The Stairs Project was built in 1894-96 as the first hydroelectric power plant to provide electricity to Salt Lake City. It was also one of the first plants in Utah to transmit power long distance, using alternating current rather than direct current. In addition to the powerhouse, other elements of the historic complex include the dam, conduit, and penstock—all critical components of a hydroelectric plant. The power plant is ideally located to take advantage of the Stairs cascade on Big Cottonwood Creek.
During the late nineteenth century, a combination of technological developments, capitalist enterprise, and economic demands led to the creation of Utah’s hydroelectric power industry. Small utility companies around the state built water power plants to generate electricity, mostly for streetcar systems, mines, and other industries. Cities and small towns also consumed power for municipal, commercial, and domestic use. By the early twentieth century, a merger and consolidation movement among Utah’s utilities culminated in the formation of the Utah Power & Light Company (UP&L). In 1989, UP&L merged with PacifiCorp, an Oregon corporation, which continues to operate the Stairs Project.
This building was erected by John H. Seely & Robert Hinckley in 1919. It occupies what was historically known as the “old Peel corner.” The building was originally occupied by stores, a car showroom and a garage with the capacity to hold 88 cars, and a fire station at the rear of the building.
This two-story brick structure was built as the City Hall in 1899. It may have been designed by Richard c. Watkins, the only architect in this county designing major public, educational and religious buildings at the time. Partaking in the Victorian Eclectic tradition, the hall has an elevated, arched entry vestibule and a tall sandstone foundation wall. The upper brick walls are also tall, giving the building a sense of dignity and stateliness. The multiple gables and varied window types give variety to the design. After 88 years, the City Hall remains in a good state of preservation.(*)
Historically, the hall’s main floor housed civic offices and meetings. The city jail was located in the basement. Gunnison’s first high school was held here on the second floor. A dance hall on the north side housed the home economics classes, gym and agriculture classes.
The Manti Motor Company Building, constructed in 1916 with a circa 1920 addition, is historically significant as the first automobile dealership in Manti and in the Sanpete Valley. Originally named the Utah-Idaho Motor Company, the business was first established in Manti to specifically deal in automobile sales. Three years after the company formed, the name was changed to the Manti Motor Company and would remain so until circa 1930, when the dealership went out of business. The building is also architecturally significant as an early rural example of a building constructed specially for sale sand service of the rapidly growing automobile industry. The building is a fine example of the craftsmanship of a local designer and builder, Lauritz Peder Miller. Miller designed and built houses for numerous prominent citizens in Manti, as well as many significant commercial and public buildings. This building is an important historical and architectural contribution to Manti’s Main Street commercial district that is comprised of late-19th to mid-20th century architectural examples.
In my exploring of the Utah and neighboring states I have come across many tithing offices, tithing barns, tithing granaries and more.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called the L.D.S. Church or the Mormons) settled a large part of the areas here and members of the church would donate 10% of their increase to the church – they would also barter for what they needed, trade grain for eggs, etc. Now the members of the church donate with money, but at the time when donations were grain, eggs, chickens, cloth and more these buildings were needed to handle all of that.
I have read many places that there are 28 tithing houses still standing, I started this page to keep track of the tithing buildings I come across.
People came from all around to dance here. This was the hot place to go in the 1920s. It tended to be a younger crowd and there was often drinking by some of the kids. There was a nearby gas station where police busted a bootleg whisky operation. Rulon Beatty owned the dance hall in the 1940s and 1050s.(*)
The George Carter Whitmore Mansion was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 (#78002663).
The home was built on a foundation made of red sandstone quarried from nearby Andrews Canyon. This sandstone was also used around some windows and door frames. The tanned colored brick was shipped in from the east. The mortar is red to match the sandstone.
The home is asymmetrical in composition. There is a domed turret topped by a tin finial. Tin finials also top a gabled end and the side porch.
This side porch is rounded and articulated with round posts and a bracketed cornice. The front porch also has rounded posts and a projecting pediment which has carved wood ornamentation. The front steps are flanked with two sandstone projecting sear walls on which the words “Colonial” “Villa” are chiseled. The north side porch also has a projecting, carved pediment. On the second floor above the front porch is a spindle and spool-like baluster in front of double doors. Both the front and the north side doors have glass ovals. The north side door also has a carved wood ornamentation. The first floor windows are done with leaded glass in the upper sashes. Several of the windows on the first and second floors have curved glass panels. The interior of the home is dominated on the first floor by the central staircase of carved, massive oak. The floors are also of oak. Oak is used in the four matching sets of sliding doors. The oak mantels are intact on the fireplaces in the reception room and the parlor. The parlor also has a rounded chamber decorated with oak filigree work.
Wendover Will has been greeting travelers to Wendover since 1952. His name comes from the founder of the State Line Hotel and Casino, Mr. William “Bill” Smith, who started the State Line Service, a cobble stone service station, on the Utah/Nevada border in 1926. Prior to Wendover Will arriving, visitors were greeted by a shimmering light atop a tall pole that provided a signal of sorts to weary travelers crossing the Great Basin Desert, that they were within reach of this small but important oasis on Highway 40 called Wendover. With gaming legalized in the State of Nevada in 1931, State Line Service grew into the State Line Hotel & Casino, a company which until its sale in 2002 to the Wendover Nugget Hotel & Casino, was on record as the single longest held gaming license in Nevada. As this growth took place, in 1952 after 26 years that light atop the pole was retired making way for what has become a community and State icon, Wendover Will.
Wendover Will was constructed and erected by Young Electric Sign Company out of Salt Lake City, Utah, who has been providing electric and other signs services since 1920. At the time Wendover Will was created, his smaller twin “Vegas Vic” was also completed, who today stands adjacent to Las Vegas’ famous Fremont Street. Wendover Will made the Guinness Book of World Records as the “world’s largest mechanical cowboy”. At the time he stood some 63 feet tall, had 1,184 lineal feet of neon tubing with his two large waving arms powered by a single 3/4 horsepower motor, his eye winking and cigarette flicking. The original pedestal of Wndover Will proclaimed proudly “This is the Place” “Where the West Begins”.
Wendover Will through time proved to become not only an icon of the State Line Hotel and Casino, but as well became an icon of the community itself. When West Wendover, Nevada was incorporated in 1991, Wendover Will took a prominent position in the creation of the City Seal which proclaims proudly “Come Grow With Us”, a true reflection of the original light atop a pole and later the waving arms of a towering mechanical cowboy, welcoming all to this desert oasis.
Wendover Will was given to the City of West Wendover by Wendover Nugget Hotel & Casino in 2004 and now he once again stands tall representing to all, the heritage of our community as “this is the place”, “where the west begins”.
This monument is hereby dedicated in loving memory to two important founding members of our community, William “Bill” and Anna Smith.