WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY (Washington County, Utah)
ST. GEORGE BISHOPS' STOREHOUSE AND CANNERY
St. George, Utah
LOCATION516 North 1400 East
St. George, UT 84770
37° 7' 1" North Latitude, 113° 33' 14" West Longitude
2,864 feet MSL
HISTORYThe first welfare cannery in the area was built about 1936, about where Arrow Audio later stood on Tabernacle Street. Behind the cannery itself, big fires were built in the open under the cauldrons and goods were canned for distribution among the poor.
That was followed in 1939 by the St. George Bishops' Storehouse and Work Center.
The property for the current cannery and bishops' storehouse was acquired in 1978. The plan for the St. George Cannery building was complete by February 1978. Bids were received by May 8, 1979 and the construction contract was awarded to Magic City Construction for $353,364. An official notification to commence work was received from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on July 27, 1979. Work was completed by October 15, 1980. An addition to the warehouse and the grain silos were installed almost immediately after the construction of the storehouse and cannery was complete.
The St. George Cannery was officially dedicated by Elder F. Burton Howard on Saturday, March 5, 1983, approximately two years after going into operation.
Ramon Darton became the first storehouse manager in 1981. Steven Adams succeeded him and worked through May 1985. Roger Lloyd was the third storehouse manager and worked from May 1985 through 1995. The fourth storehouse manager was Bruce Smith who worked from 1995 through March 31,1996, when Dale Hicken took over as manager. Dale Hicken is the current storehouse manager and has served since April 1, 1996.
On November 26, 2002, the Budget and Appropriations Committee approved the cannery expansion and remodel. The addition provided storage, a dry-pack area, and large industrial type refrigerators and freezers. This addition more than doubled the size of the cannery.
In April 29, 2003, an accidental fire collapsed one-fifth of the roof and damaged some canned goods, but the fire was confined to the older portion of the cannery. Damage was estimated to be about $100,000.
The cannery's primary purpose was to can apricots and peaches from nearby church welfare farms. But as is the case with most LDS-operated canneries, when the harvest was complete at the St. George Cannery, the cannery opened up to family canning projects, humanitarian projects and community projects. Typically during the off-season at the St. George Cannery, members of the community, regardless of religious affiliation, were able to help can turkey, beef, chili, tomato sauce, and more to purchase for their own use.
Around August 1, 2011, the wet-pack canning arm of the St. George Cannery was closed in order to centralize and consolidate operations, transferring canning duties to the cannery in Lindon, Utah. Dry-pack canning operations and the bishops' storehouse remained in operation at the facility.
There are a lot of additional photos in the history document referenced below.
REFERENCESA History of the St. George Cannery 1981-2011
Compiled by Karen Doty, Sonja Dodenbier, Dale Hicken, Brian Passey, and Russell Wood
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