Brigham Young’s winter home in St. George is a “must see” for anyone interested in Church History. The home is located close to the St. George Temple on 200 North and 100 West. Missionaries give tours throughout the whole year.
Hours are Monday-Saturday 9:00am-5:00pm, and Sun 12:00-5:00.
Brigham Young, as the locals say, was St. George's first snowbird. He would leave the cold of Salt Lake and go to sunny St. George every winter. This began in 1870 and lasted until his death in 1877. Brigham Young suffered from arthritis and he found the warmth of St. George to be easier on his body.
Brigham was not the original owner of the home, but purchased it and added on. The add-on made the home double the size it was when originally purchased. The original portion of his home building started in 1869 and completed in 1871. The front addition—what most would call the main part of the house—was completed in 1873. Made from adobe, plaster and local rock, the two-story home is indicative of homebuilding in Utah at the time, when homes had large wrap-around front porches, thick insulating walls, a vegetable storage room in the basement, and three or more bedrooms.
Brigham Young was heavily involved in the settlement of the St. George area. He personally oversaw building of the St. George Temple. Brigham was eager to get the Temple covenants to the people settled in Utah, and the Salt Lake Temple was years behind the St. George Temple buiding. The St. George Temple was the first temple completed in Utah.
Brigham Taught the members the Temple Ordinances
One of the most important things that happened the Winter Home was the Temple Ordinances being given and taught to members. It must have been a great weight on the prophet Brigham Young to get a temple built and ready for the members of the Church after the exodus of Nauvoo. Brigham had an office built in back of his winter home that provided the privacy and the space he needed to meet with Church leader to reinstitute temple ordinances that had not been performed in a temple since the Saints left Nauvoo, Illinois.
The Lord was very clear with the Saints of the importance of Temples and receiving the ordinances in His Temples, but it took years for these buildings to be built. With the Nauvoo Temple left behind and the Saints had to start all over again, and Brigham Young's health was failing, and St. George made it possible for the prophet to ready the Saints to ender in the Temple again.
The St. George Temple was announced 1871 and finished 1877. During the building of the temple the Saints were also building communities, building the tabernacles, the courthouse, building homes and trying to survive. Brigham was a visionary man and he helped the people with every step of the new place they were living in.
Brigham’s Winter Home home also had a detached office with telegraph station, and a large office-style master bedroom upstairs. All designed to keep communication with other Church leaders while he was away in St. George.
The home also has an ingenious ventilation system where warm air flows out through the ceiling into the attic and out of the house. Orchards and gardens surrounded the home on three sides.
Brigham Young was a man called of God to fulfill a specific purpose. Speaking with the different missionaries and members in St. George was a testimony building experience, specifically of the Prophet Brigham Young. Like most people from the past, all are able to find good and bad from the person life. There are many people who do the tours in the Pioneer sites in St. George who are from Pioneer ancestors, with family stories of the Prophet Brigham Young, passed down from generations.
These personal stories of how the Prophet Brigham Young helped the little town of St. George, and helped build a people were powerful. Brigham Young left an impression, on the people of St. George, of love, hard work and respect.
Although, many have heard great things about Brigham Young, there is also many controversial stories as well, but this is not what was passed down in the pioneer heritage of St. George. The love of the people in St. George for the Prophet Brigham was inspiring. Studying the life of Brigham Young is high on the list of priorities. The accomplishments of Brigham Young are evident around Utah, and none would be possible without the help of a loving Heavenly Father.
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