WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY (Washington County, Utah)
MELANCTHON W. BURGESS HOME
St. George, Utah
LOCATIONNortheast corner of 100 North (now St. George Blvd.) and 200 West
St. George, Utah
Plat A, Block 31, Lot 3 on the old pioneer map of St. George.
37° 6' 37.46" North Latitude, 113° 35' 13.88" West Longitude
37.1104° North Latitude, 113.5872° West Longitude
2,760 feet (841 meters) MSL
HISTORYThis home was built by Melancthon W. Burgess in 1861. It was the first home built in St. George. Many of the neighbors were living in their wagon boxes, dugouts, or willow houses plastered with mud. Melancthon cut the timber on the Parowan mountains with a cross cut saw and brought lumber and clapboards to build the home. The one room building was plastered with adobes (Dixie mud). There were four doors, one in each wall, and one small window with eight panes of glass which he brought with him from Salt Lake.
The fireplace was used for heating and cooking. They cooked over the fire with a long handled frying pan - potatoes and onions could be cooked in the coals and ashes. Melancthon was a blacksmith so he made all their cooking utensils. Their furniture was made from the wagon box.
In 1863 they added a bedroom, a kitchen, and a porch. They had a Charter Oak stove, a chest, a sewing stand, a sewing chair, and a coal-oil lamp on the table. The carpets on the sand floor were made from old clothes rags. They used a chicken wing or a bunch feathers for dusting. They had a stone crock churn with a wooden dasher.
In this home, parties, dances, wedding dances, Sunday School, and meetings were held. At the dances some were barefoot; some had cow-hide boots, or heavy shoes. A piece of tallow on the shelf was used to minister to stubbed toes or bruised feet so the dance could go on.
Melancthon & Margaret Jane Burgess
BIOGRAPHYMelancthon Wheeler Burgess & Margaret Jane McIntire Burgess Click here
Burgess home as it appeared about 1940
WCHS-01524 Photo of Margaret and Jennie Burgess in front of the Melancthon W. Burgess home
WCHS-01525 Photo of Margaret and Jennie Burgess with the home in the background
WCHS-01526 Photo of Margaret and Jennie Burgess with the home in the background
REFERENCESLibrary of Congress, Historic American Buildings Survey, Melancthon W. Burgess Home
Call Number: HABS UTAH,27-SAGEO,1-
Survey number HABS UT-12