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Iron County Utah




The Iron County Courthouse is located at 68 South 100 East Street, Parowan UT 84761; phone: 435-477-8300.

Beginnings [1]

Iron County is a study in contrast from its arid western reaches of Escalante Desert and Great Basin ranges to the meadows and forests of the High Plateau on the east. The Markagunt Plateau is creased by the colorful formations of Cedar Breaks National Monument, a kind of miniature Bryce Canyon. Brian Head (11,307 feet), named for a profile resembling William Jennings Bryan, rises abruptly behind Iron County's major string of settlements and extracts a toll of precipitation from passing westerlies to feed the headwaters of the Sevier River.

Parowan Valley was home to the Fremont people who constructed granaries and pit houses dating from about A.D. 750 to 1250. An unusual variety of petroglyphs of different periods were pecked into the stone of Parowan Gap about 12 miles northwest of Parowan. Cedar City is the tribal headquarters of the modern Southern Paiute Indian Reservation. Their ancestors used the plants and animals of the basin/plateau environment in a complex seasonal pattern. The Dominguez-Escalante expedition traveled through the area on October 12, 1776, on its unsuccessful search for a route to central California. Fur trapper Jedediah S. Smith was the first Anglo-American to visit present Iron County during his amazing journey of 1826. Mormon settlers dispatched by Brigham Young established Parowan in January 1851 as the mother colony of the southern frontier. Cedar City (originally Coal Creek) was founded the same year. Several pioneer log homes remain in the county as well as some English two-bay log barns now very rare in the state.

  1. source: State of Utah, pioneer.utah.gov, accessed April, 2009
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