St. George: Old Pioneer Courthouse, Brigham Young’s Winter Home, Tabernacle

5/28/15 Thursday in Hurricane,UT (St. George RV Resort-RPI/KOA/$14/night)

Really hot day predicted, so I got the wash going early. Spent the morning getting blog info written, then using our Wilson Antenna I managed to post it.

In the afternoon we explored St. George, starting with the Old Pioneer Courthouse, which also conveniently held the Visitor Center.

courthouse b courthouse c

We tried to do their Historical Walking Tour but were frustrated trying to find the places noted. We did discover their first jail, located inside their Ancestor Square.


So we went straight to Brigham Young’s winter home. He was their second prophet (after Joseph Smith was killed by a mob at Carthage IL) and sent over 300 families out West to Utah to escape religious persecution. Reports were that raising cotton would work well there. Without the railroad, cotton couldn’t easily reach this area. After the Civil War the railroad arrived and cotton from the south was abundant, so it wasn’t financially feasible to continue with cotton. They even worked with raising silkworms and making silk. St. George is thriving today, so they figured something out.

Brigham Young wanted a winter home here to help with his rheumatism and frequent colds. His furniture was mostly pine, yet painted expertly by craftsmen to look like marble (at fireplaces) and other woods.

by 1

 Imitation marble fireplace

Imitation marble fireplace

by 3 by 5

 Dishes where the lower dish holds hot water to keep whatever is plated above warm

Dishes where the lower dish holds hot water to keep whatever is plated above warm

 Imitation Bird's Eye Maple wood

Imitation Bird’s Eye Maple wood

Horsehair chair.  It has a strange plastic feel.

Horsehair chair. It has a strange plastic feel.

Very old sewing machine.  Note placement of sewing foot. (Click to enlarge)

Very old sewing machine. Note placement of sewing foot. (Click to enlarge)

Silkworm cocoons

Silkworm cocoons

Mulberry tree in yard.

Mulberry tree in yard.

Next stop, the Mormon Tabernacle (used for Sunday services). Just as with Brigham Young’s Winter home, you get a free guided tour. It took 13 years to build this church, but part of that was because Brigham Young asked that construction on the Temple (for special ceremonies) begin in earnest as they were working on the Tabernacle. The people had become discouraged, many of their crops were washed away by flash floods, so this was a way to give them encouragement. They received payment for their construction services in the form of food from the tithing “bank”, where other Mormon settlers had given food as their tithing payments. The spiral stairs are freestanding and built entirely by hand. When Brigham Young saw that the second floor was lower than the height of the stairs, he asked the craftsman to cut them down. He refused, so the solution was to raise the second floor. To light the lights in the chandeliers they would use a pulley system to lower them to the first floor where they could reach the lights. They still do that today to change light bulbs.

taber 1 taber 3 taber 4

Time to see if Camping World had the gaskets John was looking for. No luck. Then we got some shopping done at Costco, since it was nearby.

Once we were home we enjoyed a nice leftover supper, then got to visiting with our Itasca neighbors, Larry and Doris until bedtime.


About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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