St. George Police search for Brigham Young Winter Home vandals

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St. George Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a man suspected of vandalizing the historic Brigham Young Winter Home on March 27. (St. George Police Department)

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ST. GEORGE — St. George Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a person caught on camera vandalizing the historic Brigham Young Winter Home.

At approximately 1:45 a.m. on March 27, someone threw rocks through the windows of the home and museum at 67 W. 200 North, causing approximately $4,000 in damage.

In surveillance video released by St. George police on Tuesday, a man who appears to be dressed as if running, wearing a headband, shorts and a reflective vest over his sweater, pulls up to the house and throws rocks from the sidewalk to the structure, then adjusts his headphones and continues running. St. George Police Detective Josh Wilson said the runner also went to the back of the property and smashed other windows. Wilson did not count the number of broken windows, saying only that there were more than one.

Police posted the video to social media on Tuesday with the hashtags, #WhoThrowsRockThroughWindows, #YouCanRunButYouCantHide, #SomebodyKnowsYou and #TurnYourselfIn. Anyone with information about the identity of the vandal is asked to call Wilson at 435-627-4317.

The incident marks the second time in March that someone has thrown rocks through the museum’s windows. Wilson said there was another incident earlier this month. That person threw rocks from the sidewalk but did not enter the property, he said. Police say they have a good idea who was responsible for the incident and do not believe it was the same person responsible for the March 27 vandalism.

President Young, second president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and first governor of the Utah Territory, lived in St. George’s House during the winter months from 1870 to 1877, according to the church website. His home and offices were built of adobe brick, modeled in an architectural style popular in Nauvoo, Illinois, in the 1840s, according to the National Register of Historic Places.

The house and adjacent office have quite an interesting history beyond Young’s time there towards the end of his life. Shortly after his death, the Young family sold the property to Dr. Judd Gates, the town’s first dentist, who turned the floor into offices. It then became a rental property and then vacant in the 1940s before the family bought the house and restored it, according to the register.

The family deeded it to the Utah State Parks and Recreation Division in 1959; the Utah Heritage Foundation—now Preservation Utah—then helped add it to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971, as the second building in Washington County to end up on the register.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints acquired the property after it was put on the registry and turned it into a museum. The home and adjacent office were restored and refurnished in 2003 to reflect their 1870s appearance, according to the Washington County Historical Society.

Contributor: Carter Williams

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Pat Reavy is a police and court reporter at KSL.com.

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