Happy Birthday to St. George, Utah
Happy, happy birthday to St. George! On January 17th, St. George will turn 158 years old. The City of St. George will be celebrating it’s birthday on January 11th (this Saturday) from noon to 2 P.M. on Heritage Day. Major Jon Pike members of the City Council will be serving free root beer floats and cookies at the Social Hall Parlor, 47 E. 200 North, St. George. (Next to the old St. George Opera House near the top of Main Street).
The St. George birthday celebration will be held on Heritage Day – January 11th. On top of root beer floats and cookies, there will be several other events & freebies for Heritage Day; these include all-day free admission to Sand Hollow Aquatic Center, St. George Art Museum and St. George Recreation Center. SunTran and the train at the Thunder Junction all abilities park will be free offer free rides for the day. This Saturday will be slightly cold (high of 48) so dress warm and come celebrate!
St. George was founded by Latter-day Saint (Mormon) pioneers in 1861. Sent by then President Brigham Young, these pioneer settlers were hand picked by the church President and other leaders for the “Cotton Mission” as it was sometimes called. Though northern Utah is also desert, it was more similar to western Europe (Great Britain, Scandinavia, Germany & Switzerland) than St. George is. Imagine coming from the cool, green Swiss Alps to dry red rock. It took hardy people and that’s who Brigham Young sent.
The Cotton Mission
Brigham Young and early pioneer settlers wanted to be able to survive independent to the United States (the Utah territory did not yet have statehood). As part of this, Brigham Young knew growing their own cotton would be especially important because of the impending American Civil War. Due to the warm climate of St. George, settlers were sent to cultivate cotton crops.. and survive.
Imagine no air conditioning, limited water & food resources.. the list goes on. It wouldn’t have been an easy task, but the early pioneers of St. George stuck it out and laid the foundation of what we know and love today. Let’s be grateful! Oh, and let’s celebrate too! Join Mayor Pike and the City Council this Saturday from noon to 2 P.M. for free root beer floats, cookies, music & more! Thank you St. George settlers! Happy Birthday, St. George!
For more St. George history, check out our In The Beginning article and the Historic Sites of St. George!