When the city slated the building for demolition, Dr. Mark and Barbara Green purchased it, incorporating it into today’s Green Gate Village shopping complex.


Washington County News Building

This building housed the Washington County News, the community’s newspaper from 1898 to 1988. The building was originally located in the mining town of Silver Reef. The building was a saloon for nearly 20 years, then was moved to its current location on St. George Boulevard.


Wadsworth Building

Built in 1927, the Wadsworth Building has been home to many businesses such as the Dixie Theater, Jimmy’s Fountain & Lunch, Rex’s Fountain, RM Reber Insurance Agency, Reber Investment, Wadsworth Apartments, Wadsworth

Fountain, Wadsworth Theatre, and a TV station. Dixie College students rented apartments in this building. Around 2005, the building housed the Main Street Theatre and Ballroom. Since then the theater auditorium has been gutted and used for storage. 33-35-37 North Main Street.

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