(text of the Historic Tour Marker) Relief Society Granary – Built 1877 The granary was built by the Brigham City Co-op to store wheat collected for the needy by the Relief Society, the LDS Church women’s organization. The wheat was obtained by women and children gleaning in the fields after men had harvested the grain.
(text of the SUP Marker) In 1876, Harriet Snow, Box Elder Stake Relief Society President was asked by the LDS General Relief Society President, Emmeline B. Wells, to join with women’s groups throughout the LDS Church to gather and store wheat against a time of need from drought, crop failure, or insect plaque. Women and children went into the fields after the men completed the harvest and gleaned and stored first in the basement of the courthouse, and then in an upper bedroom of Harriet Snow’s home.
Harriet requested a granary be built and in 1877 Lorenzo Snow, her husband, authorized the construction of this rock building on what was known as Co-op Square. The granary was well-constructed of rock and brick. Primary children gathered glass to be crushed and worked into the mortar to help keep mice out. The women of the Relief Society kept the granary clean and used lime to keep bugs away. The stored wheat was used mostly for local needs, but at times wheat was sent outside Box Elder County. One such day of need arrived in 1898, when wheat was sent to Parowan and other southern Utah settlements that were suffering from drought. In 1906 a train car of flour from the Relief Society granaries was sent to earthquake-devastated San Francisco. At intervals unused wheat was sold and replenished to keep it fresh.
The need for small, local granaries eventually passed, and this building was sold in 1913 to the Box Elder School District to store food for school lunch programs. Because of its thick walls, the building was used for cold storage. When use of the building ceased in 1967, it slowly fell into disrepair. In 2008 the Box Elder Chapter of the Sons of Utah Pioneers emptied the building of the old freezers, re-built the collapsing roof and refurbished the inside.
This durable old building, the Brigham City Relief Society Granary, today stands as a reminder of the hard work, frugality and vision of the Pioneer settlers of Brigham City and Box Elder County.
(this kiosk was built as an Eagle Project by Scott Shakespear and the Varsity Team 801 with the support of the Box ElderChapter of the Sons of Utah Pioneers. S.U.P. Monument #148)
(text from the NRHP Nomination form) Constructed c. 1877, the Brigham City Relief Society Granary is significant primarily for its association with the Mormon Church-sponsored Brigham City Mercantile and Manufacturing Association (the “Co-op”). The Co-op was a highly successful socio-economic cooperative that dominated the local economy during most of its years of operation, 1864-1895. It was also a model for Mormon cooperatives established throughout the Utah Territory in the 1870s. Most of the other co-ops failed quickly, and none approached the level of success attained in Brigham City. The Relief Society Granary is one of only five remaining buildings associated with the Brigham City Co-op; only four of the five are eligible for National Register designation. The granary is also significant for its association with the Relief Society, the women’s organization of the Mormon Church, which used the building for its grain storage program from the late 1870s until 1913. Relief Society granaries were built in most of the 200-plus Mormon communities during the late 1800s, but only eight have been located, identified and evaluated as eligible for National Register nomination.
This small stone granary was constructed by the Brigham City Co-op for the Brigham City Relief Society. The Relief Society is the women’s organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church), and the Co-op was the church-based cooperative that was involved in virtually every aspect of Brigham City life during the 1860s-90s. The building was constructed by Co-op workers on the northwest corner of the block known as Co-op Square, where a number of Co-op manufactories were built.
The Brigham City Co-op was an outgrowth of communitarian ideals that had been part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) philosophy from its beginning. In Kirtland, Ohio, on February 9, 1831, while the church was still in its first year, Church President Joseph Smith instituted the law of consecration requiring the people to turn over to the church any surplus property or possessions for the support of the poor. The United Order, an economic cooperative system, operated for a time in Kirtland and then was discontinued.
After the Mormons migrated to Utah from Nauvoo, Illinois, in the 1840s and 50s, church leaders encouraged the settlers in Utah communities to again implement the cooperative system. Part of the reason was to encourage patronage of Mormon enterprises rather than non-Mormon ventures, which were seen as a threat and intrusion in the Mormon settled region. Over 200 cooperatives were established and in operation in Mormon communities between 1868 and 1884 as part of the churchwide effort referred to by historians as the Cooperative Movement. Cooperatives were formed within the local Mormon wards (congregations) for community welfare purposes rather than mere profit. Their methods of operation ranged from businesslike joint-stock corporations to more communal arrangements where members shared everything. The Brigham City Co-op was an example of the joint-stock approach.
The earliest and most successful Mormon cooperative was in Brigham City. Lorenzo Snow, one of the founders of the town and a member of the church’s governing Council of Twelve Apostles, established the Brigham City Co-op in 1864 with the formation of a co-op mercantile store.5 The Co-op went on to form 19 different departments encompassing commerce, industry, agriculture, horticulture, and construction. These departments employed most of the available workers in Brigham City for three decades. Though the Co-op operated until 1895, its first 15 years were its most successful. The demise of the Co-op was brought on by natural disasters, changing attitudes about the role of the Mormon Church in business, legal and financial attacks against the Co-op, and changing hierarchy within the church. One by one, all of Brigham City’s cooperative departments were either abandoned or taken over by private interests. The Co op ceased operation in 1895.
Only five Co-op buildings remain standing. They include the Flour Mill (1856), Woolen Mill (1869-70), Planing Mill (c.1876), Relief Society Granary (c.1877), and Mercantile Store (1891). The Woolen Mill has been extensively altered by later additions, though it still functions as a woolen mill. The 1856 Flour Mill predated the Co-op by eight years, but it functioned as a Co-op industry during the 1860s and ’70s.
Though the granary was built and owned by the Co-op, it was used by the Relief Society for its grain storage program. Grain storage was just one of the duties assigned to the Relief Society after the organization was revived in 1867. Other responsibilities included the following: (1) systematic retrenchment; (2) establishment and operation of cooperative stores selling home-produced merchandise; (3) promotion of home industry, silk in particular; and (4) nursing, midwifery, and hospital maintenance.
Constructed in 1909 at a cost of about $7000, this building originally housed the city fire department on the main floor and city offices on the second floor. It also had a jail cell in the southeast corner and “hobo apartments” in the basement. This was the first city hall built in Brigham City, the city offices having been previously located in the adjacent county courthouse. In 1935 the fire department moved out, and the fire-truck bay on the façade was replaced with the existing brick façade to better accommodate city office use of the main floor. The building continued to serve as the city hall until 1974. Designed by local architect Andrew Funk, this building is the only example of the Spanish Colonial style in Brigham City.
Constructed in 1909 and remodeled in 1935, the Brigham City Fire Station-City Hall is historically significant as the first fire station and city hall constructed in the town and as the center of municipal government and services for over twenty-five years. It originally housed the fire department and city offices, the latter having been previously located in the adjacent Box Elder County Courthouse. Community growth and commensurate expansion of city services led to the removal of the fire department to new facilities and the remodeling of this building for enlarged city offices in 1935. It continued to serve as the city hall until 1974. The building is also architecturally significant as the only example of the Spanish Colonial Revival style in Brigham City.
In the January 3, 1907, edition of The Box Elder News, a persuasive article supported the idea of constructing a city hall-fire station and made a case for it to be located north of the county courthouse so that the government offices would be centrally located. Two years later, in May 1909, the proposal won approval from the city council, which gave the go ahead for construction on a site just north of the courthouse. A frame library building that was on the site had to be moved back off Main Street (east) to accommodate the new fire station.
The following description of the proposed building was given in the local newspaper.
Basement containing store rooms for electrical and water works supplies, under the main floor. In the east end will be built a cement room for the accommodation of tramps and other undesirable citizens who wish to lodge with the city. At the northeast end of the basement will be the hose tower which will rise to a height of seventy feet. In the top of the tower will be a belfry. The ground floor will be given over to the Firemen for truck stalls, excepting a corner of the southeast end, where a jail cell will be put in. This cell will not connect in any way with the “hobo” apartments underneath, but will be used for the more respectable “drunks, etc.” The stairway leads up from the main entrance on the west end and the upstairs will be divided into five rooms viz: a large assembly room for the city council and the public, two city offices, fireman’s library and lavatories. The building will be constructed of reinforced cement and pressed brick, with a Spanish metal tile roof, in all to cost approximately $7,000.
In the July 22, 1909, edition of the paper, it was reported that architect Andrew Funk and Supervisor M.L. Nichols staked off the ground for the erection of the fire station, which was “16 feet east of the east Main street walk line, and 16 feet south of the north side walk line of the avenue running east and west.” Contractor Lars Hansen was to begin the work as soon as the excavation was completed. 5 The concrete foundation was underway by August 5, 1909 6 , and the completion of the building was celebrated by a Fire Department Social and Ball which was held in the large dancing hall of the Opera House and reported in the March 10 , 1910 newspaper.
By 1934 the Fire Department was looking for more room to house their equipment, and in early 1935, the city purchased the Glover property at First West and Forest to build a new facility. The old fire station was to be remodeled to house the expanding city offices. Plans for this remodeling were drawn up by Salt Lake City architect Carson B. Wells (formerly of Brigham City), and they included a new front with a Main Street entrance, and the main floor would be converted into office rooms.
In June of 1935, the fire department moved out of the old fire station, and the remodeling of this structure began. The remodeling was finished by mid-September 193510 at a cost of around $6500. The Box Elder News gave a detailed report of its new appearance.
The new front is of red pressed brick, with black rodded joints and the rest of the building and tower have been painted to match the front. The main entrance is at the front of the building and the doors and windows are surrounded with ornamental white granite. At the entrance is an eight-foot terrace decorated with ornamental white granite, with an imitation red tiled floor. In the two front corners of the Terrance are large sixteen-inch flood lights to illuminate the front of the building. In the peak of the front of the building has been placed a neat Neon lighting effect by LeRoy Campion. The office space in the building has been doubled, the vault enlarged, and provision made for rest rooms and lavatories. The main room has a plaster Paris cornice where the walls meet the ceiling and a beautiful arch spans the center of the room. A large oak counter will separate the lobby from the offices. In the lobby is a fine drinking fountain and the floor will be covered with imitation tiled inlaid linoleum. The floor in the office space will be covered with imitation tiled green linoleum. The council chamber and rooms on the second floor have been renovated and redecorated and a cornice has been placed where the walls and ceiling meet in the chamber . . . . Local workmen have been employed on the job. Amos Larsen assisted in painting the brick; Alma Thompson and Edgar Rasmussen painted the roof and exterior; among the carpenters on the job were John J. Johnson, Fred Kelly, Alf Jorgensen and others; Joseph Earl did the plastering and cornice work, and the pressed granite work was done by Hans Pella. The electric wiring and lighting was done by Deverell Petersen, under supervision of City Electrician Orion Eskelsen. Architect Carson F. Wells of Salt Lake City drew the plans, and Councilman A.M. Hansen supervised the construction in behalf of the city. A sixty-foot steel flag pole was erected on the city hall grounds yesterday at the top of which a beautiful American flag was unfurled to the breeze.
In 1965 an annual report called “Progress-1965” published by Brigham City Corporation documents the use of the building: The main floor office under the direction of City Recorder Tolman Burke handled all business affairs of the city including maintaining all official records, water, sewer, and miscellaneous charges. There were seven employees under Mr. Burke in this office. Upstairs was the large southeast room for the Circuit Court which also doubled as the city council chambers. The judge’s office was in a small northwest corner room. The Police Department occupied the two other upstairs rooms with the dispatch office in the southwest corner and the Chief of Police’s office in the northeast corner room with a restroom located between the judge’s office and Chief of Police’s office on the north side of the building. In the basement of the building were rooms for the public works department, the inspection department and the civil defense headquarters.
In August of 1966, the police department moved out of the upstairs of this city building and into a remodeled facility which has since been torn down, but was located northwest of the First Security Bank building on Main Street.
After this move, $5,000 of remodeling to this upstairs part of the building was underway by October 1966. A new coat of paint was applied throughout, and the Circuit Court room received new drapes. A new city clerk’s office replaced the police dispatcher’s office in the northwest corner, and a mayor’s office replaced the Chief of Police’s office in the northeast corner
The city offices were becoming more and more cramped for space, so the city council decided to erect a new city government building. In January of 1973, groundbreaking for a new city hall building began. The new structure was built just north of this old city hall building on Main Street. The architect was Ralph Edwards, and the contractor was Reid Oyler. The cost of the new structure was around $560,000.18 The new city hall was completed mid-December of 1973, and the city officials and employees vacated their offices in the old building to move into the more modern one on December 29, 1973.
Two months later in February 1974 the Brigham City Chamber of Commerce was negotiating with Harold Felt and the city council to lease the main level of the old city hall. Although Mayor Felt would have preferred tearing the building down and building another for the Chamber of Commerce,21 a negotiation was finally reached and a lease was signed around the first of March 1974 with Mayor Felt and Boyd Newman, president of the Chamber of Commerce, for the Chamber’s use of the bulding.
Renovation of the main level was accomplished by the Chamber of Commerce for around $6500 by late spring of 197423 while the upstairs part of the building was used by the Alcohol Counseling and Information Service.24 The second floor, however, was not taken good care of and soon ran into a state of disrepair. Around 1980, the Knights of Columbus Fraternal organization took over the upstairs part of the building with the understanding that they would do maintenance and custodial care.
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.
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.
I grew up listening to President Boyd K. Packer and loved him. I stopped by to get pictures of President Lorenzo Snow’s gravesite and some of my family’s as well and was surprised to see this one here.
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.
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.