In 1858 a group of men came from Provo, surveyed the valley into 20 acre plots and selected the townsite of Heber. The following winter twenty families stayed here. As protection from the Indians they built a fort 1 block south and 1 block west from this site. Homes built of cottonwood logs and joined together formed the outside walls of the fort. A schoolhouse 20 by 40 feet was built within the fort with two fireplaces and a stage. The building also served for church and socials. In 1860 the fort was enlarged to house forty-four families.
One day of 1867, Chief Tabby came into Provo River Valley after the Indian peace treaty with his dead son in his arms. As he rode up on his horse, Joseph Stacy Murdock, the Mormon Presiding Bishop, recognized Chief Tabby. After a brief greeting, Chief Tabby said that he was holding how own dead son, who was killed in an accident while hunting. The chief knew that Joseph was the religious leader among his people, so he asked that Joseph bury his son in the custom of the Mormons. With a feeling of great sorrow for his friend, Joseph conducted a Christian funeral service and buried Tom Tabby under a beautiful pine tree, which had been planted several years before by John H. Murdock in the Heber Cemetery.
When the final prayer was said, Chief Tabby said, “My son has been buried in the white man’s custom. Now he will be honored in the Indian fashion.” A rick of cedar logs was then laid upon the new grave and the boy’s favorite pony was led up to it, where it’s [sic] throat was cut and the animal was laid upon the pier and the logs were set afire.
As the embers slowly died, Chief Tabby got on his horse and rode into the mountains east of Heber with his braves.
This house was constructed in 1903 by Herbert Clegg for John E. Austin, a leading sheepman in Wasatch County. In 1908 Austin moved to Wyoming and the house was sold to Dr. William Russell Wherritt. A native of Missouri, Dr. Wherritt was for many years the only physician in Heber Valley. The house is one of the most elaborate Victorian homes in Heber Valley. It is now owned and occupied by Dr. Wherritt’s daughter, Mrs. Dean Todd.
This was the home of John and Mary Lucinda McDonald who crossed the plains and were among the early settlers of the Heber Valley. John built the home in 1874 and was known as a man of faith, a pioneer, and Indian fighter and peacemaker, a Martin Handcart rescuer, a cattleman rancher, a builder, a patriarch and a father. For his great contributions to the valley, his community and family, we dedicate this building to John McDonald (1833-1910) and his family.
Thank you to Maryann Hunwick for letting me know that this is labeled wrong on the historic plaque on the building and it is actually the John Lee home instead of the John McDonald home.
Built in 1906-1908, the Heber City Amusement Hall became a part of the Town Square complex, which included religious, governmental, and recreational facilities. Designed by Mr. Watkins of Provo and built of red sandstone, the structure’s unusual dance floor was considered to be one of the best in the state. The oval-shaped floor is set on 56 heavy coil springs, which are embedded in native sandstone. Dancers often boasted of its excellent “feel”. The hall’s doors and semicircular windows are topped with Roman arches, and pendant arches originally supported the ceiling. The kitchen, added to the southwest corner in 1917, housed cooking and dining facilities. The gables at the north and west ends were probably added in 1928, the same year the pendant arches were replaced and a large annex added to the west side. At this time the front facade was also altered somewhat. Located at the north end of the main hall were the entrance, ticket office, and cloakrooms; at the south end was a stage and bandstand. Once threatened by destruction, the hall was saved through the efforts of concerned citizens.
The Amusement Hall is located at 90 North 100 West next to the tabernacle in Heber City, Utah and was listed (together with the tabernacle as listing #70000633) on the National Historic Register on December 2, 1970.
Built in 1906-1908 as a joint three-Ward project, the Heber City Amusement Hall became a part of the Town Square complex containing religious, governmental, and recreational facilities. The structure was designed by a Mr. Watkins from Provo, and Edward D. Clyde supervised the volunteers who built it.
The unusual dancing floor is still considered to be one of the best in the State, In 1917 a kitchen was added on the southwest corner and in 1928 a large annex was also built onto the west side to form a “T” structure. At this time the front façade was modified somewhat.
Although it has served for recreational and social functions in the community for years, its destruction was threatened a few years ago. Through the efforts of concerned citizens it has been kept. Although now used as office space (annex) and for storage (ballroom), its restoration is anticipated.