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Old Iron Town State Park, Cedar City

In 1850 the Iron Town Mission was of great importance to the settlers of Utah as they attempted to increase their self sufficiency by building a foundry to smelt iron. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent members to colonize the desert near the Cedar City area. Despite its initial success, the Iron Mission faced many difficulties. Financial troubles, floods, heavy freezes and furnace failure took their toll. In addition, a crop shortage threatened starvation. Though the people persevered in the face of these obstacles, the foundry was eventually closed in 1858.

When Iron Mission was declared a state park in 2001, most of the buildings had not been in use for over 125 years and were in a state of ruin. To best preserve the history of Iron Mission, stabilization of the remaining structures - not restoration - was the decided course of action. There was a great need for stabilization due to a number of factors including vandalism, theft and natural decay. If these ruins were not stabilized, they were in danger of collapse, injuring visitors, or disappearing into the landscape.

Arid Land Consultants, a Utah company known for their restoration efforts, headed up a team of staff and volunteers to stabilize eight structures and several rock wall segments. This truly was a big undertaking and commitment by the state to preserve Iron County's history as well as a unique part of the settlement of Utah.