Elsinore White Rock Schoolhouse
From its early beginnings in 1896, the White Rock School Building has occupied a prominent place in Elsinore. The building was constructed 23 years after Mormon converts from Scandinavia established Elsinore in 1873. The school was the community educational center as well as a place for social and religious gatherings.
Construction of the building commenced in 1896 and was completed in 1898. The white rock was quarried from a mountain 12 miles southeast of Elsinore near the Piute-Sevier county line. The quarried rock was transported by wagon from the quarry to the construction site. Most of the freighters were only able to make one trip per day but N.P. Anderson, a Dane, became the exception by making two trips each day.
John Marinus Johnson, a stone cutter and mason trained in America, contracted to build the school according to plans prepared by architect T.T. Davis. The stone work done by Johnson and his sons exemplify a remarkably high quality of stonework.
Most of the able bodied men of Elsinore participated in the construction of the School. Carl and Hans Johnson, Niels Anderson were the blacksmiths on the project. Peter “Wheelmaker” Christensen, a wheelmaker by trade, kept the rock bearing wagons in repair. Tenders and mud mixers were Ras Nielson, Chris “Cute” M. Anderson, Hans Johnson, Jim Hermansen, Fred Lott, and Chris Christiansen. Chris Christopherson did a great deal of the brick work, including the chimney. The carpenters were Christian Canutson and James “Black Jim” P. Hansen.
In 1980, 10-year-old Jason Hardman petitioned Elsinore’s mayor for permission to open a library. The library was initially set up in the basement of the town’s public school (the historic town hall building), with 1,000 books. Hardman became the librarian, making him the youngest librarian in the United States. By 1982, the library had 10,000 volumes, which largely came from donations. By 1985, it had 17,000 volumes.
Elsinore Community Center
This Community Center, like most of its counterparts in Utah’s small predominantly Mormon communities, is the social center of the area. It also houses the town’s library.
Elsinore – DUP Marker #160
Elsinore, named for a town in Denmark, was settled in 1874-75 by families of James C. Jensen, Charles H. Nielsen, Lars Hansen. Niels Eirckson, Hans Nielsen, William and Vigo Smith; Thomas C. Jensen and sons; (Jens Ivor, Christian J, Niels Peter), Rasmus Raphealsen, Soren C. Petersen, Soren J. Kjeldsen, and Albinus Johnsen. They divided the land, dug a canal, and lived the United Order. In 1876, a rock building 20′ x 30′ was erected on this site to serve as a school, recreation hall, and church.
The community was first settled in the spring of 1874 by James C. Jensen, Jens Iver Jensen, and others. The area was settled by Danish converts to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and named after Kronborg Castle, known as Elsinore in Hamlet. It was home to a Utah-Idaho Sugar Company factory for processing sugar beets into sugar from 1911 to 1929, but was closed due to a sugar beet blight. The town was given its official name at the suggestion of Latter-day Saint Stake President Joseph A. Young. Previously, the town was named Little Denmark because many of the early settlers were immigrants of that country.
One of the town’s leading citizens, George Staples (1834–1890) was gored to death by a Jersey bull on his farm outside town on October 30, 1890. Staples was the English immigrant and adopted Sioux who widely credited with opening the way for peaceful settlement of southern Utah by negotiation with Native American tribes in the area such as the Pahvant Ute band led by Chief Kanosh (1821–1884).
On September 29, 1921, the town was rocked by an earthquake which damaged several buildings, including the school, which would later house the library.