Cedar City Utah Heritage Trail
This short drive through Cedar City begins at the Frontier Homestead Museum and State Park and includes several historic homes, museums, churches, and other landmarks.
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.
The George H. Wood House used to stand at 432 N. Main in Cedar City but is no longer present in this spot, which is now Toadz bar and club. The two-story brick house was built in 1889 for the son of a pioneer settler in Cedar City named George L. Wood. The house was designed in an I-shape and was intended to be double the size, but only the south half was built. George H. Wood (1856-1940) lived until his 80s and died in the house. His descendants continued to own the house when it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
Near this historical marker along the east side of N 100 E, opposite the T- intersection with E 400 N, stood a blast furnace. A lack of iron objects and the expense of importing them from "back East" concerned Mormon leader Brigham Young so much that he called for volunteers to work the iron deposits found in southern Utah. A site near Coal Creek was chosen for the iron works in November 1851 and became the start of the Cedar City settlement. It took ten months for the pioneers to build and begin operation of a small blast furnace and an iron foundry. The Deseret Iron Works operations came to end in 1858. The ruins of a similar ironworks have been opened to visitors as Old Iron Town, about twenty miles southwest of Cedar City.
Also known as the Union Pacific Railroad Depot, the Cedar City Railroad Depot is a long, rectangular, one-story brick building built in 1923 for a new rail line spur. In 1851, the first boy to arrive in what became the town of Cedar City was David Bulloch. In 1923, Bulloch rode the cow catcher on the front of the test train on the incomplete line. U.S. President Warren G. Harding and his wife rode the first train to arrive at the station on June 27th 1923, just weeks before his death. An inscribed golden rail was installed on September 12th 1923 at the depot's official opening ceremony to honor the late president. Passenger service stopped in 1959 and freight service ended in the 1970s. When the depot was documented for listing in the National Register of Historic Places in 1983, the vacant building had been boarded up but the structure retained its exterior architectural integrity. The depot has been renovated and in recent years contained a restaurant, The Depot Grill, which closed permanently in 2020.
The life-sized statue of Francis Webster stands in front of Bulloch Drug. Created by Jerry Anderson, this statue shows Webster dressed in the typical wear of the time period (a leather three-piece suit). Webster traveled to Utah in 1856 where he became instrumental in the development of Cedar City as a business leader, member of the City Council, and mayor.
The Post Office building at 10 N. Main Street was built to serve Cedar City in 1932 to 1933 by architects Cannon & Fetzer. The Depression-era project established federal office space and the post office space in the town's first federal government building. Granite steps lead up to the main entry. A bronze statue near the sidewalk is of the founder of Cedar City, Henry Lunt (1824-1902), and was added in recent years. Behind the statue sits an historical marker on Lunt, near another set of stairs leading to the main entrance. The Cedar City Post Office was listed in the National Register in 1989. The building currently contains city offices including the Police Department.
The Cedar City Tabernacle, built in 1885, was the center of activities for the locals of Cedar City, Utah for 47 years. A testament to Utahan independence and ingenuity, the Tabernacle was constructed of all local materials, except for the glass used for windows. Demolished in 1932 in favor of a post office, locals built a “rock church” next to where the tabernacle had been located, and is practically a replica of the old Cedar City Tabernacle.
The Cedar City Historic Rock Church sits on a lot prominently behind the local police station. Rocks from the surrounding area compose the building’s structure, which glow warmly as the sun descends over the hills. The church, still attended by local congregations of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is still being used in various fashions throughout the week. Completed by locals of the Cedar City area and dedicated on May 27, 1934 by LDS President Heber J. Grant, the Rock Church stands as “a monument to ingenuity born of the Depression years.”
The second oldest building on the Southern Utah University campus, Braithwaite Liberal Arts Center was built in 1899. The university was founded in 1897 as the Branch Normal School with the dedication of Old Main (located just north of this building) occurring the following year. The building is named in honor of Royden C. Braithwaite who served as president of the university from 1951 to 1978. At the time of Braithwaite's death in 1991 the size of the campus had nearly doubled and many of the campus's signature programs, such as the Utah Shakespearean festival, had become traditions that elevated the status of the university.
This natural history museum offers a variety of exhibits about the natural world, as well as programs for children, families, and educators. The museum is located on the first floor of Southern Utah University's Science Addition Building