On March the 4th, this small group gathered in the parking lot of the Hurricane Zion’s Bank, preparing to go on the Washington Museum Trek! We were expecting to be going to the Washington Mill Site, then on to the Washington Museum. However, as we were to learn, there was a surprise waiting for us. Dan Zaleski, the trek organizer, had been approached by one of our members, Paul Covington, and told of another museum found in Washington City that we had not heard of, that being the “Robert Dockery Covington Home.” That new piece of information was to change the entire trek for all of us!
At 9:00 a.m., we all headed out to our first area of our Washington Museum Trek, to see the Old Cotton Mill. It has been renovated today, and is being used as the “Star Nursery.” Our visit there was to be quite disappointing. Although the building houses the nursery, and it is kept in wonderful shape, there is very little there of the original use of the place. We were allowed to go to the second floor and see what they had there, but all they had was an old rug weaving loom, and a “model old fireplace” with a picture of the Old Mill after it had been renovated. There were places in the walls where the original rock work were exposed, and that was interesting. We spent just a few minutes here before moving on.
It was here that we were told of the Robert Dockery Covington home. It was located on the North West corner of 200 E. and 200 N. in the city of Washington. It too just a couple of minutes to arrive at this wonderful location. There was a beautiful Rot-iron fence surrounding a very lovely, well kept, old pioneer home. We learned that it was the oldest continuously lived in home in Washington County, and one of the oldest homes in Washington. It can be seen in this post at the top of the post. There was a Pecan tree on the property that was claimed to be the oldest or first Pecan tree planted in Southern Utah, and it was still bearing nuts.
This home had been continuously lived in from the time of Robert Covington, until about five years ago when the City of Washington purchased it, and turned it into a museum. Our tour guide on this day was Carmen Snow, who oversees a youth group called the Washington City Youth Council, a group of young men and women who have learned of the history of this home, and act out the lives of Robert, Malinda and others as they take you through the home. Carmen was dressed in period clothing, and acted the part of Malinda, the 2nd wife of Robert. (As an aside note: Robert Dockery Covington is the progenitor of most of the Covington’s of Washington County. He is the great, great grandfather of Paul, who is one of our chapter members!
Below is a sample of what you will find in the home. It is just a sample, for there were many things I did not get pictures of. On a humorous note, as we were approaching the end of the tour of the upstairs, Malinda had us open one of the closets, and as we did so, her comment was, “You will see some of the ‘skeleton’s in the closet'”
From the Covington home, we went to the Washington Museum found in downtown Washington. It was easy to find because of the unique sign placed in front of the property, Plus, it is found right on Main Street, and is in front of the old church in the center of town.
The museum is not usually open on Saturday, but special arrangements were made, and the docent came just especially for us. The tour was
marvelous, and there was much to see here. We didn’t have enough time to peruse each room as long as we would have liked because of the volume of material stored there. It would take several hours to make an extensive review of the museum. The city has taken great care of it, and it is truly a wonderful place to take your family and relive the lives our our pioneer ancestors. Enjoy the pictures below.