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.

About Us

The St. George Pioneer Corner is a hub for information regarding the history of southern Utah. Through the collaborative efforts of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers (DUP), the Sons of Utah Pioneers (SUP-Dixie Encampment), Washington County Historical Society (WCHS), and Arts to Zion, access to histories, photos, events, tours, and activities of the local area is provided here.

St. George Pioneer Corner consists of two buildings important to the community, the historic Pioneer Courthouse and the McQuarrie Memorial Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum. Both are located on the corner of 100 East and St. George Boulevard in St. George, Washington County, Utah.

The Pioneer Courthouse offers tours, events, and displays for visitors. Next door at the Daughters of the Utah Pioneer McQuarrie Memorial Museum, photos, relics and histories of many early settlers can be found.

This site provides links to:
the Pioneer Courthouse Facebook page
the Washington County Historical Society website
the McQuarrie Memorial DUP Museum website
the Sons of Utah Pioneers Dixie Encampment website
 the Arts to Zion website

Other local historical museums and societies have been invited to submit information regarding their collections.

Watch these YouTube videos on the History of the Courthouse.

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McQuarrie Memorial Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum

The McQuarrie Memorial Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum (DUP) is the home to hundreds of photos, relics, and histories of early settlers in southern Utah. Tours are available and well as special events.

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Sons of Utah Pioneers

The Dixie Encampment Chapter of the Sons of the Utah Pioneers honors and preserves our pioneering forefathers in St. George and Washington City, Utah.

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Arts to Zion

Where history resonates and creativity soars. Sponsor of annual Arts to Zion Art Studio Tour. Supporter of Silver Reef Museum

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Washington County Historical Society

Members from various communities in Washington County, Utah, come together to promote the history of the towns and cities of this area.

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More About Daughters of Utah Pioneers

Many items in the McQuarrie Memorial Museum run by the Daughters of Utah Pioneers (DUP) depict the amazing efforts made by the early settlers of Washington County. One such item is the "Friendship" quilt. Completed in 1898, this 122-year-old 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 built in Nauvoo, Illinois, by Edward Duzette, a celebrated drummer of the Nauvoo brass band. It is a "one of a kind" drum in that the instrument is able to produce a melodic tune, as well as keep a beat.

Also on display is a large loom that weaved rag rugs for nearly 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.

More About Sons of Utah Pioneers

More About Sons of Utah Pioneers More About Sons of Utah Pioneers
The Dixie Encampment chapter of the Sons of Utah Pioneers (SUP) embarked on the monumental task of creating a pathway through sagebrush, cactus, and red stone, to the historic sandstone quarry, an important site to the creation of St. George. Now all may enjoy seeing this site accessed by an easy trail that takes in lovely views of the Red Cliffs Golf Course.

The sandstone quarry was where laborers spent countless hours toiling in the weather to gather the building material used to construct many of the still extant historic buildings in the area. The stone was cut by hand and hauled by oxen into town to be further refined and fit together for the walls of the historic pioneer courthouse, the St. George Tabernacle, and numerous homes and schools.

In addition to the sandstone quarry project, in 2018 the Dixie Encampment of the SUP conducted an exhaustive study to identify a complete list of the World War I veterans from Washington County, including veteran Michael Cottam. A display was set up and viewed at the Utah state capital in Salt Lake City.

More About Washington County Historical Society

The Washington County Historical Society (WCHS) has gathered and archived on its website thousands of historic records and photographs regarding people, places and things all pertaining to Utah's Dixie and encourages input from others to ensure the history is kept and preserved. The website’s history of the Pioneer Courthouse is a good example of the society’s efforts.

The WCHS has been deeply involved in raising funds to erect a statue in honor of Juanita Brooks, a local historian and author. Employed as a teacher at Dixie College, Juanita immersed herself in researching and documenting the history of southern Utah. She produced the first treatise on the difficult subject of the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Artist Annette Everett is designing the life-size statue.

WCHS is currently spearheading a project to gather histories from local residents on the effects, implications, and impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Stories can be submitted to the Society.

More About Arts to Zion

Arts to Zion sponsors local artists, art galleries, and programs that promote art in the community. The annual Arts and Studio Tour allows the public access to many studios normally unavailable and is a major fund raiser that supports local artists. This event is free and usually held the third weekend in September. Arts to Zion also supports the Silver Reef Museum that preserves the story of the silver mining industry that played  a pivotal role in the development of southern Utah in the late 1880s.


Area History

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. The 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

Early Explorers

Early explorers to the area were Catholic Priests. In 1776, Father Dominguez and Father 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, they were aided by three indigenous guides of the Timpanogos tribe (Ute people). The land was harsh and unforgiving, and hardships encountered during travel forced the group to return to Santa Fe 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.

Shivwits Band of Paiutes

Indian Missionaries

Early Settlement

Historic Buildings

Early Settlers

James Andrus

Manamos Lovina Gibson

Benjamin Franklin Woolley

Olive Carter Foss

Historic Homes

Markers and Monuments

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




Video of Courthouse

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  • Pioneer Courthouse 97 UT-34, St. George, Utah, 84770
  • 97 E. St. George Blvd., St. George, UT 84770