Parowan became the first incorporated city in Iron County in 1851. A fort that had been constructed on the east side of Center Creek the previous year was an initial in the development of ironworks in the region. Parowan served as the agricultural support base for the local iron industry, whose blast furnace was located in nearby Cedar City. Eventually, the ironworks were decommissioned.
Despite occasional successes, the mission failed to produce a consistent and sustained supply of pig iron. By 1858, most of the area's mining operations had ceased due to disappointing yields. Today, the area's chief industries are recreation and tourism.