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. 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 will take place on the property. The cottage will be renovated again providing a home for Southern Utah's first winery. The small production winery and tasting room will enrich guests' visit with tours explaining how fine wines are conveived, blended, aged and stored. Flights of wine will be available for tasting and purchase along with bottles of your favorites to be enjoyed at home.
A graphic designer, Susan loved the opportunity to use her artistic skills in a new way through the renovation process: interior design. Having been in the construction industry for more than 30 years, CR was anxious to try his hand at the total restoration of an historic home. "It was truly an adventure! It was hard work, but we loved the renovation process and we now have an amazing home and business," Susan remarks.
The 1897 Iron Gate Inn opened for business in June 2002 as the Utah Shakespearean Festival began its summer season.
"We have met the most incredible people over the past several years -- fascinating people from all over the world and all walks of life. We love meeting new guests as they find our inn for the first time, but welcoming them back is even better. The pleasure of getting to know them a bit more is terrific and many have become dear friends that we treasure."
-- Susan & CR Wooten