Learn about pioneers and Paiutes at the McQuarrie Memorial Museum

The McQuarrie Memorial Museum, St. George, Utah, July 21, 2017 | File photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — When our intrepid pioneer ancestors decided to settle this area, they were not the only ones here. Their nearest neighbors were Paiute Indians. If you ever travel on Old Highway 91 to Nevada, you pass through land belonging to the Shivwits Band of the Paiute tribe.

Paiute leader Tau-gu (left) with explorer John Wesley Powell at the Grand Canyon, Arizona, 1870s | Image courtesy of Daughters of Utah Pioneers, St. George News

Did the pioneers fight with the Paiutes like in the old movies? Did they both keep to themselves and simply tolerate each other? Did they learn about each other and turn into decent neighbors? Or, did they actually manage to become friends? The answer is probably “yes” to all those questions.

The Paiute tribe had many separate bands and they tended to live and move around the southern part of Utah, northern Arizona and even into California. When a group settled for a while, it was near the water they needed for the crops they grew. Since water was also essential to the pioneers, encounters were inevitable.

To learn about this part of history from a Paiute perspective, join Glenn Rogers, the Shivwits Band chairman, at the McQuarrie Memorial Museum. Come and hear about their history with the pioneers, their beliefs, their skills and talents, as well as their struggles. The chance to round out your knowledge of the early inhabitants of the area is the Daughters of Utah Pioneers’ next weekend event on March 20 at 11 a.m.

At this time, the McQuarrie Memorial Museum is open on Monday, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Masks are required, all health guidelines are followed and hand sanitizer is available. Admission is free. The museum is located at 145 N. 100 East in St. George and is wheelchair accessible. For additional information, visit dupstgeorge.org or call 435-628-7274.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!