Local artist Julie Rogers has completed a large painting that celebrates the trek made my numerous early settlers from southern Utah/northern Arizona to the St. George Church of Latter-day Saints Temple to be married.

An open house will be held at the Kanab Family History Center, 20 West Center Street, from 6-8 p.m. on Sunday, November 17. The open house is an opportunity to view the painting and visit the artist. There will be additional original paintings on display.

Following the dedication of the St. George Temple in 1877, groups of young couples, with chaperones in tow, would make the trek to St. George by wagon or buggy and horseback, to exchange wedding vows in the Temple.

The honeymooners traveled from as far away as Old Mexico, the Gila Valley, and up to the early Latter-day Saint settlements of Springerville and St. Johns, as well as Show Low, Taylor and Snowflake, Arizona.

Fall was the favored time for travel, with the weather being mild, and the grooms could be better spared from farm work after harvest. A key factor was lower autumn water levels in the Colorado River at the harrowing Lee’s Ferry Crossing, faced only after crossing the lands of the feared Navajos.

Kanab was a much-needed layover for the travelers, with the next night at Moccasin or Pipe Spring, Arizona.

The final 75 miles into St. George followed sparse springs for camping, winding down the rocky and dangerous Hurricane Fault to Ft. Pierce, and up Warner Valley to finally arrive at the much anticipated Temple, strikingly white against the red cliffs.

It was an arduous journey, but for those who were young and in love in the 1800s, it was a great honeymoon.