the demise of the iron works in 1858, the town's economy became agrarian
in nature although iron mining continued strongly through World War
II and into the 1980s. The coming of the railroad to Cedar City in 1923
exposed Utah's national parks to the world of tourism, and Cedar City
was promoted as the "Gateway to the Parks." The railroad also provided
an outlet for the products of the iron mines. Presently the city's economy
is based on tourism, agriculture, some mining activities, some industrial
and space-age complexes, and Southern Utah State University with an
enrollment of 4,500 students. The college was founded in 1897 as a branch
of the State Normal School (University of Utah). In 1913 it became a
branch of the Utah State Agricultural College of Logan. In 1968 the
state legislature transformed it into a four-year college of liberal
arts and sciences with elementary and secondary teacher education programs.
On 1 January 1991 it attained university status.
University is the home of the Utah Shakespearean Festival, which provides
an important economic and cultural infusion to the area. Cedar City
has thus also become known as the "Festival City." The professional
quality of the plays produced each summer, employing talented professionals
from all over the United States, is becoming known around the world.
Morris A. Shirts