History of the Inn
The Iron Gate Inn is the oldest Bed & Breakfast building in the Cedar City community. Built in 1897 by David Thorley for his wife and young family, it was truly one of the "grand ladies" of its time. The large home provided a welcome place for neighbors and family to get together enjoying the parlor and living room in the cooler months and the shaded grape arbor in the warmer months. That hospitality lives on in The 1897 Iron Gate Inn B&B.
Originally, this Second Empire Victorian home had three large bedrooms and one bath with only one fireplace to heat its approximately 1900 square feet. Other than the change from a picket fence to the scrolled iron gate and fence around 1908, the home underwent few changes until it was completely renovated in 2001 to become The Iron Gate Inn.
The house remained in the Thorley family until the late 1960's when, with the death of the last remaining daughter-in-law, it passed to her relatives.
CR and Susan Wooten purchased the property in 1996 with the intention of restoring this beautiful home to its former glory and opening a bed and breakfast inn. Renovation began in 2000 with some foundation work and continued in June 2001 through June 2002 transforming the old Thorley house into an eight-bedroom, nine bath main house with an additional one-bedroom cottage on site.
The Iron Gate Inn opened for business in June 2002 as the Utah Shakespearean Festival began its summer season. In 2007, two additional bedrooms and baths were added to the B&B in the adjacent home bringing the number of guest rooms to ten. This building (the Carriage House) also provides a full kitchen and living area.
The landscaping went through a total transformation as well. Beautiful and secluded patios grace the grounds for outdoor dining and relaxation. Award winning gardens surround the home and lawn -- a favorite spot for outdoor weddings and receptions. The mature apple, peach, pear and plum trees supply a wonderful bounty of fresh fruits that add to the breakfast recipes.
In the spring of 2012, one more change took place on the property. The cottage was renovated again providing a home for Southern Utah's first winery. The small production winery and tasting room enrich guests' visit with tours explaining how fine wines are conveived, blended, aged and stored. Flights of wine are available for tasting and purchase along with bottles of your favorites to be enjoyed at home.
In 2015, there were more changes at the inn. Donna & Brian Johnson purchased the inn to continue the tradition of excellent service and warm hospitality.
Donna Shattuck-Johnson is a native Californian who fell in love with the Cedar City community in 2006 as a visitor to the Iron Gate Inn and Shakespeare Festival. As a child her interest in cooking, nutrition, concept design and event planning stemmed from her mother’s knack for hospitality and charitable involvement. Throughout her entire life starting with major school events, she developed a talent for creating ultimate themed experiences. Her talents include event décor, costumes and floral design. Her professional background includes Administrative Management, Accounting, Contract and Record Management. Within the corporate arena while employed, she has used her talent over the past 25 years. She has a flare for creating the ultimate experience for whatever occasion from intimate dinners, weddings, themed anniversary and birthday parties and major events for Social and Yacht Clubs, women’s retreats, charitable events. Her professional experience and support for a worldwide event team during her tenure at a major International corporation. Being the Innkeeper at The Iron Gate Inn allows her to bring all of her creative talents together and looks forward to meeting and getting to know all of her guests.
Brian Johnson is a Finance and Program Management executive for a major international software company. Brian’s job as a Program Manager allows him to work from anywhere as long as he has airport access. He also loved Cedar City when they first discovered the area, and they have been looking for the right opportunity to move here. Now that they are the proud owners of The Iron Gate Inn, they is looking forward to being able to expand his interests in the fine arts, take advantage of the abundant natural beauty here in Cedar City and share our collective experiences as they get to know all of their guests.