Baker Mine in Box Elder County, Utah.
Not much is left of the old ghost town built around the iron mine, the remains of the smelter can be seen lower in the canyon.
(From Box Elder County) Among the first settlers to this little valley was Kumen Tarbet. It is said that as he broke the ground from the sagebrush that he used oxen to pull the equipment. Oxen were eventually replaced with mules, and later came horses. Other early settlers were George Henrie, Fred Manning, Tony Nelson, John Adams, P.N. Pierce and John W. Deakin. It wasn’t an easy job clearing the ground of sagebrush and bunch grass. The process of railing, stacking, burning and then plowing with a team of mules or horses was accomplished by long hours and hard work.
Water was a premium. If you drilled a well and were blessed with good water, it was a great advantage. Some wells only produced warm air while others had warm, nasty water. One well, hand dug by the Peter Jensens, was over 400 feet deep and “Cemented up” from the bottom with pipes placed across at intervals as a ladder descended for repairs and maintenance. It is said that Mrs. George Shuman would stand above, holding a mirror so the suns rays could reflect light into the well enabling the workers to see. There was a community well located on the section lines, east of what is called the “Big Field”. Many families would haul water from there for themselves and livestock.
There were two blacksmiths in the valley: Fred Doutre, who also was a craftsman with leather, and Roy Southwell who served as a janitor for the school. Several of the teachers boarded in his home. The fist school was held in an old house in 1914, and in 1915 a new one-room school was built for eight grades and one teacher. The school burned the same night as Mr. Richard Ilger, the storekeeper, was murdered at the Blue Creek Store, and school for the rest of the year was discontinued. The next year a new two-room schoolhouse was built to accommodate two teachers. In 1934 there were four 9th graders and three 5th graders. This was the school’s final year.
A Blue Creek Store was located on the section line north of the Blue Creek Springs. It also housed a post office and was the family home. A third store was located about two miles north by the main road to Snowville. It contained the post office, the family home, and the gas station, and it was the school bus stop for the Snowville bus going to Bear River High School.
In March of 1900, just North of the Blue Creek Springs, Mr. Lewis Grant purchased 160 acres of ground. He built a large two story building which served as their home, a boarding house, and a dance hall. Some of their tenants were school teachers and weary travelers. Just north of their home Mr. Grant opened a store in 1910, selling much needed supplies to the area families and others in need as they were traveling.
Centerdale was an L.D.S. Branch of the Howell Ward. It was organized in 1914, with Peter Jensen as Presiding Elder. Other Presiding Elders were John Adams in 1917, Albert W. Bishop in 1918, John W. Smith in 1923. The total population of Centerdale Precinct was 131. Many baptisms for this area were performed in the large water trough at the Art Nelson Place. Many dances were held at this church building, and there was always a large crowd attending from several communities in the area. Mr. John Glenn played his accordion, and Arba Glenn was his accompanist. Civic functions and other forms of gatherings were held here. One event took place in 1940 when W.W. Whitney was the “Wheat King”. Harvesting 40 bushels per acre, he held a dance and watermelon bust. This was one of the many harvest dances held there.
With the coming of gas powered vehicles, better roads made traveling easier and faster. The families “staying on the farm” soon became part of the past. Electricity came to this valley in 1947, bringing more changes to the way of life. Ice no longer had to be cut during the winter from the reservoir and stored in sawdust or straw for the summer to keep food and drinks cold. As the many years have come and gone, so have many families, and experiences, memories of good times, names and faces fade.
Box Elder Fort
In July 1853 Brigham Young ordered the people settled in the Brigham City vicinity to construct another fort to provide protection from the Indians. This fort extended north and south about 15 rods and east and west about 8 rods from a point located about 15 feet east of this marker. The fort was later expanded to accommodate more settlers and a school house was then built adjacent to it. The exterior walls of the fort were actually the walls of the log houses which comprised the three walls of the fort. The south end of the fort near the location of the school was left open. The Indian danger soon abated and President Brigham Young ordered that a survey and a plat of the city be made in 1855 to allow the settlers to move from the fort.
Pioneer Care Center
The same sun, moon and stars shone over these everlasting hills when old Lake Bonneville’s waters reached midway up these mountains. Later, native American hunters roamed these lands which they called Woebequachee. Here they fished Pe-Ogway (Bear River) and streams draining into the salty sea they named Onaba.
Pioneers came to Deseret in 1847 and went north among the Shoshone Indians. By 1852 Willow Creek, 3 Mile Creek, Box Elder and Call’s Fort were established as new settlements. Many trestles and miles of steel helped to span and conquer these new lands. The Golden Spike driven on 10 May 1869 at Promontory, brought a hive of industry to the west.
Brigham City was one of the most prosperous and progressive settlements in this territory. During the 1870-80 era, the city realized a high point of achievement in living the United Order. Brigham City experienced a healthy expansion as choice people, fruit and crops made the desert blossom like a rose. And now, in more recent days, America has reached the moon and other galaxies, inspired by thoughts and actions of people in the Brigham City area. The sacrifice, commitment and charity of all generations of those who lived, loved and died here is symbolized and honored by this building. May this dancing fire of the human spirit continually burn within us and renew our faith and love for one another.
In 1961 the Box Elder Chapter of the Sons of Utah Pioneers sold the Community Center property to Brigham City Corporation, then donated $10,000 to Box Elder County Commissioners for the purchase of this site for a nursing home. Besides the Sons of Utah Pioneers, countless others have given time, talent and patience to develop this facility known as Pioneer Care Center.
This is S.U.P. Marker # 25.
Brigham City Tabernacle
This stately building is one of the finest examples of nineteenth century Latter-day Saint architecture. For more than a century, it has served as a center of Christian worship, cultural enrichment, and community activities. Towering above the trees, it has become one of the principal landmarks of the region.
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints settled this area in 1851, just four years after the arrival of the first pioneers in Salt Lake City. Under the leadership of Elder Lorenzo Snow of the Council of the Twelve Apostles, they built this town at the mouth of Box Elder Canyon, near traditional Shoshone Indian campgrounds and renamed it for the Church president Brigham Young. For many years they worshiped in a log meetinghouse and in the local courthouse, but in 1865 Brigham Young directed Elder Snow and other community leaders to build a tabernacle for conferences of the Box Elder Stake. The local leaders had already selected a site on the corner of Main and Forest Streets in the center of town when President Young visited the community. However, according to tradition, he led them here to “Sagebrush Hill,” the highest point on Main Street and said, “This is the spot for your Tabernacle.” The selection of this site insured that the building would be visible for many miles across the valley. President Young and his territorial surveyor Jesse W. Fox laid the cornerstones on 9 May 1865.
Construction proceeded slowly as local manpower was diverted to completing the transcontinental railroad. Work on the building resumed in earnest in 1876, mostly with donated labor. Local craftsmen used quartzite, sandstone and lumber from the nearby mountains. Women donated produce from their gardens and eggs laid on Sundays to sell for the needed cash for glass and other materials that could not be produced locally. Fourteen years after Brigham Young laid the cornerstone, the first meeting in the partially completed building took place on 27 May 1879.
As originally built, the Tabernacle was sturdy but plain in appearance. However, in 1889, a conference of the Box Elder Stake voted to “complete” the building. In the following months, a tower, a gallery, a rear vestibule, brick buttresses with decorative caps, and other improvements added to beautify the structure. Church President Wilford Woodruff dedicated the finished building 28 October 1890.
On Sunday 9 February 1896, as people began to assemble for afternoon services, a fire started in the furnace room. No one was injured but despite frantic efforts, only smoke-blackened stone walls remained an hour later. Stake President Rodger Clawson supervised reconstruction over the next thirteen months. The new Tabernacle was even finer than the old, with elegant woodwork, a distinctive gothic/revival tower and sixteen graceful pinnacles. On 21 March 1897, George Q. Cannon, First Counselor to President Woodruff, dedicated the rebuilt structure.
Throughout the following years, the people of Brigham City and neighboring towns have preserved and maintained this beloved building. In 1971, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, one of the first buildings in Utah to be so honorored. Beginning in 1985, an extensive restoration project replaced the mechanical and electrical systems, reinforced the structure, and carefully renewed both the exterior and interior to guarantee the continued preservation of this magnificant landmark. The 106-old Tabernacle was rededicated on 12 April 1987 by Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Council of the Twelve Apostles, a native of Brigham City.
Located in Brigham City, Utah.
The historic marker here is S.U.P. Marker #21, see others in the series here.
Box Elder Tabernacle- Built 1867-1890 Pioneer settlers used stone and wood from nearby mountains and their finest craftsmanship to built this place of worship. It was finished and dedicated in 1890. Six years later in 1896, it was gutted by fire and had to be rebuilt. The building was finished and rededicated in 1897.
WILLARD CENTRAL SCHOOL BELL
When the Willard Central School was constructed in 1902, a bell tower with a large brass bell was installed on the roof toward the front of the building. The bell was rung 15 minutes before school began and again at noon. Students vied for the privilege of pulling the bell cord. The ring could be heard a mile away warning dawdling students to hurry. Although the bell tower was remodeled in 1911-12, the bell remained in place for 37 years.
In 1939, during a remodeling of the school, the bell was removed from the roof and mounted on a circular rock foundation immediately in front of the school. The bell no longer rang but served as a memorial to bygone days.
The school was demolished in 1956 to make room for a new one. This monument, on the old playground, is constructed of rocks from the Fort Wall which was built between 1852-55 and which surrounded the old town of Willard.
Willow Creek Camp DUP Free-standing engraved granite plaque on post: This marker is also built of native stone as well as rocks from the fort wall. The rail was used in the first transcontinental railroad of 1869. Willow Creek Camp 1989