Preserving southern Utah's Catholic history
Friday, May. 08, 2015
Courtesy of George D'Apuzzo
On April 25, 13 Knights of Columbus from Vic Giasson Council 10733 in St. George and two helpers arrived at the Catholic pioneer cemetery in the Leeds/Silver Reef area to perform their annual cleanup of this historic site. They pulled weeds, trimmed trees, and straightened gravestones and crosses. They also repaired the wooden fence and readied it for a new coat of paint, which will be applied in a few weeks. The cemetery, nestled in the hills about 20 miles north of St. George, was established in the 1870s when the silver mines were at their peak. This is the area to which Father Lawrence Scanlan, later the first Bishop of the Diocese of Salt Lake, came to minister to the miners. He built a church, school and hospital in the town. The site of the church is marked; visitors can visit a museum and learn about the history of the area.