has deep, well-drained soils and temperatures ideal for growing grapes.
The Mormon Wine Mission had no formal call but was ancillary to the
Cotton Mission of 1861. Wine of their own make was important to the
Mormons because Joseph Smith, the church's founder, had a revelation
that they were to use water in the sacrament, unless they had wine of
their own make. Master vintner John C. Naegle was called by Brigham
Young to establish and operate a winery in Toquerville and to instruct
the people in the process of making wine. Naegle built a big rock house
with a wine cellar underneath large enough to accommodate a wagon and
a team of horses and allow them to turn around. He installed vats, presses,
and other paraphernalia for fermenting wine. The product was stored
in 500-gallon casks and shipped to ZCMI in 40-gallon casks. Not only
was the wine paid as tithing but large amounts went to Pioche, Silver
Reef, and to the settlements north. It became a major industry.
mid-January 1867 the Deseret State Telegraph line opened between Salt
Lake City and Toquerville. The town was incorporated in 1917 and
bonded to build a closed culinary water system. Electric lights were
installed that same year. During the prosperous years of Silver Reef,
water from Toquerville springs was used to run a stamp mill where ore
from the reef was brought in and made into bars of silver.