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 9, 1952, Palmer presented the story of Home Manufacture in Southern Utah. Click the links and enjoy making something yourself as you listen to Forgotten Chapters of History.
On the morning of Friday, January 13th, a new addition made its way to the Frontier Homestead: The Captain’s Chair of Nathaniel West Pryor. The chair was donated by Margaret Pryor Williams, a great-granddaughter of Mr. Pryor. Nathaniel W. Pryor was born in Jefferson County, Alabama on October 31, 1833. As a teenager, he became a cattle driver for a company headed for the California Gold Rush and stayed until 1857, when he began his journey back home to Alabama. Pryor made a stop in the small town of Cedar City, Utah and attended a dance held for Latter-day Saint, or Mormon, community members. At the dance, he pointed out a pretty Mormon girl to his friends and declared, “That is the girl I am going to marry.” Pryor was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on April 6 of that year and married Jane Ann Giles before the year was over. Jane, was that pretty girl which he had pointed out to his friends. He never returned to Alabama.
In 1862, Pryor, along with his youngest brother, Green Berg Pryor, served during the Civil War for the Union Army. His other three brothers, John Henry Pryor, Milton Stokes Pryor, and Benjamin Franklin Pryor fought for the Confederate Army. After he was relieved of duty, Pryor joined the police force in St. Louis. Missouri. Pryor and Jane Anne Giles had 8 children together, two of which survived to adulthood. Pryor and Jane Ann moved back to Cedar City, Utah, where they first met, to make a permanent residence together. She had been very ill for quite some time and passed on October 23, 1872, shortly after Nathaniel had been elected Constable for Cedar Precinct (August 5, 1872).
On January 8, 1874, Pryor married Margaret Evans who had two daughters from a previous marriage, Jane and Catherine. Together, the Pryors had six additional children. On August 2, 1888, Pryor was elected Justice of the Peace. He served in this position until 1902. Pryor and his second wife, Margaret Evans, were married for 42 years. Nathaniel Pryor passed away on January 11, 1916 and to our knowledge is the only veteran of the Civil War buried in the Cedar City Cemetery.
As the year is just beginning, we thought we would, from time to time, share with you what we here at Frontier Homestead are reading. Our first review comes from our long-time staffer Stephen J. Olsen. We encourage you to share with us your favorite reads as the year progresses. For those who wonder from time to time why something is called what it is called; how and when it was called that; when did what we are commonly familiar with become familiar; and for those who are curious about the progression of society from the so called primitive to the so called refined or civilized, read Bill Bryson’s book At Home, A Short History of Private Life.
Have you ever wondered when you walk down a hall, why it is called a hall, and when did they start calling it a hall. Do you live or have you lived in a two story house, or at least been in a two story house? When did such structures become popular and how did that all come about? Or should the question be phrased: which came first the second story or the chimney? What does a chimney have to do with multiple story houses? During the Victorian era in the United States, there were “ten levels” or types mattress available. Down, feathers, wool, wool-flock, hair, cotton, wood shavings, sea moss, sawdust, and straw. Which would you have preferred? Which could you have afforded?
Mr. Bryson gives the answers to these questions and a great deal of information about daily living. Bryson unveils this information by leading the reader through a small, common house room by room. Bryson uses his home in England, which had belonged to Reverend Thomas Marsham in 1851. Using Bryson’s words, the house “looks the way a house should look. It has a homely air. So it is perhaps slightly surprising to reflect that nothing about his house, or any house, in inevitable. Everything has to be thought of, door, window, chimneys, stairs, and a good deal of that, as we are about to see, took far more time and experimentation than you might ever have thought.”
Bryson sets up the book, beginning with the time period of the building of Thomas Marsham’s house. Then Bryson details the setting, England. Beginning with chapter three, Bryson takes the reader room by room, each chapter a different room. The Hall, The Kitchen, The Fuse Box, The Drawing Room and so forth to the Attic. For us Americans, Bryson relates the house to the United States as well. He does point out where there were unique differences in things or names in the USA and England during the Victorian Era. This reader found the book to be fascinating, chuck-a-block-full of wonderful information and insight. The book is an easy read, well written, and organized. Once you have read the book you will be a wiz at trivia, a wonder at parties, and educated in the common things of life associated with the house you live in.
I’ve not begun to reveal a thousandth part of what Bill Bryson’s At Home contains. But I hope I’ve sparked an interest in you to beg, borrow, don’t steal, just borrow and don’t return the book for decades, or buy a copy of the book. If you have a bit of inkling for history, interest in facts, or just a good read with some humor, you should enjoy the book.
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.
Mr. Santycaus Dear Sir: Will you come to me and my little sister we like to play. Please send us dolls and everything nice and we will thank you if you will come. We will not be very afraid of you, if you do not look at us much. Be sure and come my little sister and I will look for you every day.
Your little girls – Lizzie, Croton on Hudson N.Y.
This letter was turned over to the Dead Letter Office at Washington D.C. during the holiday season 1897-98. This time of year many thoughts turn to gifts to give, and gifts to receive. We thought we would give you some suggestions from The Ladies Home Journal, December 1902.
For Father: Fob, Scarf pin, Dress-Suit Protector, Cigar Jar, Homemade Bathrobe, a good almanac, or a paper cutter.
For Mother: Growing Plant, Breakfast Jacket, Shell Hairpins, Flannel Kimono, Gloves, a Travelling Writing Tablet, or a Lace Fichu.
For the Elder Sister: Monogram Stationary, Chiffon Boa, Bureau Silver, Candlestick, a Clock, or an Indian Necklace.
For the Young Man: Sleeve Buttons, Cane, Field-Glass, Penknife, Opera Glass, a Watch Chain, or a Fancy Coat Hanger.
And if by chance, you have servants, the Journal has got you covered. Acceptable presents include: an Umbrella, Necktie, Underclothes, Collars and Cuffs, or a Work Basket – Well fitted, of course.
We’d plan what we call ‘gooping the loop.’ Now, this was a term that came from years before we worked there. A group of people had gone around Navajo Loop one night and they’d had a watermelon bust down there and they had just thrown the rinds everywhere. One of the rangers said, ‘They just gooped up the Navajo Loop Trail.’ So, whenever you went around the Navajo Loop at night, you were ‘gooping the loop.’
We decided we were going to ‘goop the loop,’ and all of the new kids were invited to go. Some of the instigators met in my room and one guy wasn’t interested in chasing anybody, you know, didn’t have his eye on anybody. I said, ‘I’ve got an idea. I’ll tell a ghost story but what you need to do is go down early. We will leave the lodge at a certain time, so you can count on us.’ He went down early and up this little side canyon he knew of and sat behind a bush. The rest of us got to the spot a little later. It was dark and we started telling this story about old scar face or something, you know the typical story. The cue for him was when I got to the point of the story where everybody thought old scar face had left the area but just last summer a housewife in Tropic was washing her dishes when she looked up and old scar face was standing outside her kitchen window. When I got to that point, Larry, up the side canyon started going ‘Grrr’ and began kicking loose rocks.
TOTAL CHAOS! This one girl, Carol Ann was her name, she had gone down with this guy named Brant Henry, they had kind of paired off a little bit. Brant had a brand new expensive rain coat. Carol Ann freaked out so bad that she ripped the sleeve right off at the shoulder, right down over his hand. Then those of us that were in the know, of course, we took off running down the trail and we would hide behind rocks all the rest of the way around the trail and just jump out on them. So, for the next hour and a half there was just a lot of squealing and screaming and fun stuff. When people came out from ‘gooping the loop’ they would be kind of paired off and were ready to go out and date.
Although discovered by Peter Shirts in early 1868 – the area known as Iron City blossomed under the investment of Ebenezer Hanks. In June of 1868 Hanks established the Union Iron Company, later known as the Great Western Iron Company.
The 1870 census indicates that 97 people, living in 19 households resided in Iron City. The iron works consisted of a furnace, with a 2,500–pound capacity, a pattern shop, molding shop, erastra, (grinding device) and two charcoal kilns.
The Great Western Iron Company needed large sums of capital to operate, and outside (non-Mormon) investors were sought. With new money came new labor. Many of these workers were not members of the conservative religion and Iron City soon became a place where drinking and swearing were commonplace. By 1871 Iron City had a post office, boarding house, a brick schoolhouse, butcher shop, and a general store.
At peak production the iron works produced 5-7 tons of pig iron per day. They supplied ore for the Utah Western Railroad, mining companies in Pioche, Nevada, and also provided the iron used in the 12 oxen that support the St. George LDS Temple baptismal font.
The Great Western Iron Company could not survive financially selling small items to cash- strapped Mormon settlers and could no longer afford the shipping costs for their larger contracts. The iron works closed in 1876.
Now known as Old Irontown State Park, this area has been preserved for its distinctive structures and historical presence. In May of 1951 William R. Palmer as part of his radio broadcast "Forgotten Chapters of History" produced a program about Iron City. You can listen to that broadcast here.
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.
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.”
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.
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
Tranquil Downtown will get a little wild and wooly on Saturday, October 29th at 10 a.m. when Cedar City’s Annual Sheep Parade herds its way down Main Street. Considered one of the most unique parades in the country, over 1,000 head of sheep will follow the historic Livestock Trail from Cedar Mountain, down Cedar City’s Main Street, to their winter home in the Cedar Valley. The Sheep Parade is the highlight event for the 11th Annual Cedar Livestock & Heritage Festival, an annual celebration of southern Utah’s agricultural traditions and lifestyle.
According to Festival Chairman, Chad Reid “The first sheep were herded from Cedar Mountain in 1870, and have continued to travel through Cedar City every year since.” Reid adds, “The sight of a herd of sheep trailing down Main Street through historic Downtown is an exciting glimpse of our livestock heritage and truly a spectacle not to be missed. You never know if the sheep are going to behave or not.”
Horses, wagons, antique tractors, stock dogs, and historic and modern sheep camps also take part in the procession. The parade route is along Main Street from 200 South to 400 North. After the parade the tractors and sheep camps are on display the remainder of the day at the Cross Hollows Events Center, located at 11 North Cross Hollows Dr., during the Cedar Livestock & Heritage Festival.
The 11th Annual Cedar Livestock & Heritage Festival celebrates Iron County’s unique livestock and agricultural heritage October 27-30th with a variety of authentic events , including; cowboy poetry, Dutch Oven cooking contest, draft horse and antique tractor pull, stock dog demo, sheep camp display, quilt show, vintage auto display, ranch rodeo and of course the Sheep Parade!
New events have been added this year to include a Junior Ranch Rodeo; where youth teams compete in the traditional ranch skills of goat milking, team roping and branding. The Junior Ranch Rodeo will take place Friday night, October 28th at 4 pm at the Cross Hollows Events Center, 11 S. Cross Hollows Road. The 2nd new event is the Sheep Lead Contest; a sort of sheep fashion show according to Reid, where “contestants not only display their fashion skills but also their sheep-handling talents”. The Sheep Lead Contest will take place Saturday, October 29th at 4 pm at the Cross Hollows Events Center.
For more information on all the Cedar Livestock &Heritage Festival activities including the Sheep Parade, visit www.cedarlivestockfest.com or call 435-586-8132
We had a great time at Haunted Homestead and our visitors appreciated our story tellers, Holly Barrick and Gary Howe, for getting them into the Halloween spirit. Many a fine yarn was spun that night and we thought we would share with you one of our favorite Halloween poems, "Little Orphant Annie". This poem was written by Indiana poet James Whitcomb Riley in 1885. The first stanza introduces us to Annie, who then tells of children that have been taken by goblins for misbehaving. The moral of the poem, obey your parents. The poem reads as follows: Little Orphant Annie’s come to our house to stay,
An’ wash the cups an’ saucers up, an’ brush the crumbs away,
An’ shoo the chickens off the porch, an’ dust the hearth, an’ sweep,
An’ make the fire, an’ bake the bread, an’ earn her board-an’-keep;
An’ all us other childern, when the supper things is done,
We set around the kitchen fire an’ has the mostest fun
A-list’nin’ to the witch-tales ‘at Annie tells about,
An’ the Gobble-uns ‘at gits you
Onc’t they was a little boy wouldn’t say his prayers,--
So when he went to bed at night, away up stairs,
His Mammy heerd him holler, an’ his Daddy heerd him bawl,
An’ when they turn’t the kivvers down, he wasn’t there at all!
An’ they seeked him in the rafter-room, an’ cubby-hole, an’ press,
An’ seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an’ ever’wheres, I guess;
But all they ever found was thist his pants an’ roundabout--
An’ the Gobble-uns’ll git you
An’ one time a little girl ‘ud allus laugh an’ grin,
An’ make fun of ever’one, an’ all her blood an’ kin;
An’ onc’t, when they was “company," an’ ole folks was there,
She mocked ‘em an’ shocked ‘em, an’ said she didn’t care!
An’ thist as she kicked her heels, an’ turn’t to run an’ hide,
They was two great big Black Things a-standin’ by her side,
An’ they snatched her through the ceilin’ ‘fore she knowed what she’s about!
An’ the Gobble-uns’ll git you
An’ little Orphant Annie says when the blaze is blue,
An’ the lamp-wick sputters, an’ the wind goes woo-oo!
An’ you hear the crickets quit, an’ the moon is gray,
An’ the lightnin’-bugs in dew is all squenched away,--
You better mind yer parents, an’ yer teachers fond an’ dear,
An’ churish them ‘at loves you, an’ dry the orphant’s tear,
An’ he’p the pore an’ needy ones ‘at clusters all about,
Er the Gobble-uns’ll git you
Storyteller Bill Kerr does a great rendition of this poem. See it by following this link:
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 October 26, 1952, Palmer presented the story of Cedar City's first Halloween Party. Click the links and enjoy your holiday as you listen to Forgotten Chapters of History.
We lived in the cabins when we working at Cedar Breaks. They had metal roofs and I remember when it was raining there was nothing like it. The rain on those metal roofs just sounded absolutely like it was coming in the house. It was just beautiful. The first year I went up there, outside the back door of the lodge was this huge snow bank. We were there to help get the kitchen and snack bar ready for the opening of the lodge. We would have to go outside and I’m 5’ 10” and the snow bank was way over my head. I remember it was almost intimidating. From the very first we had kids working there from Salt Lake and all over Northern Utah. We even had a young man from Chicago.
That was so fun. He was interested in our culture and so forth. That’s how I heard the word “Cowabunga.” This man, he was well known for saying that. He had us all saying that by the time we left. There were really, really fun people.
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 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.
You know when you worked as a waitress for the Utah Parks Company there was a certain way you were supposed to hold your tray. It was up above your head and you had to learn to keep it balanced. That’s how they wanted you to carry every item out to the dining room, up over your head and you got so you could really carry your tray well. Once I had a full tray of desserts and I don’t know if this was on purpose, but this gentleman put his leg out in the aisle and I tripped over it. I went down on my knees and I slid the whole way down the rest of the aisle with this tray over my head, and I didn’t drop one dessert! I was very proud of myself.
Elaine Robb Smith (1911-2007) worked at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in 1936, The following is taken from an interview recorded in 2004. They had a fire that happened years before I was there and the lodge burned down . They had started building the present lodge, but it had not been completed during my first year at the North Rim . When we lived there, we had a temporary building [on a hill]. I’ve forgotten the exact floor plan, but in one end on the first floor was the boy’s dormitory and on the second floor the girl’s dormitory, and on the other end was the dining room.
We went along that way for a while and then one of the boys from the kitchen took a nap in the afternoon with a cigarette in his mouth. It started a fire right by his bed. That floor was in so much danger. All the fire drills we ever had didn’t really do us an awful lot of good because we couldn’t do anything that we’d practiced during the drills. This boy, his room was blazing before they knew it. My brother lived down there too, and he ran upstairs on my floor to try and save anything he could save. He was there on the hill throwing my clothes and my costumes, any kind of pictures, anything that belonged to me, throwing them out the window. That hill was covered with our clothing, all kind of just miscellaneous uniforms, and everything you could think of. Some [girls] didn’t get any shoes back, didn’t have any shoes to wear until they got help.
Of course, after that the building just went like that. It was all burned. I guess they got us out of there before the fire got to our room, but it was still burning. So, we ran down and waited in front, or wherever we could wait. Of course, we were cheated out of our place to sleep. We had no rooms to go to sleep in; we had no dining room to do our work in. Everything was gone. So, they put us in cabins until they could figure out what to do with us.
Then we had no dining room, so they let us do substitute work in the cafeteria, but that wasn’t real easy for us because we had been trained to be waitresses.We had to go in there and figure out what to do. Anyway, we got through the season that way, and they started sending us, one by one, home where we belonged.
In 1900 the first class of the Branch Normal School had completed the necessary course work required for graduation. The first graduating class consisted of six graduates, each of whom received scholarships to proceed to the University of Utah to complete the fourth year of the normal course work. As per requirement of the scholarship, each of the six students agreed to teach for at least three years upon completion of their studies at the university.
It is impossible to grasp the educational impact of the Branch Normal School upon the entire region as you study the lives and service rendered by each of the graduates. However it is possible to see the BNS left an indelible mark upon the region as its first graduates went on to serve in public education. The graduates helped to realize and validate in a remarkably short time the vision of the founders. The first six graduates were Emma Gardner (Abbott), Joseph T. Wilkinson, Alice Redd (Rich), Ella Berry (Leigh), Julius Sylvester Dalley, and Amelia Dalley (Green).
Emma Gardner was one of 13 children of Royal Joseph and Chloe Louisa Snow Gardner of Pine Valley. She completed her elementary education at Pine Valley and Central schools then attended the BNS for her secondary training. Emma fulfilled her scholarship contract by teaching for 25 years in Mesquite, Nevada. She became principal of the school and served in numerous civic capacities. Emma married David Arthur Abbott of Mesquite on September 16, 1909 in the St. George LDS Temple.
Joseph T. Wilkinson Jr., was the fourth of five children born to Joseph T. Wilkinson and Elizabeth Emily Wells of Leeds. Joseph began his education at the local elementary school in Leeds, but when he was nine his family moved to Cedar City where he completed elementary school. He worked with his father and brothers publishing the Iron County Record. When the BNS opened in 1897 Joseph was one of the first students. After graduation from the University of Utah, Joseph fulfilled his scholarship contract teaching at schools in Hurricane, Rockville, Springdale and Moccasin and Cane Beds, Arizona. His normal schooling framed a teaching career that extended over many years.
Alice Redd (Rich) was the 13th child of Lemuel Hardison Redd and Keziah Jane Butler of New Harmony. After her graduation she taught for a year at Pioche, Nevada, then on to Paris, Idaho to teach at the Fielding Academy. It was there that she met and married fellow teacher Abel Sargent Rich. They settled in Brigham City, Utah and three of their seven children became teachers.
Ella Berry (Leigh) was the seventh of eight children born to William Shanks Berry and Rebecca Rocena Beck of Kanarraville. Ella attended the Parowan Stake Academy and entered with the first class. After her graduation from the University of Utah she taught just three years in the Iron County School District before marrying Harry Leigh. Harry was a young businessman and through the years his business prospered as did their family of nine children.
Julius Sylvester Dalley and his twin sister were the eleventh and twelfth children born to James and Johanna Bollette Bertelsen of Summit. Julius loved to learn and attended school through the fifth grade. Because there was no advanced school work available he attended this highest grade three consecutive years. He then attended the Parowan Stake Academy for a year before in the fall of 1897 he entered as part of the first class of the BNS. After his graduation Julius fulfilled his scholarship contract by teaching for a year in the basement of the tabernacle in Parowan. He then spent his life teaching all over southern Utah and Arizona. He taught in Summit, Monticello, Utah and Moccasin, Arizona and finished his career in Kanab, Utah. He was a strong civic leader, involved in education his entire life.
Amelia Dalley (Green) was a half-sister to Julius. She was born to James and Petrine Berleson Dalley. She and her twin sister Minnie were the ninth and tenth kids of fourteen children. Amelia was educated in the elementary schools in Iron County and enrolled at the BNS in the fall of 1897 at age 20 to complete her secondary schooling. Amelia fulfilled her scholarship contract by teaching for a year in a one-room school teaching 1-8th grades in Summit. She then accepted a position teaching 5th grade in Cedar City’s elementary school. She married George Bernard Green in 1907.
This group of six friends moved to Salt Lake City together for their obligatory year at the University of Utah. They rented a small house and all lived together with Petrine Bertlesen Dalley acting as their chaperone and house-mother. The number of lives these six graduates either directly or indirectly impacted is astronomical. And just imagine - the same school that graduated these six students over 115 years ago graduated 1,643 students in 2015. It’s difficult to comprehend just how much these six graduates influenced the future of not only SUU, but the entire region.
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.
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.
President Harry S. Truman's bond drive speech: Truman's Bond Speech
In 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.
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.
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.
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:
Now that you have seen the park online, why don't you come and visit us in person.
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.
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.
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.
Throughout the years the Utah Parks Company operated the tourist concessions at Cedar Breaks, hundreds of young people called the Breaks their summer home. Following are some of their fondest memories:
“We lived in the cabins when we were working at Cedar Breaks. They had metal roofs and I remember when it was raining there was nothing like it. The rain in those metal roofs just sounded absolutely like it was coming in the house. It was just beautiful. - Brenda Barrett Orton
“Working at Cedar Breaks, of course, we lived there. We lived in small cabins that were to the left of the lodge. There were four girls that lived in each cabin, and we shared one bathroom. I remember when my father helped me take my stuff in the first day I arrived. I can remember thinking how tiny these little cabins were. I am sure that they weren't much larger than a 12 x 12 foot space, with a twin bed on each side and one chest of drawers and that was the sum total of our living space.” - Murna Archibald
“Our experience began in a unique way. We had to dig ourselves into our cabins and the lodge. There had not been a winter like that in many years. In fact, when we left in September there was still snow on the north side of the lodge. When the tour busses came to the front of the lodge people could not see anything but snow. It looked like a maze leading to the lodge. Many of the tourists had never even seen snow.” - Garth Jones
“There used to be a water tank that set to the left and up the hill from the Cedar Breaks lodge. It was a wonderful place to go when we were off work. We would all put on our swimsuits and in 70 degree weather we would climb to the top of the water tank and sunbathe. It gave us a glorious view, a glorious view of the meadows and you literally felt like you were on top of the world at 10,000 feet.” - Murna Archibald
“Driving the tourist bus down the canyon from Cedar Breaks you are really in that compound gear, your low gear. We were supposed to stop at the Rock Church in Cedar City. I was still about four or five miles up the canyon and I was hitting my brake and no air. So, I started shifting and taking the emergency brake and pull it a little, ease off, pull it little. I was pulling on the emergency brake and slowing down. At Main Street, I went right by the church and sailed through the intersection and finally got stopped three blocks down. Then a passenger said, 'Ike, I thought we were supposed to stop at the church.' I said, 'Well, there's only one thing wrong. I haven't had any brakes since we left Cedar Breaks.’ I made a lot of tips that day.” - Ike Beem
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.