Cedar City: A Look Back - Union Pacific Train Depot

The Cedar City Depot was built and paid for in 1923 by Union Pacific with the hope that a railroad spur would increase rail tourism in Southern Utah. The trains brought tourists and movie companies into the area and the depot served as the gateway to the national parks until 1960, which marked the final year for regular passenger use of the railway. The north end of the depot served as the express office where local residents could pick up rare items such as salmon and halibut from the Northeast. The depot officially closed in 1984 and now serves as the location for a variety of local businesses.

 

 

 

 

 

Cedar City: A Look Back - Welcome Sign

Tourism has been and continues to be an economic mainstay for Cedar City and Iron County. In summer of 2016, a little over one million visitors, ate, slept, shopped, and were entertained in our local area. This does not count the thousands who come during the winter to enjoy our amazing winter recreation opportunities. This Welcome sign stood on the corner of Main and Center for many years. The photo was taken in 1947. For up to date information visit the Cedar City - Brian Head Tourism Bureau at visitcedarcity.com

Meet our new Foundation Chair: Mike Scott

The Frontier Homestead Museum Foundation recently elected a new chair, Mike Scott. Maureen Carlson, one of our interpretive staff, recently sat down with him.

Q - Tell me a little bit about yourself.

A - Well, let’s see, I am an engineer by trade. I had a company in Southern California, sold it, [then] moved to initially Parowan to help to raise and train horses. In California, my partner and I showed Clydesdales; we started with one and ended up with ten. I was looking for something to do, then I was invited to come to Utah and I’ve been here ever since, and that would’ve been in about 2002. So I’ve been in either Parowan or Cedar City since 2002.

Q - How have you liked it here?

A - I love it! We’re both retired and we’ve had discussions about ‘if we wanted to live anyplace in the nation, where would you go?’ and I said, ‘I love it here. We have four seasons.’ As a Southern California boy, I still oggle at the snow! And my partner, she’s from Minnesota and she’s going ‘Oh god, it’s snowing again…’ and I’m going ‘No, no! This is so cool!’

Q - What brought you here?

A - In Parowan here, initially it was Percherons, and maybe you remember the place, Mountain View Ranch? (Yes.) That’s who I worked for. That came about because Grant Cox used to show in Southern California and we were fellow competitors at horse shows. So then the opportunity came and he said, ‘Why don’t you come to Utah and work my horses?’ We disbanded our operation. It was a 24/7 job, you do not get a break at all. There’s only so many years of that you can take.

Q - What is it that is special to you about the Frontier Homestead?

A - Well I initially started as a volunteer and I came and saw that some of the harnesses on the horses were incorrect. So I asked if I could fix it. Then they steered me down to the wagon barn where there was extra leather, and I came up here and put some stuff together correctly as to how it should be. I just kind of paid attention to, you know, that’s the way we did it with horses and said, well if we’re showing it that way, then I gotta make it right, show it right.

Q - What are you goals for the Foundation during your tenure?

A - Obviously number one is to finish the new building that’s been started out back near the Hunter House. The real plus about that is that it will enable us to obtain a couple more collections that people want to donate that we have no room for. There will probably be even three new collections that we’ll be able to house in that building. And also, it will give us the opportunity to move some of the carriages that are in the museum now out there for special events when we want to use the main building here in the museum, and that’s an intent in the future, is to be able to move things out so that we could have a big gala event here inside the museum. That’s one of the main intents of the building, additional collections and storage.

Q - How does the Foundation work with the park?

A - The Foundation actually has a Board of Trustees which I’m the chairman of and they are community members and some legislative members: Senator Vickers from Utah Legislature, Councilman Rowley from Cedar City, and we’re now looking to get an appointment from the Iron County Commission,(Councilman Mike Bleak has agreed to fill this position) plus interested volunteers. We just get together and come up with ideas for fundraisers or local support and once we raise money, decide how we’re going to spend it. And we kind of have a “hit list” of one, two, three, four of things we want to do and it’s well, what could we do immediately, what’s going to take a few years, what kind of money are we talking about, those kinds of things.

Q - How can people get more involved with the park?

A - We have a volunteer network and it’s basically just contacting the park. There’s a number of people that come into do volunteer work throughout the week, whether it be the lady weavers just kind of showing and they’re able to use the facility, and some fellows come in and help with restoration projects and/or other little special projects - carpentry kind of things and/or whatever. Just contact the museum, there’s a little form to fill out and become a volunteer helper.

Q - Is it spread mainly by word of mouth by people who work here or have volunteered here before?

A - Yeah, and Friends of the Museum group publishes a quarterly newsletter and seek volunteers through that. And then again through the printed press that we’re fortunate to be able to get from either the Spectrum or Iron County Today; we can get little blurbs in once in awhile in some of the articles that say, you know, if you’d like to come and help. And then the other word of mouth is, and I also coordinate Eagle Scout projects for here and we’ve had a number of them.

Q - I heard that the Hay Derrick out front here was an Eagle Scout project?

A - Correct. We talked about building one and the Eagle Scout that was actually in charge of it actually found one in Enoch and the land owner was gracious enough to donate it to us. So his group disassembled it and brought it to the park and put it back together, so he didn’t have to build one and the fellow that donated it got a little recognition. And you know, the front of the museum has changed significantly over the years, if you can remember, that it was just kind of grass and bushes and you never really knew that the building was here [because] it was kind of hidden. And now we have these large implements out front to draw attention to it.

Q - What is your fondest memory of Frontier Homestead State Park?

A - Probably when we do Christmas at the Homestead that week in December. Every evening where we [have] singers, carolers, a couple of vendors, but it’s, you know, the hot chocolate and all the rest of the little goodies, little bonfires going everywhere, and it’s just kind of neat all around. It’s really a family event. It’s set up in such a way that you could come every night because there’s different singers, different musical groups.

 

Q - Is that similar with the Folk Festival too, bringing in local artists?

A - They can come from Salt Lake or Las Vegas, some of the artists. The Folk Festival this year is basically local talent and music talent and artists pretty much local, maybe 75% local. And it’s not store goods, it’s handmade stuff and that was one of our requirements for our artists, that when they submit, we have to see pictures of them actually in their studios or their workplaces making whatever it is that they sell to show. There’s a tremendous amount of talent in this area.

If you are interested in joining the Frontier Homestead Foundation Friends group, you can learn more by clicking here.  Membership includes free admission to the park, including special events, discounts in the gift shop, and much more.

Cedar City: A Look Back - The Parks Theatre

Built in 1927 by John S. Woodbury, a former mayor of Cedar City (1908-1909) the Parks Theater, formally known as the Orpheum, hosted afternoon matinees for young and old alike. William Boyd played Hop Along Cassidy in over 50 motion pictures from the silent era to talkies until 1948.

Frontier Folk Festival: Call for Artists

Frontier Homestead State Park Museum and The Frontier Homestead Museum Foundation are pleased to announce the second annual Frontier Folk Festival in Cedar City, Utah, June 16-17, 11 am – 8 pm each day. Original art and live music combine to celebrate the diverse heritage of southern Utah.  The Frontier Folk Festival promises to be filled with remarkable talent.

“We’ve been talking about this idea for years,” says Todd Prince, Park Manager.  “Last year we introduced the festival, not knowing what the response would be.  Overall, it was a good event. This year we hope to expand on our success, and offer an exceptional experience to the community and all our patrons.”

Applications are now being accepted.  All interested artists and food vendors must submit an electronic  application, available at Artist application .

Thanks to the generous support of the Cedar City/Brian Head Tourism & Convention Bureau (Scenic Southern Utah), marketing and advertising will be extended to market areas in Las Vegas and the Wasatch Front, increasing the Folk Festival’s reach to a broad audience.

The Frontier Homestead Museum Foundation is looking forward to a diverse, quality show, and wish to thank its exhibiting artists and musicians in advance for helping to bring the arts in all of their forms to the residents of Iron County and beyond.

Questions can be directed to Festival Coordinator Todd Prince at (435) 586-9290, or via email atfrontierhomestead@utah.gov.

The Legacies of Iron County: Mining - The Ore Shovel

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. Shovels at work in the mines.In the 1930s, iron mining expanded in Iron County and massive shovels were needed to excavate the needed ore. According to company delivery records, two Bucyrus-Erie 120-B shovels were delivered to the Utah Construction Company in Cedar City in September of 1936 for use in the iron mines. At the time, the wage for a shovel operator was $0.48 per hour.

Shovel at work.The electric 120-B shovel had a six cubic yard dipper capacity, big enough to scoop up six tons of dirt and rock, enough to fill a hole the size of a large pick-up truck with extended cab and bed. AC power was supplied to the shovel via a trailing 23,000 volt electric cable which drove a 275-horsepower motor-generator set. When moving the shovel from pit to pit, bulldozers were employed to prevent the huge tracks from slipping down the hill.

SHE-22 at work.About 330 of the 120-Bs were sold around the world over a period lasting almost three decades. SHE (shovel excavator) 22 was used continuously until the 1970’s.  SHE-22 had previously been located west of town where it sat for many years.  In 2012, in partnership with Utah State Parks, Cedar City, Iron County, Gilbert Development, Inc., and Construction Steel, Inc., the shovel was relocated to Frontier Homestead State Park.

The Legacies of Iron County

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. agricultureAgriculture, 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.

 

 

MININGMining, 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.

 

 

TOURISMRailroads, 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.

Cedar City: A Look Back - The Carnegie Library

Carnegie portrait that hung in the library. Now in the collection of Frontier Homestead State Park This impressive structure was built in 1914 on property adjacent to the Cedar City Tabernacle on Center Street and Main. The building ceased being used as a public library in 1957 and was purchased by the State Bank of Southern Utah in 1966 for $35,000. Having been vacated in 1969, the building was torn down in 1970.

For a more detailed account of the Library’s construction and development click the following link: Cedar City Library History

 

Cedar City's Carnegie Library

The Carnegie Library sat just to the left of the Tabernacle.

Cedar City: A Look Back

Throughout 2017 we will be featuring an historic photo of Cedar City each month. This month, a wintry scene of Main Street looking south from the corner of 200 North. This photo was taken in the 1930's.  Cedar's Main Street has been the city's main thoroughfare for the  majority of its existence. Businesses and buildings of yesteryear are displayed in this photo. Angled street parking, skewed mileage signs, and , now classic, automobiles provide a sense of nostalgia to the life-long residents of this community. main-st-winter

Christmas at the Homestead

copy-of-christmas-at-the-homestead-facebook.jpg

spinners-tree-2Are you looking for a fun, family friendly, affordable way to celebrate the Christmas season? How about Christmas at the Homestead—the Frontier Homestead State Park Museum, that is! The Utah Shakespeare Festival and the popular state park in Cedar City are once again partnering to provide a Christmas celebration for area residents and visitors. First up is the second annual Homestead Christmas Market December 2 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and December 3, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Recapturing the sights, sounds, smells and ambiance of a pioneer Christmas market, this event provides a truly unique holiday shopping experience; where you can browse and buy from over 50 artists and craftsmen. It's a great opportunity to find that perfectly handcrafted gift for the special someone on everyone's list.

Admission to the event is just $1 per person. Free hot chocolate will be available both days, and holiday music will be featured on December 3. For more information, visit christmasatthehomestead.com.

The annual Christmas at the Homestead will be December 5 to 9 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. each day. The cost is only $2 per person or $5 for the entire family, and there will definitely be something for everyone—young, old, and in between.

homestead-christmas-4“Nothing will get you in the holiday spirit quicker and more completely than spending an evening at Christmas at the Homestead,” said Todd Prince, Frontier Homestead State Park Manager. “It’s an enchanting experience with everything that makes Christmas special: music, friends and family, entertainment, and holiday goodies.”

All the museum’s regular features and exhibits will be open each night. In addition, different entertainment will be featured each evening, including music and dance at 6 and 7 each evening and Christmas story readings at 6:30 and 7:30. 

Walking through the various museum structures, visitors will get a feeling of yesteryear. Each will be decorated with a themed tree and other decorations. Some of the trees will be favorites from previous years, but a few new ones will also make their premieres. Ben Hohman, properties director for the Festival, has designed the lighting in the park.

Of course, Santa will be in the Hunter House each evening from 5:30 to 8. Each night will also include different treats: popcorn, baked goods, and hot chocolate. As you walk among the various buildings, 15 unique themed trees might give you some inspiration for your home. Each evening will also include different hands-on activities: beaded ornaments, Christmas cord, dipping candles, etc.

“This is a great opportunity for individuals and families to benefit from an affordable and entertaining holiday experience,” said Joshua Stavros, Festival media and public relations manager.“Christmas at the Homestead gives us a chance to celebrate our rich heritage and give something back to the community.”

For the latest information and details, visit: www.christmasatthehomestead.com. christmas-at-the-homestead-2016-poster

Iron Mission Days: A Cedar City Birthday Celebration

Frontier Homestead State Park Museum once again celebrates the founding of Cedar City with a day of activities designed to honor the spirit of our community and those that created opportunities for our growth. Come and enjoy the cool crisp fall air on Saturday November 5th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm as Frontier Homestead hosts its annual Iron Mission Days. The cost is $5.00 per family. img_3760

This year the Park is excited to highlight two new features of the Homestead – the Hunter House Summer Kitchen and the Native Heritage Exhibit.  For the past two years many people have worked diligently to bring these projects to fruition.  Partnerships and support from the Cedar City RAP Tax, the Division of Utah Arts and Museums, and Southern Utah University helped make these new exhibits possible.  Todd Prince, Park Manager, said, “The addition of the summer kitchen and Native Heritage Exhibit greatly increased our capacity to offer more variety of activities to our visitors.  These will be prized for years to come.  And with the completion of the back grounds of the Hunter House, we will now be able to offer a space for group rentals such as wedding receptions and family reunions. The open house on November 5th is a wonderful opportunity for the community to experience these new exhibits first hand.”

Explore the pithouse.

The Summer Kitchen will be ready for a fall appearance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kasey Warhurst our Museum Blacksmith will be pounding iron.

Pioneer activities, crafts for kids, living history demonstrations and tours of our Native Heritage Area and Hunter House Summer Kitchen will be available. Staff will be showcasing tomahawk throwing, goodies baked in the wood-fired oven, and our Museum Blacksmith will be on hand. Additionally, visitors will be able to practice throwing the atlatl, pitching horseshoes, and of course, making the park’s well-known rag dolls.

 

Can you throw a tomahawk and make it stick?

Corn grinding will be available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday November 5th promises to be a fun-filled day of adventure for the whole family. Step back in time with Frontier Homestead State Park.

Check out our website for more information: frontierhomestead.org

Gronway Parry's Saving's Bond Tour

One of the original wagon banner's The banner (pictured) was used on one of the 26 covered wagons provided to the Federal Government by Cedar City resident Gronway Parry, known as “The Covered Wagon King.” The Opportunity Bond Drive, as it was called, began on May 16, 1949 and continued until June 30th. The Government’s goal was to raise one billion dollars in bond sales. Utah’s quota was three million two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. The slogan “Be a Modern ‘49er proved reminiscent of the California Gold Rush of 1849, in which immigrants throughout the world traveled to the American West to seek their fortune.

Opportunity Bond Drive promotional poster.

Bond ad from the Rappahannock Record (Virginia)

The 26 wagons were flown from Cedar City to Independence Missouri for a large kick off parade. The wagons were then loaded back on to the planes and flown to various cities from coast to coast, including 30 of the 48 state capitals.  The wagons were equipped with a public address system and bonds were sold from them with special covered wagon themed souvenir jackets. The Utah wagon arrived in Salt Lake City on May 19 and traveled the state until June 29th, where its statewide tour concluded.

Loading the wagon's in Indiana.

A group of local officials at the start of the bond tour.

President Harry S. Truman's bond drive speech: Truman's Bond Speech

Military Appreciation Day at Frontier Homestead

veteran day copyIn an effort to honor and recognize the significant contributions of our military members, Utah State Parks announces Military Appreciation Day Saturday, August 13. Day-use entrance fees into all Utah state parks will be waived for active service members and veterans and their families. All 42 state parks will offer special activities or displays as way to pay tribute and say thank you.  

 

Signal Flags

Tent Pitching

Come celebrate our courageous military personnel with your family, friends and community at Frontier Homestead on Saturday August 13, 2016. Frontier Homestead will present a number of military themed activities for young and old alike, including firing our cannon on every half hour between 10am and 2pm. Visitors will step back in time and live life as a frontier soldier. Activities include learning close order drills, writing letters with ink and quill, learning to communicate with signal flags, pitching frontier army tents, and solving a secret code. Additionally, our wood fired oven will be in use providing era appropriate treats. Visitors will also have access to all our hands-on historical activity stations. Admission to the park is $5.00 per family or free for active service members and veterans and their families as well as Friends of the Frontier Homestead members.                                                                                     The activities will run from 10am to 2 p.m.

We will be firing the cannon

At our Military Appreciation Day there is sure to be something to make you think, smile, or laugh so come join us. Spend some time learning about your family by playing with your family at Frontier Homestead.

Frontier Homestead on Television

This summer, Frontier Homestead State Park has been featured on a couple of media outlets and we thought we would share them here. First, The Good For Utah Road Trip visited our park and shot a segment with Stephen Olsen, a long-time member of our staff. You can view the clip here: FHSP Good For Utah segment

Also, Fox 13's The Place stopped by and spoke with Museum Curator Ryan Paul. You can view that segment here:

FHSP Fox 13 The Place segment

Now that you have seen the park online, why don't you come and visit us in person.

Hollywood Comes to Cedar City

Gronway (left) and Chauncey Parry 1917 It began when brothers Gronway, Chauncey, and Whit Parry relocated from their Salt Lake City home to the rural southwestern Utah town of Cedar City.  Gronway, the oldest, saw this community as an opportunity to succeed in a variety of business enterprises, including transportation and lodging. He quickly advised his brothers to come and share in his success. The Parry brothers soon capitalized on the national interest in Zion and Bryce Canyons and the natural amphitheater at Cedar Breaks.

Chauncey, having trained as a pilot during WWI, combined his loves of flying and photography and spent many hours creating amazing aerial footage that he would soon market to the film studios in Hollywood. In 1924, the Fox Film Corporation announced that the world’s most popular cowboy Tom Mix would film his next movie Deadwood Coach in the area.  Cedar City was now in the viewfinder of Hollywood movie studios and fervently opened their community to them.

Cast of "Forlorn River" leaving Cedar City, 1926

Upon leaving Cedar City, Tom Mix prophesied “We have pioneered the picture production business in your section much to our satisfaction and that of the director, and we feel that our reports on the possibilities of your country will induce many other companies to follow.” And follow they did. Movies such as: The Good Earth, Union Pacific, Drums Along the Mohawk, Brigham Young, Can’t Help Singing, My Friend Flicka, and Proud Rebel were all filmed in Cedar City and the surrounding areas.

The Gem Photoplay became the first theater in Cedar City. In 1919 Thomas A. Thorley built the Thorley Theater, replacing the Gem. Throughout the following decades, the Thorley would undergo a series of name changes including theAvalon and the Utah but by the 1950’s it would come to be known as the Cedar Theater.

Gem Photoplay - 3rd from left

Cedar Theatre, 1968

The Thorley Theater served as the location for the Utah premier of the Cecil B. DeMille film Union Pacific in 1939. Union Pacific was one of many motion pictures filmed in the area. Local resident York Jones remembers, “It was a thrill to watch the premier because you could recognize the people who were extras.” The Cedar Theater has become a local landmark and is directly tied to the history of the Cedar City and southern Utah area. It is the last of the traditional movie houses in the community as its sister theater the Parks, formally the Orpheum, was destroyed by the great main street fire of 1962.

Parks Theater, 1940's

Filming on Cedar Mountain, 1930's.

Cedar Breaks Part III

Ready to go - circa 1952 In 1923, Union Pacific created the Utah Parks Company in an effort provide guest services that would entice passengers from the eastern United States to travel west by train and visit the scenic parks. The National Park Service encouraged this enterprise. Rail passengers would arrive in Cedar City where UPC buses would provide transportation and tours of the parks. The Grand Circle tour included stops at Zion Park, Bryce Canyon, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, and Cedar Breaks.

Gilbert Stanley Underwood

In the early years of the Utah Parks Company noted architect Gilbert Stanley Underwood was commissioned to design lodges and cabins at the four stops on the Grand Circle tour. Underwood’s design of the Cedar Breaks lodge was of a simple but useful log building that matched its setting on the rim of the “Breaks.”  There was a lobby, a large dining area and a kitchen.  In the entrance lobby was a massive stone fireplace, which proved to be the focal point with a 6x6 foot opening and large andirons to hold the burning logs.

Early photo of the Cedar Breaks Lodge.

 

 

While the warmth of the fire was a welcome relief from the cool night air, the dining room certainly became the most popular part of the building.  The spacious eating area had 120 seats that were often all filled, with as many as three seating’s a night.

 “The tourists always had one meal at Cedar Breaks, usually lunch or dinner. The dinners were well known, The only thing they had on the night menu was the chicken dinner. They had fried chicken, country gravy and mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, biscuits, and for dessert they had a a strawberry sundae with little wafer cookies on them. They had the same menu seven nights a week and they were well known for that meal! We had people come up from Cedar City just for dinner.”

- Brenda Barrett Orton

The standards for the food served and the service were the same as at other Utah Parks Company lodges.  The serving staff of waitresses and bus boys maintained a spirit of professionalism and made visitors feel at ease as they enjoyed the scenery and the food. Former manager Gayle Snyder remembers: “One waiter as he carried his relish tray tipped it back and the olives and pickles rolled right down the back of a lady's dress. She stood up and shook and the olives just came pouring out of her dress. But you know, the dudes didn't seem to get really mad. We really didn't have a lot of complaints about the things the kids did.”

Cedar Breaks Waiteresses

For nearly fifty years the Utah Parks Company transported and served the Dudes as guests were called at Zion, Bryce Canyon, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, and Cedar Breaks. In 1972 the Utah Parks Company ceased its operations and donated the lodges to the National Park Service. It was determined that the Cedar Breaks lodge was too costly to maintain and it was torn down in 1972.  The Cedar City community angrily protested the removal of the lodge, so much so that the Park Service halted plans to tear down other similar structures at Zion and Bryce Canyon.

Cedar Breaks Lodge - July 1949

Although the Utah Parks Company and the Cedar Breaks lodge are gone, their spirit still remains as tens of thousands of visitors pour into southwestern Utah each year to enjoy the breathtaking scenery, hike spectacular trails, and maybe remember the great chicken dinners once served in the lodge on the rim of the Breaks. Next week, living at Cedar Breaks.

Frontier Folk Festival

FF option6 Frontier Homestead State Park Museum and The Frontier Homestead Museum Foundation are pleased to bring the first annual Frontier Folk Festival to Cedar City, Utah, June 17-18, 11 am – 8 pm each day. The Festival will be held on the grounds of the museum located at 635 North Main Street. Admission is $1.00 per person.

Original art, live music, traditional craft demonstrations, and a horseshoe tournament combine to celebrate the diverse heritage of southern Utah.  The Frontier Folk Festival promises to be filled with remarkable talent.  Featured bands include Stillhouse Road, Wilhelm, The Red Hill Rangers, Hen Hao Fiddlers, The Sonoran Dogs, and Marty Warburton and Homegirls.

The Sonoran Dogs are one of the many groups playing the Festival.

For horseshoe enthusiasts, the tournament will take place on Saturday, with Junior level (under 14) starting at 11:00 a.m., and Adult level (14 and up) beginning at 1:00 p.m.  Prizes will be awarded for first and second places.

“We’ve been talking about this idea for years,” says Todd Prince, Frontier Homestead Park Manager.  “Working with our Museum Foundation, we finally decided to take the leap and offer a new experience to the community and all our patrons.  It will be a great event for anyone attracted to history, the visual arts and folk music.”  Festival Coordinator, Sandi Levy, added, “The Foundation is simply thrilled to offer this family friendly experience to the community.  It is a golden opportunity for us all to experience our heritage!”

Corn broom maker Marie Jagger will be one of the many Festival vendors.

We are looking forward to a diverse, high quality experience, with all our exhibiting artists, musicians, demonstrators and food purveyors. The Frontier Folk Festival will have something for everyone and we are excited to continue the local tradition of bringing the arts in all of their forms to Cedar City, Iron County, and beyond.

For more information and to see a full list of artists, musicians, and sponsors visit frontierhomestead.org or click on the link below:

Frontier Folk Festival

National Geographic comes to Cedar City

Angels Landing “Utah blazes with color.” This sentence opens the May 1936 article in National Geographic “Utah, Carved by Winds and Waters.”In early 1936, writer Leo A. Borah visited southern Utah and toured with local tourism booster Randall L. Jones. Thanks to local Cedar City resident Scott Truman, who recently donated this issue to the museum, we now have access to this forgotten piece of writing.  Borah notes many unique features of our community, especially the golf course:

“Cedar City, gateway to the southern Utah parks, has a golf course which symbolizes the Utah pioneer spirit. Several miles from town it lies, in an arid valley crowded by craggy hills. Its ‘greens’ are a mixture of sand, sawdust, and oil; its teeing places bristle doormats set in wooden frames; its fairways barren stretches from which sagebrush has been laboriously dug.

Randall Jones and I went out to the course with a club member, who explained with a chuckle as we jounced over the rough trail from the highway to the links that the jolts were ‘warming-up’ exercises for the game. In front of the ‘shake’ clubhouse beside a clump of scraggly juniper trees an iron mine owner and a West Point cadet were toiling in the hot sun to set an additional doormat for teeing.

The sand, sawdust, and oil putting "green"

The course lacks nothing in ‘rough.’ As if the hazards of cliffs, gullies, sagebrush, and thickets were not sufficient, there is an occasional rattlesnake for the player to kill with his club, or an inquisitive deer to chase out of the way with his shots.  That wild valley looks as little like a possible place for a golf course as the trackless desert the pioneers settled looked like farmland.”

Following is a sampling of the many photos from the article:

The rock church

 

The aspens of Cedar Mountain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zion singaway

A 1936 Cedar Breaks view

A Cooperative Effort

As the Cedar City community sheep herds increased in number, a cooperative organization was established to aid those stockholders in more effectively distributing and marketing the growth of the herd. The Cedar Sheep Association became a well managed, dividend paying company that provided a measure of security during the community’s lean years.  By 1879 there were more than five thousand sheep in the cooperative herd and shareholders had sufficient wool for the women to card, spin, and knit and sufficient mutton for home use. The Cedar Sheep Association

To supply fresh meat for the community, the sheep association drove twenty-five to thirty fat old ewes to town each week where they would be dispatched by the local butcher, Charles Ahlstrom.  William R. Palmer writes, “Early Saturday morning, before the flies became too active, the people rushed to the butcher shop on Main Street to buy a leg or front quarter of mutton. It was never cut up smaller than that. Plucks (the heart, liver, and lungs) were given away at the slaughterhouse to the kids who swarmed there like flies on killing days.”

After the wool needs of the town were met, the balance was sacked up and freighted to Provo or Salt Lake City and traded for groceries and hardware. These goods were transported back to Cedar City, and sold at the co-op store. The stockholders would draw their dividends in the form of merchandise instead of hard currency.    The Cedar Sheep Association disbanded in 1917.  The Cedar Sheep Association building is currently the home of Bulloch Drug on Main Street.

The Cedar City Co-op - "The Old Reliable"

Another Co-op venture was the Cedar City Co-op, otherwise known as “The Old Reliable”.  William R. Palmer worked in this co-op and shared the following story:

“Dealing all the time with people, the clerks came to know their vagaries. Aunt Manie was one who always expected the clerk "to throw something in." She came early one year to do her Christmas shopping, and I waited on her. On her list was a pound of peanuts. I opened the drawer and there was a big mouse in the bin. I scooped it with the nuts into her sack. She said, "Now what are you going to throw in for a Christmas gift." I said, "I have already thrown something in, you'll find it soon." I expected to have her in my hair any day, but time went on to the end of January before I saw her again.

1915 Cedar City Co-op ad.

She was back to trade, and at the end as usual, she asked me to throw something in. I said, "Aunt Manie, I threw something in the last time we traded, and you have never thanked me for it. It was when you bought some peanuts." "Oh!" she cried, "I never got one of those nuts. I put them in my trunk to keep for Christmas, and when I opened it to get them on Christmas morning a pesky mouse had got in and ate them all. It also ate holes in some of my clothes." I lacked the courage to confess my sins, but I made the peanuts up in full to Aunt Manie and gave her a sample package of a new tea to pay for her darning. After that Aunt Manie would trade with no other clerk . . . .”

 

The El Escalante Hotel

Contrived by the Cedar City Chamber of Commerce and designed by Randall Jones in 1919, the El Escalante hotel was located on the SW corner of 200 North and Main Street, conveniently across from the railroad depot. Construction began under the direction of city leaders with locally made brick. The hotel was purchased by Union Pacific to accommodate tourists to the nearby Utah parks in 1923. The hotel began hosting thousands of visitors a year, including movie stars and President Warren G. Harding. The El Escalante anchored the north end of Main Street for nearly 50 years. In August of 1971 it was sold to a private enterprise and was demolished. Here is a sample of some of the images and artifacts we have from the El Escalante. We would love to hear your stories and recollections about the hotel.

An early image of the hotel and depot.

The hotel in the 1960's.

The hotel with the UPC buses out front.

A typical room. Taken from a 1925 UPC tourist guide.

The lobby of the El Escalante hotel.

Registration card

Room key