This Desert’s first known inhabitants were the Anasazi Indians. They were estimated to have lived in this area from around 200BC to about 1200 AD. The remains from their time here are painted and etched onto the sandstone walls.
There are still many dwellings and artifacts that were left as evidence of their 1000 years of inhabitancy. The reason for their departure is still unknown to this day. The Paiute Indians were the next to have settled this area around 1100 and 1200 AD. These Indians lived in small tribes that were made up of smaller tribes that stretched out hundreds of miles. They grew crops on river sides, such as corn and wheat, melons and other vegetables. While they hunted for meats such as rabbit, deer, big horned sheep and other game. They also gathered berries, nuts, roots and seeds as an additional food source.
St. George was founded in 1861 by a man named Brigham Young, the leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The city was named after a man called George A. Smith, a former leader of the LDS church. St. George was also given a nick name called “Utah’s Dixie”, given to the area by the first pioneer settlers because of the warm climate and the lands ability to grow cotton, but their efforts were soon abandoned after not meeting the demands of commercial growers prices.
Because of the American Civil War in 1861 Brigham Young organized what is now Washington County, which is a settlement connecting to St.George Utah. His plans were to grow enough cotton to supply his own people, because he feared the war would diminish his customer base. In October of 1861 over 3 hundred families from Salt Lake City were called to help in the Dixie cotton industry. The families were selected to ensure the settlements had the correct amount of masons, farmers, educators, businessmen, carpenters, blacksmiths etc.
Life was hard for the First Pioneers to settle the valley. With scorching summer heat and very little rain fall, it was hard to grow crops. With flash floods repeatedly destroying their crops and homes, it was discouraging at times for theses early settlers. Although, they stayed and withstood the climate, and continued to build their homes and town. Now there are very few storms that cause flooding in the area. With the canals that were built in the early 1900s it has prevented these disasters from continuing.
St. George sits at an elevation of about 3,000 feet above sea level. With the Virgin River that runs threw the main part of the town. The Santa Clara River also flows on the west side of the city before merging with the Virgin River. The Arizona State line is to the north located between the towns of Santa Clara and Ivins to the west and Washington to the east. The middle of city, including downtown, Dixie State Collage, convention center, and the hospital are all located in a valley surrounded by red sandstone cliffs, all with a view of the Virgin River.
St.George is most commonly known for its world renowned landscape. Red sandstone mesas border the city to the north, while lava peeks shadow the city’s center. You can see the the edges of the Mojave Desert to the northeast and the beautiful Pine Vally Mountain rests over the city to the north. Zion National park is also visible to the horizon in the east. The weather has more in common with the deserts that surround Utah, with hot summers and little or no snow during the winter seasons.
The wonderful Community of St. George is located about 120 miles northeast of Las Vegas Nevada and about 300 miles south of Salt Lake City Utah. The St. George area rapidly grew in the 1970s, growing more than 90% in just ten years. Since 1990 St. George has become one of the fastest expanding city’s in the America. First as a retirement getaway, then later as a tourist destination to Utah’s many beautiful National Parks. St. George currently has a population of about 134,000.
Here are links to other great areas in and around Washington County and St. George:
Other Important Community Links
Check out Washington County School District
View our great Golf Courses
Live at one of St. George’s Golf Communities
Visit one of our nearby National or State Parks
Take part in one of St. George city’s events