The Hurricane Valley Chapter of the Sons of Utah Pioneers held an event on November 5th. We ventured out to the beautiful city of St. George, Utah to visit the DUP Museum, and the Trail to the Quarry trek.
We were told to gather at the Zion’s Bank parking lot at 8:30 that morning. We had a grand total of 14 people show up, but even with that small number, we had a great time. We left the parking lot at about 9:00 a.m. and traveled in separate vehicles to the “McQuarrie Memorial Hall” which is a museum run by the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers (D.U.P.)
These wonderful women had taken time out of their busy lives to come to the museum and give us a special tour. We were grateful for their willingness to serve. We were divided up into 4 different groups and taken to different parts of the Museum. Besides the Entryway, the main floor has 4 large display rooms rooms. There is also a basement with three large rooms. There is a great deal of memorabilia from earlier times displayed there. We spent about 2 hours just looking, and realized that it would take a great deal more time to really see everything they have to see. It also gave us a better reason to visit our our Heritage Park Museum right here in Hurricane.
From the museum, we left for the “Trail to the Quarry,” Monument. To get there headed up Diagonal Street to the very end and turned on 700 west street. From there, to the end of that street. Here it is obvious that there is something being remembered. You come to a two pillar entryway that begins the Trail to the Quarry trek.
This monument had been in the works for several years and was built as a cooperative effort of the Dixie Encampment Chapter of the Sons of Utah Pioneers, the City of St. George and local businesses along with local Eagle Scouts from Boy Scout Troop 383. They constructed the two-pillared entry, numerous informative plaques, a stone monument and the trail itself.
The Red Cliffs Desert Reserve was also instrumental in completing the project, granting permission for the trail to cross into the reserve. Dixie Red Hills Golf Course, which abuts the trail, also helped in granting access.
“It’s been hard to get to”, St. George Mayor Pike said. “It’s a little bit treacherous, getting up the cliff or along the golf
course. This trail’s been carefully mapped out, worked really closely with the desert tortoise habitat folks as well as the city and the Sons of Utah Pioneers who headed up this project – they raised the money for it. It’s going to be fantastic. I think just about anyone could walk this trail and go up and see a little bit of history.”
The quarry site was an important location where blocks of sandstone were chiseled out of the hillside and used to construct numerous local buildings of significant importance such as the tabernacle for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the LDS St. George Temple, the original courthouse and numerous other buildings in St. George.
the project had been in the planning stages for approximately four years, but is now available for people like the SUP to visit and see the work our pioneers had to go through just to get the sandstone blocks to the city center for the Tabernacle and Temple.
The day our small group arrived at the trail to the Quarry trek site was clear and beautiful. The trail winds lazily around the golf course, then back to the south and up a small incline. At the top, it meanders further south towards some sandstone outcroppings. You will find benches along the way to sit and rest, or ponder what you are seeing. There are a couple of well built sandstone stairs to climb along the way, but they are not steep.
You will find a number of plaques along the way, and at the end that describes what our pioneer forefathers had to do to chisel the stone from the sandstone face. Afterwards, they had to chip away at the block until it was formed the way they wanted it. It was still in a rough state when put on wagons and hauled back to the Tabernacle or Temple, where the finishing touches took place for each of the stone blocks quarried.