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Erastus Snow’s Big House

On this site in 1867, Erastus Snow began construction on a four-story, adobe home which later became known as the “Big House.” Snow, an LDS apostle, was the presiding Mormon leader during the colonization of St. George. The “Big House” was an uncommonly large dwelling which served as lodging for many of the guests that visited St. George. The structure had three stories and a basement, the southern exposure of which was level with the ground. A balcony supported by pillars was attached to the west of the home and a low, rock wall overlaid with red sandstone bordered the sidewalk in from (where you are now standing). Though not extravagant or ornate, it was a comfortable, livable home that typified the style of many early St. George residences.

Shortly after it was completed, Snow’s wife Elizabeth (Libby) managed the “Big House” as a guest home for weary travelers. Nearly 80 visitors sat down to dinner here to celebrate Erastus’ 50th birthday in 1868. Beginning in 1888, Snow’s son Mahonri managed the “Big House” as a first class hotel for 25 years. In 1913, it was sold to Samuel Judd who continued the service but changed the name to the Dixie Hotel.

St. George owes much of its establishment, growth and progress to Erastus Snow, whom people looked to for counsel and advice during his 27 years here. His “Big House” was known as the executive mansion of the Southern Utah Mission. It stood as a fine example of the craftsmanship and dedication of the early southern Utah Pioneers.”

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This is S.U.P. Marker #72.06, for other markers in the series visit this page.  Other markers in the series located here in the St George Memorial Plaza are: