Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Touring the Historic Mormon Sites, St. George, Utah

The St. George area has many historic Mormon sites, and we spent a few hours touring and learning a bit about the history of the Mormons in St. George.

Our first stop was the Jacob Hamblin house built in 1862-63. One interesting aspect of this house was that it was built with timbers that were salvaged from Hamblin’s previous home (actually, a fort) that was destroyed in a flood in 1862. Although there was a bit of restoration, there were some items and original craftsmanship from the 1860’s, which was quite interesting to see. One thing we learned while on tour of Jacob Hamblin’s house was the origin of the phrase “Sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite.” Apparently back in the 1860’s mattresses were atop a maze of ropes, and to get a firmer bed, one would tighten the ropes. The bedbugs? Well, since the pioneers stuffed their duvet covers with straw from the field, they would need to use a rolling pin to kill the bugs. Let it be known ~ Suzanne would not have made a good pioneer woman!

Next we were onto the Brigham Young winter home, where Brigham Young lived during the winters of his last years. This was a large home, also slightly restored, but also with some original items, including Young’s china which adorned the dining room table. The home was built 1869-1870, and what was even more interesting was that after Young died, no family member lived in the home – it was sold to another family, then became an office building, then owned by the State of Utah, which eventually land-swapped the home (along with the Hamblin house) with the Mormon church for some land the state wanted that was owned by the church.
The last place we toured was the Tabernacle, which was constructed in 1863-1876. It is still being used today, and was recently refurbished in 1993. The most interesting thing of architecture was that about 80% of the windows were the original ones used over a century ago.

We stopped by the Mormon Temple, but only long enough to play paparazzi and take this photo ~ having visited the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City many years ago, we didn’t feel the desire to go again. The one thing Suzanne kept wondering, however, was how they keep the outside so white – do they wash it all the time or repaint all the time…….

One final note – the drive to Jacob Hamblin’s was quite charming – there were a number of delightful homes with large gardens along the Santa Clara drive – this alone may be worth an afternoon drive to enjoy the scenery. Oh, and all the tours were free.


Lowelife said...

By far the best full-timer website out there. Extremely detailed trips, sights, and valuable tips. Keep it up guys!!!

Suzanne and Brad said...

Thanks so much for your very kind words!

Jerry and Suzy said...

We happen to agree with "Lowelife!"

Right, how do they keep 'em so bright white? Last year we saw the temple in Manti, UT, the smallest community the Mormon Church has ever used for an international temple. It sat high on a hill and was visible five miles away.

Manti is on Highway 89 if you are going that way. Check out our website archive for September 26, 2008 to take a look at this temple. www.jerrysuzylifeonwheels.blogspot.com

Suzanne and Brad said...

Wow! Great pictures!! Not sure if we'll be heading that way ~ depends on the weather!! =)

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