Green Gate Village walking tour offers a glimpse into the history of downtown St. George

Shoppers browse Green Gate Village in historic downtown St. George, Utah, Jan. 28, 2017 | File photo courtesy of Vyking Events, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — St. George Historic Preservation Commissioner Lynne Cobb and historical landscape architect Susan Crook will lead a walking tour of the Green Gate Village block, the third in a series of four walking tours sponsored by the Washington County Historical Society.

The free tour on April 10 begins at 11 a.m. Meet at the Zions Bank mini-park at the corner of St. George Boulevard and Main Street. RSVP on SignUpGenius or by hovering your iPhone or Android camera over the QR code included with this article.

Participants should wear walking shoes, dress for predicted weather and wear a mask for COVID compliance, despite the governor lifting the mandate. Participants will learn unique bits of history about historic buildings on this block and their current use.

The Advenire Hotel at 25 W. St. George Blvd. is a four-story boutique hotel opened in January 2020 with 60 rooms. CityView St. George, west of The Advenire, offers mid-rise downtown apartment living with secure parking and a host of other amenities.

Closet Revival, 79 N. Main St., is a clothing boutique that has been in operation for about two years. St. George Co-op Mercantile Building (Bear Paw Café), 75 N. Main St., was completed in 1876. The Bear Paw Café was started in 1998 by the Pizzuto family, who still own it today.

Hometown Lenders, 61 N. Main St., has been at this location since 2017. It also serves as the offices of Mission Firefly, a nonprofit organization that digs water wells and builds schools in Guatemala. MoFaCo, 55 N. Main St., is in the front part of this building, with 6Bit Creative, LLC in the back. The Garden of Edith florist shop operated for many years in this building.

Nathan Wotkins opened Wide Angle Gallery at 51 N. Main St. in 2003. Main Street Antiques, 49 N. Main St., sells antiques that are 60 years old or older. Forever Young Fine Jewelers, 41 N. Main St., was owned and operated by Jeremy Young, a former employee of McArthur Jewelers, who bought out Tom (Jr.) and Allison McArthur in 2016. He and his wife, Megan Young, owned and operated the jewelry store until he passed away in 2018. Megan Young is the sole owner today.

Arts to Zion, representing local artists, and Dixie Watercolor Society share the front office space in the building at 35 N. Main St. Twenty-Five Main Café, owned by Jason and Lori Legg at 25 N. Main St., has been open since 2010. Prado Real Estate, 21 N. Main St., is the primary tenant in this building constructed in 1873. City Wide Loans/Vanguard Title Insurance Agency is also in the building, with a separate entrance at 15 N. Main St.

Gold Ore Store, 7 N. Main St., is a precious metals store opened in 2012 by Greg and Melodie Neel. Annie Whitney owns Annie’s Vintage Garden at 3 N. Main St. One Hot Grill of Dixie, 14 W. Tabernacle St., features hamburgers, hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches.

Green Gate Village is a unique collection of eight pioneer and early Victorian St. George homes (circa 1862-1881), some of which are on the National Register of Historic Places. When Dr. Mark Greene and his wife Barbara were crowded out of the restored Heinrich Gubler House by friends and paying guests, they bought the Orson Pratt-Richard Bentley House in 1981 to restore as a family retreat. A year later, they bought the Joseph Bentley House and Judd’s Store and granary from Thomas Judd to prevent their demolition. These buildings and the 1917 Joseph Judd bungalow at the southwest corner of Green Gate Village are the buildings original to the site.

The buildings at Green Gate Village

Judd’s Store, featuring vintage candy, bottled soda and fresh-made sandwiches, is located across the street from the Woodward school. It has been a favorite place of every kid in town since 1911.

In 1862, the Pratt family built the large (for the time) Orson Pratt/Richard and Elizabeth Bentley home directly north of the public square where the St. George Tabernacle and Woodward School would be built. This home is currently used by Scout Cloth. Preservation Utah holds a preservation easement on this home.

William Oscar Bentley completed the Joseph and Margaret Bentley Home in 1876 for his bride-to-be, Mary Ann Mansfield. Today, the house serves as Chef Alfredo’s Italian restaurant. The Charles and Mary Tolley cabin is currently occupied by Twisted Silver. The Tolley cabin was originally built on a small family farm in Nortonville, near Nephi.

Green Gate Village also features the Thomas and Mary Judd Home/George and Victoria Miles Home/Green Hedge Manor, currently occupied by Cedar Pointe Homes. This house, built by Thomas Judd in 1872 at 238 S. 200 East, was located in the midst of huge old mulberry trees and behind a tall untrimmed tamarack hedge surrounding most of the city block.

The Orpha Morris House is currently “Signature Scents.” This house was built in 1879 for Orpha Morris on the corner of Main Street and 200 North, across from the St. George Opera House. The Greenes saved it from demolition by moving it to Green Gate Village when the new post office was built. Unfortunately, the truck moving it broke an axle when it went over the curb in line with the new foundation, jarring the unreinforced masonry house into a pile of rubble. After the time and money already spent on it, the Greenes salvaged the materials and rebuilt the house at Green Gate Village.

The Christmas Cottage is occupied by The Barbers of Green Gate. The cottage, originally located behind Andelin’s Gable House Restaurant at 206 E. St. George Blvd., is an original pioneer house. Carriage House and Granary building, occupied by Cosy House and Gift, is a long rectangular adobe brick building divided into two sections. The Judd bungalow, 94 W. Tabernacle St., is now The Book Bungalow. Thomas Judd, Sr., built this home in 1917 for his family.

Today, Carmall’s Cottage Antiques and Home Treasures occupies the William and Hettie Bentley Home at 46 N. 100 West. The home was built in 1923 by William Oscar Bentley Jr., who married Hettie Bentley. The Benjamin and Alice Pendleton Home, 60 N. 100 West, was adapted for reuse as the CityView Leasing office. Benjamin Franklin Pendleton was called by Brigham Young to come to Dixie as the community’s blacksmith. To build this home, Pendleton mixed his own adobe on the site where Dixie State University now stands.

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