Iron County exists because those who lived here developed the resources necessary for survival in this desert climate. The three legacies passed down by early settlers and their descendants — agriculture, mining, and railroads— are represented at Frontier Homestead State Park. Agriculture, symbolized by the hay derrick, became the foundation of the local community. When early mining operations ceased, Iron County residents turned to sheep and cattle to provide needed trade goods. Today, the region still has a vibrant and expanding agricultural lifestyle.
Mining, represented by the ore shovel, is the industry that began it all, proving to be the initial motive for settlement. In 1923, the mines began producing ore by the tons and elevated Iron County to one of the richest counties in the Utah for nearly 50 years. Recently, the mines have reopened and the tradition continues.
Railroads, signified by the caboose, proved pivotal for this community. Freight trains were able to haul more raw materials than ever before, increasing profits for the mining companies. Rail traffic also brought thousands of tourists to the area each year to explore our scenic wonders. Hollywood came to Utah, travelling by train, into Cedar City. The railroad literally brought the world into our backyard.
In the next few weeks, we will individually highlight each of these legacies. If you are in Cedar City, we invite you to explore, discover, and remember the legacies that transformed our community. They are a testament to our past and guideposts to our future.