On the corner of 100 East and St. George Blvd. sits one of at least three Washington County Courthouses. Repurposed many years ago as the offices of the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce, this beautiful old sandstone brick and mortar structure took a decade of construction before it was completed in 1876 and 13 years after St. George was designated as the seat of Washington County government. Originally the basement of this interesting building served as a jail. The first floor – then and now – is used for office space, although its habitants have gone to great lengths to preserve the pioneer spirit of the building, even in 2015. The large room on the upper floor was originally used both as a schoolroom and a courtroom. Other features to see in this 140-year old building are 18-inch walls; period chandeliers; a nearly impenetrable walk-in safe; enormous paintings of Zion National Park and the Grand Canyon in the upper room; exterior cornice work and a cupola.
Behind the Old Washington County Courthouse is the McQuarrie Memorial Hall – also known as the Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum – a treasure trove of southwestern Utah’s historic artifacts. At 145 N. 100 East, you’ll find original pioneer furniture, musical instruments, kitchen implements, photographs and clothing … even a dress made of locally produced silk from the early days of the Cotton Mission.
Three DUP companies – with approximately 200 members – oversee the McQuarrie Memorial Museum volunteering their time to manage the facility and serve as docents to visitors from around the world.
The Museum, named for its benefactor Hortense McQuarrie Odlum, was built in 1938 to protect the large collection of memorabilia donated by descendants of those stalwarts who settled, under the direction of Brigham Young, southwestern Utah in the mid-1850’s. There is no admission fee to visit the museum, open daily from January through November from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Wednesday, Sunday, holidays and entire month of December.
If you love history, these two buildings are open for your enjoyment as part of St. George Live! or drop in on your own. But, whether or not history is your thing, you’re certain to love the comfort and beauty of our modern and affordable vacation rentals. Register now online at www.stgeorgeresortrentals.com for accommodations at the St. George Resort Rentals or www.laspalmasresortcondos.com for Five Seasons Vacation condominiums.