Imagine for a moment you’re a stagecoach driver steering his team across the Old Spanish Trail, a pioneer woman crossing the plains in a covered wagon, or a steam shovel operator digging ore in an iron mine; rather than imagine, why not experience all of this at Cedar City’s own Frontier Homestead State Park museum, where interactive displays and exhibits bring the early history of Cedar City and southern Utah to life.
You’re greeted at the museum entrance by a 250,000 pound steam shovel used in the early days of the iron mines. Climb into this behemoth, as well as the Union Pacific caboose next to the shovel, for the perfect picture taking opportunity. Inside the museum is a world of preserved stage coaches and wagons. Also, peruse the special art and history exhibits that change on a quarterly basis.
The back of the museum is the “Homestead”, with several preserved historic structures representing life of an early pioneer settlement. Here you can explore the Hunter House, Deseret School House, Sawmill, Blast Furnace, Sheep Shearing Shed and the Palisade. Each has a self-guided activity station for making rope, panning for gold, load a wagon, and write your name in the Deseret (Mormon)alphabet.
Must See & Do
Iron Mission Days
Each November, Frontier Homestead celebrates the founding of Cedar City with the Iron Mission Days festival. Pioneer crafts and treats, special programs, school presentations, and guided walks of Cedar City’s Main Street. Call 435-586-9290 to check date and times or visit www.frontierhomestead.org.
During the summer season, Frontier Homestead State Park offers several hands on activities including gold panning, U-Load It wagon, Candle dipping, Adobe bricking making and Deseret Alphabet. Ask about these activities when you arrive at the park.
Old Iron Town
Old Iron Town, located about 25 miles west of Cedar City, tells the incredible story of southern Utah’s historic mining industry. While visiting the park, one can tour the ruins of the iron works and a preserved beehive shaped charcoal oven as well as stroll along the nature trail. There is also a covered picnic area available and restrooms.