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History of Washington County, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia (Links Added)
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Area: 2,422 square miles; population: 48,560 (in 1990); county seat: St. George; origin of county name: after President George Washington; principal cities/towns: St. George (28,502), Washington (4,198), Hurricane (3,915), Santa Clara (2,322), La Verkin (1,771), Hildale (1,325); economy: tourism, education, services, trade; points of interest: Zion National Park, Snow Canyon State Park, Gunlock Reservoir, Red Cliffs Recreation Site, St. George Temple and Tabernacle, Pine Valley chapel, Well Fargo & Co. express building in Silver Reef, Washington Cotton Factory, Jacob Hamblin home in Santa Clara, Brigham Young home and Dixie College in St. George.

Washington County in the southwest corner of the state includes a large area around St. George in the valley of the Virgin River and its tributaries; it has the highest average temperatures in the state and very mild winters. The eastern third of the county, including spectacular Zion National Park, is part of the Colorado Plateau province. The western two-thirds lies in the Basin and Range geographic province. The lowest point in the state, along *Beaver Dam Wash (2,350 feet), is near the county's southwest corner, while the Pine Valley Mountains in the north top 10,000 feet.

Traces of the prehistoric Archaic and Anasazi cultures have been found in the area, and the Santa Clara and Virgin rivers provided an important base for the development of Southern Paiute life. The Dominguez-Escalante expedition in 1776 recorded the first description of the Indians in this area. In 1980 the federal government restored traditional tribal lands west of Santa Clara to the Shivwits branch of Southern Paiutes. The Shivwits Reservation, set aside in 1903, had been terminated in 1954.

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