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
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.
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 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.
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.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. 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. 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.
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.
Agriculture, 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.
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. Recently, the mines have reopened and the tradition continues.
Railroads, 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.
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
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.
Are 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.
“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.
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