|Scooped by Clint Broadhead|
In the early 1930s, the Utah-Idaho Sugar Company acquired the old Opera House and Social Hall in St. George for use as a sugar processing plant.
The US Department of Agriculture created a sugar beet variety in the late 1928s, known as "U.S. No. 1." Using a newly discovered overwintering technique for growing sugar beets for seed by the USDA and the New Mexico Agricultural Experiment Station, seed production plots were grown in 1930 in New Mexico, Hemet, California, and St. George. Very limited quantities of this seed were available for the 1931 growing season - only 5 acres were grown in Washington County. Larger volumes of seed were available for the 1934 season, and it was in heavy use by 1935.
In 1934, they build another building in that complex which was labeled Warehouse No. 3 and was where the seed was stored. There were 15 bins which each held 80,000 to 130,000 pounds of seed. From the bins, the seed was put into three sizes of bags, 20, 25, and 50 pounds and then stored until it was shipped.
By 1935, Utah-Idaho Sugar was planting 650 acres of beets for seed in St. George and Moapa, Nevada, with an additional 150 acres (0.61 km2) in Hemet, California and 80 acres (320,000 m2) in Victorville, California. They produced 2,000,000 pounds of seed in 1936.
By 1966, nearly all the sugar beet seed used by Utah-Idaho Sugar came from the beet seed processing plant at St. George.
Utah-Idaho Sugar Company changed its name to simply "U and I" in 1975. By this time, it had moved into potato production and was reducing its sugar operations.
In the late 1970s, market conditions were such that U and I closed all its factories in Utah and abandoned the production of sugar. The U&I brand disappeared from store shelves. The plant in St. George was shut down in 1979. The three buildings were eventually sold to the City of St. George. The main seed processing building was returned to its original function of the St. George Opera House. Warehouse No. 3 was remodeled and became the St. George Art Museum.