Located in Cedar City, Utah, the Frontier Homestead Museum and Park is a museum that hopes to educate visitors on the long-gone days of the pioneers of Utah, and of Cedar City’s early industrial history, tied to the discovery of iron in the area in 1847. Offering a multitude of exhibits, such as the Native Heritage exhibit and the sawmill, and a variety of events, including several hands-on activities, the Frontier Homestead Museum and Park hopes to help visitors look through a window into the past, of settlers and pioneers.
During the era of westward
expansion into the U.S.’s frontier, a shortage of iron was a major issue to the
pioneers who began settling in the Utah area around 1847. When a cache of iron
ore was discovered to be in the grounds of southern Utah, the Mormon leader
Brigham Young called for volunteers to colonize the Cedar City area in 1851. Roughly
ten months later, the newly-established colony had completed a blast furnace
and thus began to operate an iron foundry, bringing new business opportunities
to the area.
Hoping to preserve and
interpret the history of these events for future generations, citizens in the
area spearheaded a movement to establish the Iron Mission State Park in 1973.
(Now Frontier Homestead) The Iron Mission Foundation was organized in 1989 to
serve in an advisory capacity and provide the necessary financial support for
museum operations at the park.
As one would expect,
the main goal of the Frontier Homestead Museum and Park is the education of its
visitors. The park hopes to celebrate the history of the southern Utah area. Guests
can learn of Cedar City’s pioneer history as well as the legacy of its early
industrial period. The museum also features a wide variety of exhibits,
including the collection of horse-drawn wagons, several historic buildings, the
ever-popular Native Heritage exhibit, the old sawmill and the replica blast
furnace, which harkens back to a day gone by. The park also offers a variety of
hands-on events, including Iron Mission Days, Archaeology Day, the cemetery
tour, and Christmas at the Homestead. The museum is open year-round, and
tourists are encouraged to stop by and learn and connect with one another.