Silk was produced
in the area as early as 1874 but did not add to the material prosperity
of the city. Nevertheless, the mulberry trees, which were planted to
feed the worms, have continued to provide shade to the city's residents.
Other early pioneer endeavors included producing molasses, dried fruit,
To mark the fiftieth
anniversary of the settlement of St. George, the Dixie Academy Building
was constructed in 1911. The academy was operated by the LDS Church
until 1933, at which time it became a two-year college within the state
higher education system. In the 1960s the new *Dixie
College campus was opened in the southeast corner of the city. Today
enrollment at the college is approximately 2,500 students; however,
the college reaches most of the community with its programs and activities.
Since the 1960s,
St. George has continued to grow as a retirement location and as a haven
for "snowbirds" seeking to escape from the colder winters in the rest
of the state. Tourism and recreation have become primary industries
for St. George. The population of the city has grown at a rapid pace during the last quarter of the twentieth century.
In 1950 the population stood at 4,562; it nudged up to 5,130 in 1960,
moved up to 7,097 in 1970, climbed to 13,300 in 1980, and exploded to
28,500 in 1990.