Happy Thanksgiving from Frontier Homestead

To celebrate this wonderful holiday, we thought we would give you a few little treats. First this photo of Zion National Park taken on Thanksgiving Day 1923 by William Louis Crawford. A snowy Thanksgiving in Zion.Second, during the 1950's Cedar City historian and businessman William R. Palmer had a weekly radio program on local radio station KSUB. During his show, Forgotten Chapters of History, Palmer told tales of local history and sometimes covered other topics. Thanks to Special Collections at the Sherratt Library on the campus of Southern Utah University, many of these programs are available to listen to. On November 23 and 30th, 1952, Palmer presented parts one and two of his Thanksgiving Day program. Click the links and enjoy your holiday as you listen to Forgotten Chapters of History.

Thanksgiving Part I 11-23-1952

Thanksgiving Part II 11-30-1952


The Pioneer Blast Furnace

Cedar City was settled by pioneers hoping to successfully mine and produce iron. This group of core settlers became known as the Iron Mission. After many early attempts with a small furnace, they got the process down and began construction on a much larger structure. Built in 1854 the second pioneer blast furnace produced the best quality iron seen in during the entire length of the Iron Mission. Even before beginning construction, the residents of Cedar City named this structure the Noble Furnace because of their expectations that this would be a “noble building.”  The Noble Furnace proved much larger than its predecessor and also used a mechanical loading assembly. Blueprints of the Noble Furnace taken from the Deseret Iron CompanyProducing iron in the 19th century began with the combination of raw ore with a mixture of fuel and limestone. This was called a “charge” which filled or “burdened” the furnace. Many trials of each mixture were needed to get the right combination of ingredients. These were done in a smaller furnace or “cupola.” If a large charge was mixed incorrectly the lining of the furnace would fall off and need to be replaced – a process which could take months.

The replica furnace built to the exact dimensions of the pioneer furnace.The fuel used by the pioneers was either wood-based charcoal or coal-based coke. Charcoal proved the fuel of choice at Iron City. It was created by burning or smoldering wood in an oxygen free environment.   Coke is produced in a similar manner using coal and a coke oven. Using charcoal benefited the workers at Iron City because wood was readily available and it produced a softer more pliable piece of iron. Unfortunately, charcoal production uses a large number of trees.

Limestone served as a flux or catalyst that assisted in melting iron ore and binding to impurities. The furnace was lit and a constant temperature maintained through use of a water-powered bellows system. The ore mixture would heat up and separate – the heavier iron sank to the bottom while the impurities bound to the limestone rose to the top as “slag.” The pure iron was released when the furnace was “tapped,” then taken to the molding shop for further processing. Once cooled, the slag would be ground into cinder and discarded. 

Iron Mission Days Are Here Again!

The spinners are always a hit.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. Enjoy the cool crisp fall air on Saturday November 7th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm as we host our annual Iron Mission Days. The cost is $5.00 per family. Troop 350 presses the apples ever year.Pioneer activities, crafts for kids, and living history demonstrations will be available. Staff will be showcasing tomahawk throwing, candle dipping and bread baked in the wood-fired bread oven.  Freshly pressed apple cider will be there for all. Additionally, visitors will be able to practice wood working skills in the Nelson Carpentry Shop and, of course, making the park’s well-known rag dolls. The Sagebrush Fiber Artisans will be practicing their craft, the replica Fremont Indian pithouse is now open for exploration, and patrons will be able to take advantage of the newly completed horseshoe pits.


Log Cutting is a family affair. Throwing a "hawk" can be an adventure.Saturday November 7th promises to be a fun-filled day of adventure for the whole family. Step back in time with Frontier Homestead State Park and celebrate Cedar City’s birthday Frontier Homestead style.

Our historic corn sheller in action. 

Fall Events for the Entire Family

With temperatures dropping, leaves changing, and the stars coming out earlier, it must be fall and that means Frontier Homestead gets ready for some of our most exciting events of the year. Frontier Homestead in pumpkin form.We start in October with our Haunted Homestead events. On the 19th   Haunted Homestead begins with an evening of Halloween stories, games, crafts and treats. Then on the 21st  we host our popular cemetery tour looking at unique and important headstones in the Cedar cemetery. October finishes off with some non-scary activities at the Livestock Festival on the 20th.

In November we celebrate Cedar City’s birthday with hands-on activities at Iron Mission Days on November 7. Pioneer activities, crafts for kids, and living history demonstrations will all be available. We will be showcasing Candle Dipping and bread baked in our earthen bread oven.  Freshly pressed apple cider will be there for all. Additionally, we will be running our water wheel, providing demonstrations of our sawmill, practicing wood working skills in the Nelson Carpentry Shop, and of course making our famous rag dolls and rope bracelets. Local fiber artists will also be practicing their craft.

Tasty treats from the earth oven at Iron Mission Days.In December, the holiday season is upon us, and Frontier Homestead State Park Museum will be bustling with festivities.  From a two-day Christmas Market to a week-long celebration of Christmas on the frontier, families will have abundant opportunity to celebrate Trees, Snow, and Cabins Aglow.

On December 4-5, The Homestead Christmas Market will fill Frontier Homestead State Park Museum with the sights, sounds, smells and atmosphere of a frontier Christmas marketplace.  Over 20 artists and crafters have been invited to create an old-fashioned shopping experience for visitors.  In addition to the artisans setting up in the Museum, the historic buildings on the grounds of Frontier Homestead State Park will be transformed into authentic pioneer shops, full of exceptional, hand-crafted items.   Whether it's exclusive handmade soap, a piece of whimsical or fine jewelry, a new painting or piece of art for the living room, a quilt or a toy, you will find it at the Homestead Christmas Market.

Some of the many lights shining during Christmas at the Homestead.Wrapping up the festivities is the week-long Christmas at the Homestead, December 7-12. Once again the Utah Shakespeare Festival is partnering with Frontier Homestead State Park to celebrate the season with local entertainment, pioneer-themed crafts, tasty treats and nightly appearances from St. Nicholas. Christmas at the Homestead is for the whole family. Every evening all the buildings will be lit up and open for exploration. There will be crafts, hot chocolate, music and Christmas cheer.

We will be providing more details for these events as they come closer, we just wanted to give you a snapshot into our coming attractions and provide an opportunity to mark your calendar. To stay up to date and connected to the park, please join our pages, subscribe to our blog and bookmark our website. We hope to see you this fall. Frontier Homestead has plenty of family friendly fun waiting.

FACEBOOK: Facebook.com/FriendsoftheFrontierHomestead

YOUTUBE: YouTube.com/FrontierHomestead

WEBSITE: www.FrontierHomestead.org

INSTAGRAM: #frontierhomestead

An Image of the Past: The Cedar City Tabernacle

Frontier Homestead State Park has a large and varied collection of images, documents, magazines, and other archival materials. From time to time, we thought a look into that collection could prove interesting. Today, we are sharing images of the Cedar City Tabernacle. In November of 1851, Cedar City was settled by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for the purposes of mining iron. Once they had fixed the final location of their community, they began the construction of a small social hall to conduct community business. In 1872, local religious leader Christopher J. Arthur suggested replacing this social hall which a much grander structure and on November 2, 1877 the cornerstone was laid for what would become the Cedar City Tabernacle.  The building sat on the corner of Main and Center streets and construction was completed in 1885. In 1909 an electric clock was added to the steeple. The Tabernacle served as the center of worship for many of the community for decades.

The Tabernacle with the District School in the background.

The Tabernacle in the winter.

The Tabernacle

During the difficult times of the Great Depression,many communities, including Cedar City, sought federal funds for the construction of public buildings in hopes of bringing much needed construction jobs to the area. In March of 1931 the Cedar City Chamber of Commerce approached the Cedar City Council seeking financial assistance to acquire the Tabernacle lot for the purposes of building a new Federal building. The vote was unanimous. In 1932, the Tabernacle was torn down and construction began on a new Cedar City Post Office. This building now serves as the City offices.

The Tabernacle stone which sat on the west exterior wall and now resides in the Cedar City Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum



Featured Artist: Travis Humphreys

Rabbit Brush and Cliffs by Travis Humphreys Aside from our regularly exhibited artifact collection, Frontier Homestead State Park Museum has a rotating special exhibit gallery that is used by artists and artisans of many disciplines to showcase, highlight, and sell their work. Opening September 1 and running through October 31 we are pleased to feature the work of artist Travis Humphreys.

Born in Blackfoot, Idaho, Humphreys now makes Cedar City his home. He says he has been involved in art since age 13, with his first formal lesson from his uncle. He won many awards through high school and started selling artwork at a young age. His first gallery invite came in 1988 after winning awards in watercolor at the George Phippen Memorial art show in Prescott, AZ. He has won scholarships and talent awards to major universities but decided to attend B.Y.U in Provo, Utah. He graduated in 1993 with a BFA in illustration. Travis considers the greatest award that of selling artwork. Travis works in every common medium but prefers oil and acrylic and works in every scale from miniature to monumental. The landscape is his dominant subject matter. He also paints murals and does one-of-a-kind art projects for interior designers and decorators. A constant experimenter; he says, "The funnest part of painting is the process." Humphreys also creates custom framing for artists throughout the country, a talent for which he is held in high regard.

"Humphreys is a talented and accomplished artist.  It's not unusual for incredible talent to be found in places of limited population.” says Todd Prince, Park Manager, “ It just so happens that Travis chose Cedar City as him home, and we are better for it. The Museum is honored to exhibit his work."

Frontier Homestead is open Monday - Saturday, from 9am to 5pm. Don’t let the opportunity to see this amazing artistic collection pass you by. Remember, the exhibit closes October 31.

Coal Creek Falls by Travis Humphreys

The Bell of Old Main

Southern Utah University is a school rich in traditions. One of those traditions began in 1923 with the installation of the bell in Old Main. This historic bell was actually given to the Branch Agricultural College by a group of prominent local women who founded the Home Economics Club. They organized the club to raise and maintain a financial fund that could be used to give assistance to any student who needed help completing their schooling. These spirited women strove to use their funds to contribute to any worthy cause. They decided to purchase a cast iron bell which they intended to give to the high school. However after the purchase had been made they realized that the high school had a flat roof and no way house a bell. The ladies decided they should give it to the Branch Agricultural College with the suggestion that it be placed in the cupola atop Old Main, at this time the Library Building. The fact that the gift weighed 1,800 pounds presented an overwhelming challenge to the school. However the school graciously accepted the gift.

The students in the mechanic arts departments, with their inventive teacher, Mr. George Croft , solved the dilemma. Utilizing their collective muscle power they employed the department hoist and some steel cable and managed to fit the bell into the small tower. They also fashioned a mechanism that could be use to ring the bell. The bell rope extended from the operating crank, ending in a loop just below the ceiling. A tall pole with a hook facilitated the ringing of the bell.

The bell rang every morning at 8 o’clock reminding students and the town of the hour and of the school. The bell also rang to announce every athletic contest, at home or away, in which the BAC was victorious. The bell quickly found an endearing place in the hearts of the townspeople and the students of the school. For 25 years, every time the bell rang it reminded the community of their connection with the school they had worked so hard to build and to which they continued to expend their energies to sustain.

On a cold winter morning in December 1948, Old Main fell victim to fire. As the cupola containing the bell was consumed by the flames, the bell that had become a treasured tradition – came crashing down. You could hear the bell clang as it plunged from floor to floor until it finally crashed into the ground and fell completely silent.

The remains of the Old Main Bell

No amount of optimism or work could restore the beloved old cast iron bell. A fund was started by students, alumni, and the community to place a carillon in the cupola of Old Main. The electronic carillon could imitate the sound of the swinging bell, but could also broadcast Christmas music during the wintry months. By December 1949 the new carillon was installed and little by little people transferred their affections and forgot the original bell. Now in 2015, the Carter Carillon, a free standing structure, not only marks the passage of the hours, but also the journey of students at Southern Utah University as they make their way from the freshman class to University graduate. By visiting the carter carillon link you can learn more about this tradition.


The Cedar City Fire Department circa 1948

The firefighters

Back row - Ralph Hanzon, Mark Webster, Scherl Peterson?, Kay Melling, Grant Stevens, Jane Hunter, Carl Taylor, Frank Goddard, Elmer Anderson, Ernie Macfarlane

Front row- Charles (Buck) Gordon, Orwin H. Green, O.H. Rice, Sid Thompson, Marrion Grames, Eddie Peterson, Mel Arns

Old Main Fire

As the month of August barrels onward, Southern Utah University, here in Cedar City, is preparing to receive another class of students ready to advance in their chosen fields of higher education. The early history of SUU has recently been documented in an impressive film, partially shot on location here at Frontier Homestead. It can be seen here: https://www.suu.edu/backupthemountain/index.html.  While the story of the building of Old Main is well known, the sad tale of its fire is not. BAC-BF-039

The morning of December 12, 1948 should have been like another other Sunday. It was a clear, crisp, wintery day. There was no way to tell that this morning would change Cedar City forever. As Jack Walters and his father Roy were returning with the newspapers Jack was to deliver to the homes on his route, they noticed something unusual. There was smoke rising from the top of the Old Main building on Temple Hill. The two men rushed to the nearby home of Eldro Rigby, manager of the college farm, to sound the alarm. By the time they reached the Rigby home, flames were visible through the roof of Old Main. Rigby called the fire department and then called Edward Matheson, the school custodian, who was the first to reach the blaze. Matheson threw off all the electrical switches to the building, but the fire was already blazing through the dry attic.

As students became aware of the situation they rushed to the scene and formed a human brigade up the steel fire escape and began to retrieve all that was possible of the precious books and artifacts housed in the historic Old Main. Retired Cedar City Fire Chief David E. Bentley was only 14 years old at the time, but clearly remembers that winter morning. “I could see black smoke coming from the college…I quickly dressed and ran from my home …up the hill towards the Old Main building. As soon as I reach the top of the hill, Sheriff Art Nelson put me in line with other students to help save the books. We worked furiously, passing piles and piles of books to safety until the fire reached the library. Books were then quickly thrown out the windows, which damaged some, but saved many from certain destruction.” The students worked undeterred until they were forced to vacate the property only moments before the burning roof caved in. They then stood by helplessly to watch the remaining materials be consumed by the blazing inferno.

Students watching the fire.

Almost in a daze, Professor Parley Dalley stood at the corner of the building, pouring water towards the flames with a garden hose. The Cedar City Fire department arrived on the scene only to discover that the new truck they had purchased which could pump 750 gallons per minute did not have a nozzle that fit the hydrants located on campus. While the fire continued to grow in strength, precious minutes were lost stringing the fire hose from the door of Old Main, east down the sidewalk, over  to the 300 West and College Avenue intersection where there was a hydrant that would fit the powerful hose. By the time this was done, the fire had such a hold on the building that the firemen couldn’t do much more than contain the flames.  During all of this, on the west side of the building firemen worked diligently with a 1939 Studebaker, a booster pump and 200 gallons of water, but all they were able to do was spray the embers coming from the roof.

Ralph Hazon, Orwin Green, and other courageous firemen took a hose into the burning building in an effort to contain the flames, but by the time they reached the stairwell, the smoke and fire were so strong it made it impossible to advance any further. As they began to withdraw the fire reached the tower containing the cast iron bell. The most dramatic moment occurred when with a resounding clang, the bell crashed from floor to floor, falling finally to ground. The bell, constructed by the local Iron Works Company, was so badly cracked that it was unsalvageable. Many townspeople fought to save the bell, but it was eventually melted down and used for other purposes.

It took about three hours to get the blaze under control. During that short time virtually everything in the building was consumed by the flames or completely destroyed. The community just had to watch as the building that so many of their families had sacrificed everything for – went up in flames.

Several old men, who 50 years before had been young men filled with dedicated determination, now stood sadly by. These were men of the lumbering expedition and the building crews of 1897. They watched tearfully. Rob Bulloch recalled the emotion he felt as he watched the historic structure he built go up in flames, “It was the older men then, who could see what could be done, and they filled us with enthusiasm so that we did what was needed. Now it is our turn to enthuse the young ones to get this building rebuilt.” The whole community was in mourning. Not so much for the loss of the books, furniture, and paintings which could be replaced, but for the loss of an integral part of Cedar City’s proud heritage.

As the ashes settled it was time to assess the damage. The art department and library had been demolished. Art professor Mary L Barstow’s paintings, a lifetime of work, were completely destroyed in the fire. Only about 20 percent of the library collection had survived the fire. Those few books were carried to the cafeteria where students attempted to place them in some semblance of order. The business department on the lower floors of the building had been protected by the falling books and the machines and equipment from that department were salvaged.

Administrators and faculty members met early on Monday morning to discuss what should be done. True to the resolve of the Cedar City community, they were not going to let the tragedy of losing their beloved and cherished Old Main prevent them from moving forward. By Monday afternoon regularly scheduled classes were back in session. While crammed into inadequate spaces, none of the classes were forced to move off campus. Students and faculty entered into a spirit of cooperative effort and virtually no class time was lost.

President Wayne Driggs was dedicated to the concept that, even though the cost would be greater, they were going to remodel and restore Old Main maintaining the original exterior and its historical integrity. The fire again brought the town and college into cooperative effort. With much tenacity and lobbying on the part of the citizens of Cedar City and repeated refusals to take “no” for an answer, Utah Governor Herbert Maw appropriated $150,000 so that the repairs for Old Main could begin immediately. Cedar City would be back within the walls of their beloved Old Main before two full school years had passed.

Military Appreciation Day at Frontier Homestead

In an effort to honor and recognize the significant contributions of our military members, Utah State Parks announces Military Appreciation Day Saturday, August 15. 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. Boom!

Come celebrate our courageous military personnel with your family, friends and community at Frontier Homestead on Saturday August 15, 2015. 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 3pm. 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 and secret codes, playing frontier games, and more. 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 and Friends of the Frontier Homestead members. The activities will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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. For more information about Frontier Homestead or Military Appreciation Day call us at 435-586-9290, visit our facebook page  www.facebook.com/friendsofthefronteirhomestead, or our website  www.fronterhomestead.org Frontier Homestead is located at 635 North Main in Cedar City.

Writing home with an ink and quill

Practicing semaphore. Translation: FUN

FHSP History Part IV: Visuals

As we conclude our look into Frontier Homestead’s past, we thought it would be interesting to highlight some of the former site plans used to shape the direction of the park. 1960's

THE 1960’S

Having lost the rights to acquire the Depot property, the Iron Mission Park Commission moved forward with site plans for the Coal Creek location. They developed a series of fundraising brochures and sponsored a number of community fundraisers in an effort to fully realize their dream of a museum. The initial plans called for a “Hall of Transportation and Agriculture, to house the Gronway Parry Collection, a Relic Hall for the Daughters of the Pioneers and other private collections, a reproduction of the old Iron Foundry, and other buildings necessary to the comfort and convenience of visitors.”


THE 1970’S

With the establishment of Iron Mission State Park in 1973 and ongoing funding secured, designers with Utah State Parks began to develop an extensive site plan. Beginning with a welcome center on the south (near the existing Iron County Visitors Center) the design called for a sunken road that connected a carriage gallery (the site of the current museum) various log cabins and barns, and garden plots and orchard groves. Horse-drawn wagons would be available to move people through the park. This design would move Iron Mission from a static collection of artifacts to a vibrant living history village.


THE 1990’S

By 1998, with the construction of the present museum and wagon barn and the development of the south property by Iron County for a new visitor’s center, a new site plan was needed. The State of Utah, in partnership with museum consulting firms and landscape architects created a new Master Plan. The design revised the exterior of the park and significantly changed the back grounds by creating architectural and natural features surrounded by paved walkways. A group use area was added and exterior exhibits were included in contextual displays. This document guided the Park staff until it was replaced in 2012 with a new interpretive plan. Now that you have seen our past, come visit us and help shape our future.

FHSP History Part III: At last, a Museum

The battle over the proposed location of the new museum ended when Union Pacific announced they were selling the property to local developers. Undaunted, the Iron Mission Park Commission pressed forward and obtained land on the North end of Cedar City and continued to seek public support. The first Iron Mission SignDuring the early 1970’s the Iron Mission Park Commission realized that they would not be able to financially sustain the operation they had envisioned. The Commission turned to their friends in the Utah State Legislature and agreed to donate the artifacts obtained thus far to the state as the inaugural collection of the newly created Iron Mission State Park.

Utah Code Annotated, Title 63-11-54 authorized the State of Utah, through the Division of Parks and Recreation, to secure title to “the Gronway Parry Collection of horse-drawn vehicles, horses, harnesses, figures, costumes, and horse-drawn machinery of the pioneer era, the Melling [granary], and the Osborne Blacksmith Collection.”  Furthermore, Title 63-11-55 directs the Division of Parks and Recreation through the Frontier Homestead State Park to “Acquire, construct, maintain, and operate any land, objects or structures as necessary to preserve, protect, display and enhance these [collections] and other historical objects or collections that appropriately contribute to the pioneer heritage of Utah.”

Cedar City finally had their museum.Our first building.

Iron Mission State Park opened its doors on July 1, 1973. The temporary structure, located south of the current museum, held the Parry Wagon Collection and all the other artifacts acquired by the Iron Mission Park Commission.  The building proved smaller than anticipated and many of the objects had to be stored outside. In the winter months, the staff stayed warm by lighting a wood stove located in one of the cabins, as the main building had no heat. Soon, Utah State Parks, seeing the extreme need faced by the employees of the Park began to create architectural plans for not only a new museum building, but an entire living history village.

An early brochure promoting support for the park.

FHSP History Part II: Choosing a Location

With basic funding in place and a variety of artifacts to be displayed, the Iron Mission Park Commission began searching for a museum location. Cedar City and Iron County offered a 12 acre site northwest of the Coal Creek Bridge, just off Main Street. The Park Commission had something grander in mind—the Union Pacific Depot. The Iron County Record reported: “This proposal would preserve the depot as a Travel Center, provide for complete storage and display of the Gronway Parry carriage collection, the restoration of Coal Creek Iron Mill, and would offer a Bazaar, Shopping Mall, carriage roads, and a formal English garden. The objectives would be to preserve and illustrate with authenticity the Iron Mission as it was pursued by the early pioneers. By setting the historic events in a recreational setting and making them more enjoyable to the general public, the Commission feels they will have the added benefit to the community of encouraging and fostering tourism in the area.”

However, the Park Commission was unaware that negotiations between Union Pacific and a group of local businessmen had been going on for nearly a year. The developer’s plans included: “a complex of businesses – department store, smaller stores, pottery shops, local handcraft shops, and probably a theatre. Offices will be part of total package as well. It would be a two-level structure, the lower level being constructed mainly on the lower sloping northern piece of the 14-acre plot.”

Cedar City Railroad Depot

Both parties, the Iron Mission Park Commission and the local developers sought the support of the public as evidenced by the displayed letters to the editor. The battle over the museum location began in earnest.

letters 2 letters

Happy Birthday Frontier Homestead!

July is our birthday month and we are celebrating 42 years of collecting, preserving and interpreting the past of Iron County. We thought it appropriate to share our story over the next few weeks. In 1962, the history department at the College of Southern Utah, now Southern Utah University, sponsored a workshop in conjunction with the college’s Founder’s Day celebrations. Representatives from all the local historical groups and civic clubs in town were invited. One of four projects discussed was the creation of a community museum.  In 1966, Dr. George Strebel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Institute of Religion was selected to head a committee that would further study the museum issue.

The results of the Strebel museum committee led to the creation of the Iron Mission Park Commission. This group of civic and community minded individuals researched possible collections, developed plans, and actively sought funding for a museum in Cedar City. Their efforts resulted in the acquisition of the Gronway Parry horse-drawn vehicle collection which would become the cornerstone of what is now named – Frontier Homestead State Park.

Gronway Parry’s hobby of collecting and restoring horse –drawn vehicles began as early as 1911. During the 1930’s Gronway began to actively restore and display his wagons and coaches. He later stated that: “An era was dying and its relics should be preserved.” He bought or made his own tools and his wife Afton sewed the upholstery. His collection quickly became nationally known and many of his pieces were used in motion pictures. Gronway felt strongly that his collection remain whole and in Cedar City. In 1968 he sold everything to the Iron Mission Park Commission for half its value. He considered the rest a gift to the people of Cedar City.

The Iron Mission Park Commission diligently strove to not only acquire the Parry wagons, but other donations as well including the Melling log cabin, the Osborn blacksmith tools, Native American artifacts collected by William L. Palmer, and the Alva Matheson gun collection. Community and LDS church leaders rallied support for the project.  A.E. Whatcott wrote:

“We are pleased to learn that plans are moving ahead for the acquisition of the Gronway Parry horse-drawn vehicle and farm implement collection. Also to learn of plans to house this valuable Southern Utah pioneer memorabilia. As you now launch this campaign to enlist the support of the citizens of Iron County and Southern Utah may we add our hearty endorsement and best wishes as well as to pledge our personal support. We shall further be happy to encourage the members of the Cedar Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to support this vital and worthwhile project.”



By A. E. Whatcott, President

Our first two historic structures, The Melling Granary and the Wood Cabin.With community support increasing, choosing a location would prove to be the next challenge. More on that next time.


Southern Utah Watercolor Society

Frontier Homestead State Park Museum is pleased to announce a special exhibit by the Southern Utah Watercolor Society (SUWS).  The public is invited to an artist’s reception on Saturday July 11th, from 2:00–4:00 p.m.  The reception is free to the public. Following the reception, the regular entrance fee applies. SUWS also encourages those in the community with a passion for water media painting, or a desire to learn to come meet the artists and learn more about the watercolor society.  SUWS-Cedar City Chapter has been busy this year working together to bring new and interesting programs, demonstrations, and plein air events to Cedar City.

SUWS holds monthly meetings/programs on the third Monday of the month and are free to the public.   For more information about the exhibit, or the Southern Utah Watercolor Society, please contact SUWS President Larry Laskowski via email at larrylas@gmail.com.

The exhibit will continue at Frontier Homestead through August 30.  SUWS

One, Two , Three... Cheese

Just in time for summer, we have set up some new photo opportunities. While pictures can be taken anywhere in the museum or on the grounds outside, these opportunities give visitors a chance to remember more than the scenery.  We currently have seven photo ops: the winter exhibit, the ever popular stagecoach, the jail cell, the school house, the Hunter House, the You-Load wagon, and the mine cart. The winter exhibit, school house, and jail provide costumes to dress up and get in the mood.   Greeners winterphoto op dunce  


In the Hunter House the scene is set for an old fashioned family portrait. Remember: don’t smile.

hh photo op 1greeners hunter 2

The stagecoach, mine cart and You-Load wagon offer opportunities to climb in, hold on, and have fun. We have already had a few people share their pictures on Instagram with our hashtag, #frontierhomestead. kids stagecoach 2While pictures may not take you back in time to live like the pioneers, they can ensure that the memories made will endure for a lifetime.

Frontier Homestead @ Groovefest

The Frontier Homestead Foundation and the Groove Crew will once again partner June 26-27, 2015 to bring the Groovefest Music and Art Festival to Cedar City. The art theme will be Celebrating the Artistry in All Things Handmade. This is the 13th anniversary of GROOVEFEST and promises to be filled with amazing talent, both musically and in the visual arts.  As this combined celebration of art and music evolves, it gets bigger and better each year.   Through a jury process, over 50 artists have been selected to participate in the art festival, displaying and selling all original work. A portion of the artist booth fees support the Frontier Homestead Museum Foundation in its efforts to assist Frontier Homestead State Park in preserving and presenting Iron County's history to the public.

ZeetaBath & Body Christine Frazzitta Zeeta Body

Body Art Jennifer Bush Mad Hatter Face Painting

Levy River Valley

Fiber Ann Nelson Nelson Wool Works  Sandi Levy  iKnitQuiltSew LLC                                                               Godelio Palomino Ecologic Arts  Marlene Larsen Marlene's Quilts  Kathy Druehl KD's Darling Designs   Svetlana Recce  Knits   Barbara Bisonette  Barbara's Hemstitch

Fused Glass John & Betsy Kolb Wizard Stones, LLC

Gourds Todd Prince


Jewelry    Edward Ptak SpiritRocks    Manalisa Camarena Don Christensen  DLC Gems, LLC    Mike & Jamie Dobiesz  DobeZ DesignZ    Lynn Dalton  Desert Gems Jewelry    Darrell Olmsted  Stone Seeker    Susie Prince

Leather Ron Flud  Three Peaks Saddle Co. & Mercantile


Metal Wall/Yard ArtMetal Andy Mondragon Jerry Campbell Paragoonah Guitar   Michael & Sandy Rogers 4 on the Floor Mixed Media Tris & Gary Ayers Cactus Tracks Studios  Brooke Fuller Soda-Licious  Michelle Barnhart


Painting/Drawing/Illustration Marian Irwin Jango Coltrane Publishing    Savina Francisco  Fantasy Wildlife    John Terry  John's Art Design

Photography Brad Carlin B.C. Nature Photography    Wendy Jensen  WendyJ Photo Randy & Jean Bjerke Randy * Jean Bjerke Photography    Bill Kutcher Bill Kutcher Photography

Pottery & Ceramics    Kathy Vause Kathy's Garden of Whimsy


Sculpture Stoneman Meeks Don Sutton  DixieKnapper.com    Weston Alan Smith One Oak Studio

Stone Cathy Novak Natural Stone

Wood Kirsti Scott Scott Art Studio    Cory & Mary Ann Grace Chipmunk Corner Crafters KC DeGroff  Let It Be Written

Unclassified Joseph Cowlishaw (flutes) WowFlute Designs Gary Burks (pet products)  Xtreme Pet Products LV Marie Jaggar (broomcorn)

Next Time: Photo Opps

A Look Into Our Collection: Bottles

Frontier Homestead recently acquired a large collection of glass bottles and canning jars from local Cedar City resident, Lois Bulloch. Over the next two weeks, we are excited to give you a look into the stories these bottles and jars tell. First, some history. Glass bottle production began with hand blown free form bottles, a labor intensive process, with most of the workers being young boys.  In 1904 the automatic bottle making machine, patented by Michael Joseph Owens, allowed for faster, less costly, and more consistent bottle production. Machine made bottles have very refined vertical seams, identification marks on the bottom, and usually a small circle where the molten glass was automatically cut in the bottle machine.  Modern glass is thin walled and very clear. Antique glass is thicker and may contain bubbles of entrapped air.  Occasionally, older glass is tinted green or blue due to iron impurities, a lack of manganese, or because the tint was thought to be desirable.  Shades of purple and blue glass can be attributed to exposure to sunlight over  time, causing a chemical reaction in the composition of the glass. The following are only a few of the bottles in the collection:


Wine Bottle

Wine Bottle

Lois Bulloch Collection

Circa 1865-1920

This wine bottle was mouth blown in a dip mold. A dip mold forms the body of the bottle and produces bottles with slightly narrower bases which expand to larger shoulders, making it easier to get the bottle out of the mold.  The top was free-blown hence the slightly asymmetrical appearance.   Because dip molds are one piece units, there are no vertical mold seams, but there may be seams horizontally around the shoulder where the glass separates from the mold.  Generally no embossing is seen on dip molds.


Chamberlain Medicine Bottle

Chamberlain Medicine Bottle

Lois Bulloch Collection

Circa 1900-1930

This bottle was hand blown into a bottle mold based on the rectangular shape with lots of embossing and the hand finished mouth.  The shape of the mouth this bottle indicates that it was probably fitted with a cork stopper.  The embossing says: “CHAMBERLAINS PAIN BALM, Chamberlain Medicine Co., Des Moines, IA, U.S.A."  The company also made cough medicine, liniment and colic, cholera and diarrhea medicine.   The company has been in business for well over 100 years continues to make medicines today.


Whiskey Bottle - Post Prohibition

Whiskey Bottle - Post Prohibition

Lois Bulloch Collection

Circa 1932-1964

This bottle is tied to the post prohibition era, after 1932, as indicated by the embossing: “FEDERAL LAW FORBIDS SALE OR RE-USE OF THIS BOTTLE".  The federal government wanted the revenues of the liquor trade after the repeal of prohibition in 1933 when the 21st Amendment to the Constitution repealed the 18th Amendment (1920).    Along with a requirement to destroy used bottles, marking bottles this way was supposed to keep bootleggers from using bottles that had already been taxed and thus avoiding taxes themselves.  Bootleg alcohol cost half as much as the fully taxed and legal variety so the profits made it worth the risk for these lawbreakers.  Other embossing on this bottle says: “MADE IN GREAT BRITAIN” and on the bottom is the bottle manufacturers mark, year and government registration number.

We have many more bottles for you to see in the museum. Our intrepid museum volunteer, Pete Wilkins has created an informative exhibit highlighting this collection.

Next Time: Jars

Featured Artist: Clayton Rippey

Clayton Rippey at work in his studio. Aside from our regularly exhibited artifact collection, Frontier Homestead State Park Museum has a rotating special exhibit gallery that is used by artists and artisans of many disciplines to showcase, highlight, and sell their work. Through June 27 we are pleased to feature the work of watercolor artist Clayton Rippey. Exhibited works feature an extensive collection of watercolors highlighting desert scenes, water images and long-standing buildings.

A Rippey nautical scene.

Rippey was born in Oregon, but settled in California following WWII.  After graduating from Stanford University, he was offered a teaching position at Bakersfield High School.  Rippey eventually taught art at Bakersfield College where he retired in 1980.  Collections of Rippey’s art are located not only in the U.S., but around the globe – in Mexico, various European countries, and Japan.

Topping 90 years of age, Rippey continues to broaden his art into more areas and more themes, exploring new colors, textures and shapes in his work. The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Rippey has participated in abundant group and solo shows, beginning in 1949 and continuing to the present.  “If, through my observance of, and wonder at, the dynamics of life, some small part of it filters down through my brush and on to the canvass, I am happy,” Rippey commented.

“Our Museum is honored to be graced with the work of such an accomplished artist,” says Todd Prince, Park Manager.  “Clayton has an incredible body of work and we are delighted to be able to share it with our visitors.”

A Clayton Rippey forest.

Through Labor Day, Frontier Homestead is now open seven days a week, from 9am to 6pm. Don’t let the opportunity to see this amazing artistic collection pass you by. Remember, the exhibit closes June 27.

Next Time: Bottles

A Clayton Rippey landscape.

The Atlatl

The dart is on the way to its target. Continuing our theme of how the local Native Americans hunted, we thought a discussion of the atlatl is necessary. The atlatl is a wooden handle about 24 inches long.  At the tip end is a hook, point, or pin.  It is used to cast or throw darts with great accuracy and tremendous force.   The darts are about 5 or 6 feet long and are flexible and look like oversized arrows.  The back end of the dart is hollowed out a bit so that it will fit over the pin on the atlatl.   This helps hold it in place but the dart is also held onto the atlatl with the thumb and first finger of the hand that is holding it in preparation for the cast.  The atlatl has been used for at least 20,000 years and predates the bow and arrow.  Compared to the atlatl, the bow and arrow is a very new development.  The atlatl was used all over the world.

The atlatl was used for more than 20,000 years because it provided greater penetrating power than a hand held spear. It had a velocity 15 times greater, could reach four times the distance and hit with an impact 200 times greater than a spear thrown by hand. Additionally, it proved multi-functional and could be used to make fire, grind pigments, as a musical instrument and often as a memory aid.

Upclose illustration of a hand holding an atlatl. Illustration by Neal Anderson

By the early A.D.’s, the bow and arrow had almost completely replaced the atlatl. The bow and arrow allowed for greater velocity, ease and swiftness of movement, a shorter launch time, ease of mastery, and proved more accurate. Next time you stop by Frontier Homestead, ask to take a crack at the atlatl on our range and see if you have what it takes to not go hungry.

Next Time: Artist Clayton Rippey


Young hunters practicing their technique.