Bloomington – D.U.P. Marker #505
Numerous petroglyphs are the only record of the original settlers of this area, the Anasazi and Paiute Indians. In January 1858 a small Mormon pioneer group was sent south from Salt Lake City to raise cotton. The pioneers settled the east side of the Virgin River calling it Heberville; it was later changed to Price City.
New settlers coming in 1861 built homes on the west side of the river. This settlement was called Bloomington because of the wealth of wild flowers. It became the larger community (centered in the lower Manzanita Street area). There was a school building used also for socials and church, a post office, library, and the Union and Village Echo newspaper building. There were productive farms of vegetables, grains, and broom corn. Orchards consisted of nut and fruit trees. Peaches were shipped as far as Chicago. Silkworms were raised, barrels for processed molasses were made, and the best brooms throughout the area were produced in a broom factory. Bloomington was always a favorite spot for parties, picnics, and moonlight rides.
The undrinkable Virgin River water was a problem; therefore water had to be hauled from St. George. The river had to be crossed on horseback for school and church. It flooded often, ruining farms, dams, and ditches which were built and rebuilt with great effort.
By the late 1930s, the area was almost deserted with only a few farms remaining. Modern Bloomington began to be developed in 1966, largely as a residential community. The river is still a problem with flooding occurring in 1979 and 1988. This monument was erected as a reminder to future generations to keep their heritage alive and appreciate the efforts of those who settled and tamed what was once a hostile environment.
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