Across the street west, and two blocks south of here stands the building originally known as the St. George Stake Academy. After the turn of the century, southern Utah citizens realized a great need for higher education in this isolated corner of the state. The LDS Church determined to establish an academy in St. George. Leaders at Church headquarters in Salt Lake City agreed to contribute $20,000 in cash if people of the St. George Stake would pay the remaining $35,000 in money, materials and labor. In keeping with long established tradition, the response of citizens was enthusiastic, and people emptied their precious savings accounts and offered materials and services.
The foundation of the structure was made of black volcanic stone. Because it was felt that the academy should be built of something that would add variety to the look of the public square, it was decided to use the delicate pink Chinle sandstone from a quarry east of Washington , rather that (sic) darker sandstone used for the Tabernacle and Woodward School. The heavy slabs were brought to St. George over rutted roads on the running gears of wagons. The rocks were cut into shape by the same master stone masons who worked on the Tabernacle. The stone work, especially the entry arch and entablature above it, is among the finest anywhere. Citizens watched with deep satisfaction as their house of learning rose to completion and opened for classes in September of 1911.
People persisted in calling the new school the Dixie Academy. It became the forerunner of both Dixie High School and Dixie College, and continues as a key community center today.
This is S.U.P. Marker #72.07, for other markers in the series visit this page. Other markers in the series located here in the St George Memorial Plaza are:
- 72 – St. George Memorial Plaza
- 72.01 – And the Desert Shall Blossom
- 72.02 – Gardners’ Club Hall
- 72.03 – St. George Social Hall “Opera House”
- 72.04 – Brigham Young Home
- 72.05 – Pioneer Courthouse
- 72.06 – Erastus Snow’s Big House
- 72.07 – Dixie Academy
- 72.08 – St. George Temple
- 72.09 – St. George Tabernacle
- 72.10 – Woodward School