WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY (Washington County, Utah)
THE TEMPLE QUARRY
St. George, Utah
The Temple Quarry is where lava rock was cut and taken for the building of the
St. George Temple.
LOCATION37° 5' 47.63" North Latitude, 113° 36' 20.50" West Longitude
37.0965° North Latitude, 113.6057° West Longitude
2,937 feet (895 meters) MSL
Located on the southwest side of the Black Hill on the west side of St. George. There is a Temple Quarry Trail that leads around the south end of the Black Hill from the old Municipal Airport to the Temple Quarry.
HISTORYThe Temple Quarry was in operation from 1871 to 1874 during construction of the foundation of the St. George Temple. It was chosen because of the abundance of large chunks of lava rock that could be quarried and used as a foundation that would not dissolve in the alkali soil of St. George.
The stone was quarried into slabs averaging 10 feet long, 42 inches wide, 13 inches thick, and weighing 5,500 pounds. It was loaded for hauling by placing the stone on 6 inches of soil, stradling it with the wagon, securing it to the undercarriage of the wagon, and then removing the dirt from under the rock. The rock was then driven over the Temple Quarry Trail to the site of the St. George Temple.
Andrew Gubler made some improvements, including some signage, as an Eagle Scout project in 1997.
PHOTOSPhotos on the web:
Photo of "Temple Quarry 1871-74" chipped into a lava rock at the Temple Quarry in St. George
Photo of drill marks on a lava rock at the Temple Quarry in St. George
Photo of a field of lava rocks at the Temple Quarry in St. George