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Lakeview Tithing Office/Bunnell Creamery

The Lakeview Tithing Office was originally constructed as a creamery by Leslie L. Bunnell in 1899. Leslie and his father, Stephen I. Bunnell, operated a successful dairy operation for a number of years, and this creamery served as the headquarters of their business, which involved making and selling cheese and butter, as well as selling milk. It was the first creamery in Lakeview, a small, unincorporated farming community located between Provo and Utah Lake. The 16’x 16′ room on the west side of the creamery served as the home for the family, which included five children, until 1904, when the adjacent house was built. Soon after that, the Bunnells sold the creamery to the Lakeview Ward of the LDS church for use as a tithing office. The west room was used as an office and the east room served as a storage area for grain and other tithing commodities. The Bunnell family bought the tithing office/creamery back around 1920 and used it for a granary. Occasionally, the west room was used as a residence the last time was during World War II, when a single man lived there for several months. Currently the building is used for storage by the Bunnells.

The Lakeview Tithing Office, built in 1899, is historically significant as one of 28 well preserved tithing buildings in Utah that were part of the successful tithing system of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon church) between the 1850s and about 1910. Tithing lots, which usually included an office and several auxiliary structures, were facilities for collecting, storing, and distributing the farm products that were donated as tithing by church members in the cash-poor agricultural communities throughout the state. Tithing offices were a vital part of almost every Mormon community, serving as local centers of trade, welfare assistance, and economic activity. They were also important as the basic units of the church-wide tithing network that was centered in Salt Lake City.

The Lakeview Tithing Office is a one story brick building with a combination gable and hip roof, a stone foundation, and a false front. There is a chimney three quarters of the way down the ridge line. The false front is typical of small town commercial buildings at the turn of the century, as is the corbelling of its upper edge, the jigsaw cut decorative elements in the wooden arches over the facade openings, and the rock-faced shoulder arches over the same openings. The false front is stepped. The facade openings consist of a door centered between two windows. Behind the lower step of the false front on the east side of the building is an extension off the main block of the building. It is a rectangular room with a shed roof and rear entrance, and is situated under the eaves of the main roof. It was probably part of the original construction. According to information in a 1975 Utah Historic Sites Inventory form, it is likely that the room was used to house a boiler that powered the machinery of the creamery. The building has received no major alterations, is in fair condition and maintains its original integrity.

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