The Dixie Sugarloaf



Southwestern Utah


Utah's Dixie, or just Dixie, is a term used for the southwestern area of Utah, primarily Washington County, but sometimes including parts of Iron County, Kane County, the Arizona Strip, and the Muddy Valley section of Nevada.


In 1852, John D. Lee and his party explored the area which now makes up Washington County. They concluded that cotton could be grown here. In 1854, missionaries from the Indian Mission brought seeds down to Santa Clara from Parawan and raised a good crop of cotton in 1855. The seeds from the 1855 crop were used to raise an even larger crop in 1856.

Recognizing the likelyhood of a civil war between the northern and southern states, President Brigham Young was concerned that the availability of cotton cloth might be cut off. And more generally, he wanted the Saints of the Utah Territory to be as self-sufficient as possible. So in the early spring of 1857, he called 38 families from the southern states, who were familiar with the growing of cotton, to go down to southern Utah with the specific assignment to grow cotton. This unique colonizing mission was called the Cotton Mission or Southern Mission.

As these people lived and worked together on this enterprise, they started to call this new area "Dixie" after their homeland. The song "Dixie" was also popular during this time which helped the southerners to reminisce about their homeland: "In Dixie's Land I'll take my stand to live and die in Dixie!" The name spread and soon the area was known as "Utah's Dixie", name which has stuck to this day.

As life went on in Dixie, the name took on a new more significant meaning, the Dixie Spirit. As the trials and tribulations of the early pioneers were overcome, hard work and cooperation led to a prospering of the community. And today, there is a pride in that heritage that engenders a striving for excellence while retaining the culture of cooperation, tolerance, and hard work.


Wikipedia article on Dixie (Utah)

How Dixie Became the Nickname for Southwestern Utah

For the origin of the name of the original Dixie, see
Why Is the South Known as “Dixie”?
by Evan Andrews of

For early uses of the name, Dixie, in southern Utah, click here.

Preservation and Progress: The Story of Utah's Dixie
Video directed by Phil Tuckett chronicles the unique history of Southern Utah. The Paiute people, pioneer settlers, Utah Tech University founders, and today’s Trailblazers all overcame significant hardships while dedicating relentless efforts to building this special region into the amazing community it is today.

Water Resources and Commuity Values: Utah's Dixie as a Case Study
By Thomas A. Alexander

Way Out West in Dixie?
By Keith Graham, Staff Writer
The Atlanta Journal - The Atlanta Constitution, February 26, 1989, Pages L1, L6, and L7

The Cotton Pickin' Story, Why "Dixie" ?
Compiled by Dr. Harold P. Cahoon for the Washington City Historical Society, 2004

Is It True What "They" Say about Dixie?
By Heber Jones

Remember Dixie ....
By Juanita Brooks
Dixie Junior College "Dixie Sun", November 2, 1951

The Spirit Of Dixie
By Arthur K. Hafen
Dixie Junior College "Dixie Sun", October 28, 1952

By Levi N. Harmon

Words to the song: Are You From Dixie?

The Dixie Spirit
A poem by Katherine Miles Larson

A poem by Heber Jones

Where the Virgin River Flows
A poem by Lydia Hall

Dixie State, city of St. George apply to include local landmarks on National Register of Historic Places
Article by Megan Webber, St. George News, 1/21/2021