La Verkin lies
on the north banks of the Virgin River opposite Hurricane, and three
miles south of Toquerville. The Zion National Park-Grand Canyon Highway
(State Highway 9) bisects the town, while the La Verkin Hot Mineral
Springs, a popular bathing resort, is located in the Rio Virgin Canyon
immediately south of the community. Rich farmlands make up La Verkin
bench between La Verkin Creek on the west and the Hurricane Fault on
The origin of
the name is somewhat confusing. In a letter from John Steele and J.C.L.
Smith to the Deseret News, dated 26 June 1852, La Verkin Creek is referred
to as the "Leiver Skin." Perhaps it originally was "Beaver Skin"; it
would have been easy for pioneer writers to transpose an "L" for a "B."
Others, however, say that La Verkin is a corruption of the Spanish "La
Virgen," referring to the nearby Virgin River. Whatever the source of
origin, early Washington County Court records also list the creek as
"Leiversking." In time it was shortened to La Verkin.
The La Verkin
bench was observed by Erastus Snow when his party explored the Virgin
River Valley from Zion Canyon to Santa Clara during the fall of 1861.
They were attempting to locate lands suitable for the Cotton Mission farmers. Snow opined that Virgin River water could be conveyed to the
bench land, however, the others felt that the labor involved would be