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Alberta Stake Tabernacle

The Alberta Stake Tabernacle, built on the northeast quadrant of the Cardston Temple Block, then known as Tabernacle Hill, was one of the most beautiful buildings in southern Alberta. Built by the leaders of the Alberta Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which was the first stake organized outside the United States and the first stake in Canada, the tabernacle served not only as a meeting place but as a monument to the sacrifices of the early settlers.

The cornerstone was laid August 23, 1908, with David O. McKay officiating. This red brick building replaced an old assembly hall that had been built under the direction of Stake President Charles O. Card to serve as a combined community hall and meeting place.

When Edward James Wood became the Alberta Stake President, he realized that the assembly hall was inadequate in size. He designed the tabernacle with seating for 1,200, including a gallery, curved oak benches, and an elevated pulpit. Behind the pulpit was space for an orchestra and seating for the stake officers. Rising up behind the orchestra were rows of seats for the choir. The organ at the very top provided music for the meetings.

Church members began raising funds for the building at great personal sacrifice, and the tabernacle was finished four years later in 1912. It served primarily as a meetinghouse for large LDS Church conferences, but was also used for educational and cultural events and was made available to other denominations. Hyrum M. Smith dedicated the building on August 5, 1917. Many Latter-day Saint general authorities attended conferences in the tabernacle, including Joseph F. Smith, president of the Church.

The Alberta Stake Tabernacle served the people of southern Alberta for 42 years until a new stake center was built west of the Temple Block. The structure was dismantled in 1954.

The text above is from the plaque that is Daughters of Utah Pioneers historic marker #544, located at the corner of 3rd Avenue and 2nd Street in Cardston, Alberta, Canada

These photos were submitted by Marshall Hurst: