Wasatch Stake Tabernacle – Heber City, Utah
Built in 1887, this is one of the Tabernacles around Utah still standing – it is now used as a city office building but stands as an awesome reminder of what the pioneers did long ago.
Alexander Fortie, Jr. immigrated to America in 1866 from Glosgow, Scotland and was the designer and architect of this tabernacle, he also oversaw the carpentry work during its construction. His tools and tool chest are on display in the D.U.P. Museum.
The Utah Historic Marker outside says:
Architect unknown, construction supervised by Abram Hatch. Interior remodeled 1930-1931.
The tabernacle is located at 75 North Main Street next to the Amusement Hall in Heber City, Utah and was listed (together with the Amusement Hall as listing #70000633) on the National Historic Register on December 2, 1970.
The Tabernacle is significantly associated with the history of the area and reflects the religious, cultural and social aspirations of the settlers of Heber Valley, The Tabernacle is unique since there is no other such building in Heber Valley, and it is one of the few remaining outstanding early church structures left in Utah, In addition to being a typical early Mormon meeting house, it is part of the Heber Town Square which, in itself, is typical of the early Utah Town Square on which were located governmental recreational and religious structures.
The Wasatch Stake Tabernacle was built of red sandstone quarried from the mountains east of Heber near Lake Creek, It was begun in 1887 and dedicated May 5, 1889, at a cost of over $30,000. President Abram Hatch served as Superintendent, Elisha Averett directed the masonry work, and Alex Fortie the carpentry work. Frederick O. Buell fixed the metal shingles on the tower, and Francis Kirby oversaw the painting. Most of the labor was volunteer.
The good people of Heber City, who had toiled and sacrificed to build the Tabernacle, quite naturally took special pains to furnish and maintain their new stake house. The floors were scrubbed and bleached with homemade soap; homemade carpets were carefully laid down the aisles; the hard benches were sanded and smoothed and polished. Coal oil lamps were hung from the ceiling, and finally, a large bell was placed in the tower. The surrounding grounds were landscaped and cottonwood trees were planted.
In 1930-31, under the direction of President D, A. Broadbent, the inside was extensively remodeled at a cost of $20,000 and a new heating system installed. The side galleries and stand were taken out and a stage put in the west end. This describes its present condition. The structure is in good condition generally, although the interior needs painting and minor repairs.