Remember Our Heritage

What makes this area so attractive?
Learn the history of southern Utah and those who carved out
the beginning of this little bit of heaven.

The St. George Pioneer Courthouse is the oldest standing public building in Washington County, Utah. Built in 1870, it served as the county courthouse for 90 years.  Left vacate for many years, it was nearly torn down.  The City of St. George came to the rescue to have it preserved.  In the 1980s interior renovations were completed and the St. George Chamber of Commerce occupied the building for 30+ years.  It was again vacated for a short time om 2018 waiting for a decision on what renovations were needed to preserve the building for future generations.  In December 2019 it was temporarily reopened to serve as a hub for information regarding the history of southern Utah. Through the collaborative efforts of the Washington County Historical Society (WCHS), the Daughters of Utah Pioneers (DUP), the Sons of Utah Pioneers (SUP), and Arts to Zion, access to histories, photos, events, tours, and activities of the local area were provided.

St. George Pioneer Courthouse stands next to the McQuarrie Memorial Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum. located on the corner of 100 East and St. George Boulevard in St. George, Washington County, Utah. These two buildings together are important to the community.

The Pioneer Courthouse has offered tours, events, and displays for visitors. The Daughters of the Utah Pioneer McQuarrie Memorial Museum, preserves photos, relics, and histories of many early settlers of southern Utah.

On November 18, 2023, the Pioneer Courthouse was closed to prepare for upcoming renovations. A Video providing a tour of the interior of the building is available, as well as videos of walking tours through the historic district of St. George.

This site provides links to:
the Pioneer Courthouse Facebook page
the McQuarrie Memorial DUP Museum website

Other local historical museums and societies have been invited to submit information regarding their collections.  Use QR Code for list.

Watch these YouTube videos on the History of the Courthouse.

About Us imageAbout Us image
The Pioneer Courthouse in St. George, Utah was opened in December 2019 specifically to help residents and visitors learn more about the history of Southern Utah.  Through collaboration with the Washington County Historical Society (WCHS), the Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum (DUP), the Sons of Utah Pioneers (SUP), and Arts to Zion, displays were created to depict the early days of the area, and tours offered daily for visitors to get a feel of what it was like to first settle the harsh area often called "Dixie." Each group gathered and archived on its own website thousands of historic records and photographs regarding people, places and things, all pertaining to Utah's Dixie and encourage input from others to ensure the history is kept and preserved.  Events of historic nature have been encouraged and promoted.

During the 90 years the Pioneer Courthouse operated as a courthouse, it served as a hub for citizens of every community in the area. When it opened in 2019, it served as a historic landmark where photos of early days were shared to help visitors understand what it took to build a permanent settlement out of such a harsh environment. Stories were told of the specific challenges endured. Activities were held to bring people together to celebrate living in such a beautiful land. The building was constructed of local sandstone and has many unique features, including 18-inch-thick walls, old chandeliers, a cupola designed with a gallows, and the local jail.

The Pioneer Courthouse was operated by an all-volunteer organization. 
Many items in the McQuarrie Memorial Museum maintained and operated by the Daughters of Utah Pioneers (DUP) depict the amazing efforts made by early settlers of Washington County. One such item is the "Friendship" quilt. Completed in 1898, this quilt was pieced with silk blocks produced in Utah's Dixie and features embroidered signatures of 160 women.

Another exciting item in the museum's extensive collection is a sizable drum commissioned by Joseph Smith and created in Nauvoo, Illinois, by Edward Duzette, a celebrated drummer of the Nauvoo brass band. It is a unique drum in that the instrument can produce a melodic tune, as well as keep a beat.

Also on display is a large loom that weaved rag rugs for over a century, and remarkably is still in use today. The wood used to build the loom came from Pine Valley, Utah, and Robert Gardner, who owned and operated a sawmill, is credited with assembling this valuable piece of St. George's history.

The Museum continually receives items donated by family members of early settlers.  The displays and arrangements of the rooms frequently change.
Green Gate Village

Green Gate Village

This document describes the many historic buildings included in the Green Gate Village just west of Main Street on Tabernacle Street in St. George, Utah. The homes were lived in by some of our earliest settlers. Other buildings are described along the way.

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Ancestor Square

Ancestor Square

The Ancestor Square walking tour describes many historical buildings in the block called "Ancestor Square." These buildings have been converted into restaurants, retailers, and art galleries.

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Pioneer Corner

Pioneer Corner

The Pioneer Corner walking tour highlights the two main buildings consisting of the Pioneer Courthouse and the Pioneer Museum. The Courthouse is one of the oldest standing buildings in Washington County. Others building occupying the city block are also described.

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Town Square

Town Square

The Town Square walking tour describes many important buildings such as the Tabernacle, the Dixie Academy (Children's Discovery Museum), and Woodward School. Many community events are held in this square.

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St. George Pioneer Corner, composed of both the Pioneer Courthouse and the McQuarrie Memorial Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum, celebrates the history of early southern Utah. Photographs, artifacts, and stories communicate the narrative of those who lived in this beautiful and unique country.

Four distinct eras constitute the early story of this area:

1. Early Explorers
2. Paiutes
3. Indian Missionaries
4. Early Settlements

Explore each of these eras and their peoples to more fully understand how this area developed and grew into the thriving metropolis of today.
Area History image

Two of the early explorers to the area were Franciscan Catholic Priests. In 1776, Father Atanasio Dominguez and Father Silvestre Velez de Escalante traversed this wild country in their pursuit of a trail to reach the Pacific Ocean. The Domínguez–Escalante expedition was a Spanish journey of exploration conducted in 1776 by two Franciscan priests, Atanasio Domínguez and Silvestre Vélez de Escalante, to find an overland route from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to their Roman Catholic mission in Monterey, on the coast of modern-day central California.

Domínguez, Vélez de Escalante, and Bernardo de Miera y Pacheco, acting as the expedition's cartographer, traveled with ten men from Santa Fe through many unexplored portions of the American West, including present-day western Colorado, Utah, and northern Arizona. Along part of the journey, three indigenous guides of the Timpanogos tribe (Ute people) aided them. The land was harsh and unforgiving, and hardships encountered during travel forced the group to return to Santa Fe, New Mexico before reaching Las Californias. Maps and documentation produced by the expedition aided future travelers. The Domínguez–Escalante route eventually became an early template for the Old Spanish Trail, a trade route from Santa Fe to Pacific Coast settlements." Several explorers came after the Escalante and Dominguez expedition, such as Jedediah Smith, John Fremont, and Jim Bridger, to name a few. Each added to the body of knowledge needed to face the challenges in the mountains of the West. Much information was passed on to Brigham Young as he prepared the exodus from the United States to the Great Salt Lake Valley.

James Andrus

Manamos Lovina Gibson

Benjamin Franklin Woolley

Olive Carter Foss

Erastus Snow

Leader of 309 Families to St. George 12-1861

Angus M. Cannon

1st Elected Mayor of St. George

Jacob M. Gates

2nd Mayor of St. George

Joseph W. Young

3rd Mayor of St. George

Robert Gardner

3rd Mayor of St. George

Alexander F. MacDonald

5th Mayor of St. George

Richard I. Bentley

6th and 9th Mayor St. George

Henry Eyring

7th Mayor of St. George

Robert Lund

8th Mayor of St. George

Anthony W. Ivins

10th Mayor of St. George

Isaac C. Macfarlane

11th abd 14th Mayor of St. George

Edward M. Brown

12th Mayor of St. George

Thomas P. Cottam

13th Mayor of St. George

Francis L. Daggett

15th Mayor of St. George

George F. Whitehead

16th Mayor of St. George

Thomas Judd

17th Mayor of St.George

John T. Woodbury

18th Mayor of St. George

James McArthur

19th Mayor of St. George

Albert E Miller

20th, 22nd, and 25th Mayor of St. George

Alexander B. Andrus

21at Mayor of St. George

Henry T. Atkin

23rd Mayor of St. George

John T. Woodbury

24th bMayor of St. George

D. Clark Watson

26th Mayor of St., George

E. Eric Snow

27th Mayor of St. George

Joseph T. Atkin

28th Mayor of St. George

J. Clinton Snow

29th Mayor of St. George

William A. Barlocker

30th Mayor of St. George

Marion H. Bowler

31st Mayor of St. George

Neal M. Lundberg

32nd Mayor of St. George

James Grey Larkin

33rd Mayor of St. George

Karl Brooks

34th Mayor of St. George

Daniel D. McArthur

35th Mayor of St. George

Jon Pike

36th Mayor of St. George

Michele Randall

37th Mayor of St. George

Bloomington Monument

Bloomington Monument

In Bloomington there is a marker that describes the early days in the area.

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The little town of Gunlock was named for William Haynes Hamblin.

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Pine Valley

Pine Valley



Watch a series of short videos that take you to several historic buildings in St. George Utah.
This video introduces the Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum in St. George, Utah.
This is a mini video visiting the Historic Opera House in St. George, Utah
Take this tour to view a few homes on 100 West in St. George, Utah.
This short mini video will take you to the Historic St George Academy, now the Children's Discovery Museum.
This short mini tour visits the St. George Tabernacle in St. George, Utah.
This mini video visits the Historic Pioneer Courthouse as a reminder of its importance to the community for 90 years.

Catherine Steel

Catherine Steel is a character you might meet on an Historic St. George Live Tour in St. George, Utah

Jacob Hamblin

Jacob Hamblin always greets the guests arriving for the Historic St. George Live tours in St. George, Utah. Come learn his story.

Judge John Menzies Macfarlane

Judge Macfarlane holds a mock trial at the Historic Pioneer Courthouse when you attend an Historic St. George Live tour in St. George, Utah.

Louisa Hamblin

Come meet the wife of Jacob Hamblin and learn more about his personality as you attend an Historic St. George Live tour in St. George, Utah.

The video introduces the Historic Pioneer Courthouse in St. George, Utah and is the first in a series of three videos that conduct a virtual walking tour of the historic district in St. George.
This video is second in a series of three walking tours that take a virtual look at the commercial buildings that are included in the historic district of St. George, Utah.
This video is one in a series o three videos about the historic district of St. George, Utah.  This tour will focus on the residential homes of several pioneer families who settled St. George.  One of the other videos shows several commercials buildings and the third one tours the historic Pioneer Courthouse.
  • Pioneer Courthouse 97 UT-34, St. George, Utah, 84770
  • 97 E. St. George Blvd., St. George, UT 84770

Oldest standing public building in Washington County, Utah. Free admission. Gift shop.