The Old Rock Church
Symbol of Heritage
Listed on the National Register of Historical Places in recognition of its architectural and historical significance, and to encourage its preservation.
The 1869 completion of the transcontinental railroad ended an era, that of Utah’s overland pioneers. For 23 years Mormon settlers, “gathering to Zion” – a place where they could freely worship – had endured epic journeys of persistence and relentless tribulation, the best organized mass migration in American history. Leaving ancestral homes, established members and new converts, many just over from the “Old Country,” followed various routes to the “Mormon Trail,” 1,300 miles of prairie, rivers, desert and mountains, which they trekked with covered wagons and handcarts. A few of these pioneers were the founders of Providence.
On November 8, 1869 church members decided it was time to construct a meetinghouse, demonstrating architectural skills, craftsmanship and work ethic, the stalwart settlers quarried rock, milled lumber, forged iron, and within two years erected this edifice: Church, Cultural Hall and Community Center complete with theater and dance floor. It was classic pioneer architecture emblematic of the settlement of the American West. Enlarged over time to meet the needs of a growing community, it was the heart and soul of Providence where citizens would worship, socialize, work, play and carry on traditions.
In 1968 the church sold this site, ushering in yet another era. A precious legacy for all citizens, this Providence icon, though no longer a church, remains a living historic landmark where people come together and interact as we grow to embrace diversity. The rocks, mortar, beams and braces bind the generations in heritage. Our stewardship responsibility is to preserve it, utilize it as a community resource, honor the pioneer memory and perpetuate what is good. Heritage is the essence of the community, the sturdy foundation upon which we live our lives, feel a sense of place, and pursue a vibrant future.
THE OLD ROCK CHURCH BELONGS TO THE AGES
This historic marker is located at the Providence Church at 10 South Main Street in Providence, Utah
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