City St. George / For The Spectrum & Daily News
HOLY. GEORGE – The revolutionary electric telegraph was not even a quarter of a century old. The photo was in its infancy. There was still a month to go before the first major EU victory in the American Civil War. It was January 17, 1862, the day the desolate wasteland of the Mojave Desert, the Colorado Plateau, and the Great Basin was inhabited and incorporated as St. George.
Fast forward 160 years. This Saturday, January 15, Mayor Michele Randall and city council members plan to commemorate the city’s birthday by preparing floats for free root beer and distributing other goodies at the Common Hall, 47 E. 200 North, from noon to 2 p.m.
In addition to refreshments, there will be several other free items available on January 15, including:
- Free entrance to the Sand Hollow Aquatic Center.
- Free entrance to the recreation center George.
- Free entry to St. George Art Museum.
- Free all-day rides on SunTran buses.
- Train to Thunder Junction and St. George Carousel will be free all day.
“This is a community party and everyone is invited to come and celebrate the history and heritage of our city,” Randall said. “In addition to root beer floats, there are many other free activities you can take part in during the day. We invite everyone to experience what we call The Brighter Side. ”
What it promises to be a day full of fun and friendship is in contrast to the status of the country 160 years ago. The United States was a nation divided by nine months into what would be a four-year civil war. The west was rough and wild. The transcontinental railroad was still seven years after completion, which meant that it had to travel by horse or on foot through often hostile territory.
The first settlers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints entered the Salt Lake Valley in mid-1847. Less than 15 years later, Brigham Young sent a group of 309 families to the south to grow cotton and grapes.
As times progressed, St. George became the seventh largest city in Utah with approximately 95,000 inhabitants. It is consistently among the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the United States.
“We really admire the sacrifice and struggle of the first St. George settlers,” Randall added. “The courage and belief that they did the right thing is an inspiration to me, as it is to many others.”
Those present can also meet the two newest members of the city council. Natalie Larsen and Michelle Tanner won the general election and the four-year term begins on January 3, 2022.