In December of 1861, the St. George area was colonized in response to a call from Mormon prophet Brigham Young. Wanting the territory to be independent during the Civil War, President Young had heard of the warm climate ideal for growing cotton, silk, and grapes. Many people from the southern states with experience growing cotton were sent here, which is the reason for the term "Utah's Dixie."
Back then, there wasn't any air conditioning, reservoirs, or green grass; when those pioneers arrived, only sagebrush and the Virgin River welcomed them to the valley. In fact, J. Golden Kimball, one of these early settlers illustrated the desert heat perfectly:
“I believe if I had a house in hell and a house in St. George, I'd rent out the one in St. George and live in hell. I really would.”
Yet still they persevered, building a town from the sand up. The opera house, news building, old courthouse, Woodward school, and Electric Theater are among the earliest buildings erected that are still in use today.
St. George has come a long way in 156 years. Home to over 45 public schools including Dixie State University, 40+ parks, quality healthcare facilities, and art centers, it's no wonder St. George and its surrounding cities are ranked one of the best places to live by Sperling's best places.
Come visit Utah's Dixie and see for yourself!