In 1861 construction
was begun on a large church building to stand in the center of the public
square. The pioneers envisioned a building of three stories, built from
the abundant yellow sandstone and massive timbers in nearby canyons.
Known as the "Old Rock Church," the building was completed in 1867 and
served as a place of worship, town council hall, school building, social
hall, and tourist camp. In 1939 it was restored through the efforts
of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers and a Parowan-sponsored WPA project.
It is now a museum of Parowan's early history.
Parowan has been
called the "Mother Town of the Southwest" because of the many pioneers
who left from there to start other communities in southern Utah, Nevada,
Arizona, Colorado, and even Oregon and Wyoming. In its first year, colonists
were asked to settle Johnson Fort, now Enoch, where a stockade was built,
and were also sent to settle along Coal Creek, site of the settlement
to manufacture iron which became Cedar City.