The staff at Frontier Homestead State Park has been diminished with our curator Ryan Paul moving on. He has been teaching history part time at Southern Utah University for many years, and will start teaching full time this fall.
When Ryan Paul joined Iron Mission State Park as curator eighteen years ago it was a very different place. As curator, Ryan was primarily responsible for the acquisition, preservation, and display of artifacts. In these efforts he was instrumental in many major changes. His tenure saw the Hunter House, Jones sheep shed, and Nelson wood shop brought to the park; the replica blast furnace and palisade built; and the caboose, ore shovel, and hay derrick placed in the front of the museum building. Ryan was also responsible for interpreting the museum collection. One of his first tasks was the farm equipment collection that covers much of the outside space. Ryan laid out the paths and created the signs to explain this equipment.
In addition to managing the collection, Ryan helped the museum be more visible in the community. His goal, stated many times, was to become the new town center. He encouraged and developed many community events. Some may remember the summer day camps where children enjoyed weekly themed activities. These were discontinued in favor of larger events such as Sheep to Shawl, Haunted Homestead, and the very popular Christmas at the Homestead. This past school year he was instrumental in partnering with community partners to create Wonder Wednesdays that provided activities on early out days in the Iron County School District.
The staff at the Iron County Visitor center commented on his dedication to the history of Cedar City evidenced by his development of tours of Main Street and the cemetery. This devotion will continue in his new position as he seeks to instill a love of history in his students. We look forward to continuing to work with Ryan in his new position, and wish him well as he moves on.