Guests can travel back through time and "lodge" themselves in history during a sojourn at St. George's Greene Gate Village - a set of pioneer-era buildings renovated as bed-and-breakfast and dining facilities.
At Greene Gate, lodgers can be immersed in the past while coming face to face with the present. The village tries to provide boarders a retrospective, even nostalgic, stay, says Barbara Greene, the manager and owner with Dr. Mark Greene."Our guests relax, get away from the rush, then pause to get in touch with the past," she says. "They often compare the facilities here with pleasant memories of a grandmother's home. The reminiscing begins - we make family connections, review old times, then, almost magically, relate more comfortably with the present."
Tying the past to the present is an everyday part of the Greene Gate restoration project.
When Brigham Young ordered too much green paint for the fences and gates surrounding the newly constructed St. George Temple in 1877, he offered the excess to the settlers with the provision that they paint their gates and fences. The only remaining "green gate" is displayed in the Greene Gate Village garden; other gates are patterned after the historic one.
History continues to unfold in the lodging facilities at Greene Gate. Guests reside in homes formerly occupied by pioneer settlers of St. George.
The Morris House, for example, was moved from the site of the new town post office. The pioneer home for seven children was "loaded onto a flatbed truck and moved to Tabernacle Street," says Mark Greene. "The community watched, then collectively gasped as the structure fell completely apart when a wheel broke on the moving truck. We all thought the house would have to be hauled to the dump, but we hired a historical architect and he carefully put it all back together again."
Guests can also stay in a home built by pioneer Orson Pratt or dine in a Bentley family home of 1878 vintage.
Country suppers, with the taste of grandma's kitchen, are served Thursday through Saturday in the Bentley House.
Breakfast, a part of the night's lodging, is also served in the Bentley dining room.
The Carriage House and Grainary, a former warehouse for Judd's store, has recently been renovated as a conference and reception center. While clearing the stored debris of the house, the Greenes discovered 50 pairs of "new" shoes. The shoes, packed in original boxes, were identified as part of the 1920s store inventory. The shoes now line the top shelf of Judd's store, though they bear no price tags.
History marches on each day at Thomas Judd's store. Founded in 1911 as a general store and outfitter for livestock men, the store survives. Tom Judd, the founder's grandson, runs the family business today.
Located across the street from Woodward School, Judd opens business doors to a student march three times a day. Like his father and grandfather before, Judd serves the youngsters daily. Occasionally he may see a student during school hours, but only if the student is running a "treat" errand for a teacher.
Judd hires students to work the three rush-hour onslaughts. Kids vie for the coveted privilege of working at Judd's store. Even with help, Tom struggles to service the throngs of students efficiently. The general store sells school supplies and candy, but Parmesan bread sticks, cinnamon rolls, brownies and raisin filled cookies esaily top the pupils' shopping lists.
As they did with other historic landmarks in the community, the Greenes rescued Judd's store and incorporated it with the Greene Gate Village neighborhood. The village kitchen does the store baking; the school lunch crew devours it. An 80-year-old, student-to-store tradition is maintained.
Traditions survive in the nostalgic surroundings of Greene Gate Village. From room to historic room, from recipe to treasured recipe, touches of the past rejuvenate the present.
-Greene Gate Village is at 76 W. Tabernacle St. in St. George, phone 628-6999. Bed and breakfast accommodations are also available in St. George at Seven Wives Inn, 217 N. First West, 628-3737.
Old Fashioned Fruit Ice Cream
Parmesan Bread Sticks
Pioneer Sausage Turnovers