Where Two Streams Meet

The Personal History of a Town


Published in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of St. George, Utah, Where Two Streams Meet is a collection of original and previously published writings that constitute one native son’s personal history of a place. Lyman Hafen has never claimed to be a historian. His work finds its genesis in journalism, memoir, storytelling, oral history, and creative nonfiction. He begins with a remembered feeling or emotion and creates a story by adding pieces of history, memory, folklore and myth. “Facts are found in history,” he says. “What I hope to share in these pieces is the kind of truth that can only be found in stories.” Over the past two decades Hafen has written a dozen books. Three of them are precursors to this one. They are notes on growing up in a small town. Like this book, they are mostly collections of writings that originally appeared in St. George Magazine and other publications. In the Shade of the Cottonwoods, On the Edge of Memory, and Home Ground are a kind of trilogy leading up to this book. Like the individual pieces within them, each of these books can be read without reading the others. Yet each piece in each book fills a space in the mosaic Hafen has been creating for more than 20 years. For the author, the St. George story begins at that place where two streams meet, the confluence of the Virgin and Santa Clara Rivers. “It is there,” he says, “where everything comes together for me. It is the place where actual history and remembered experience merge. Where fact and myth become seamless. Where landscape and memory flow gently into one.”

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