The Vernal Utah Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, formerly the Uintah Stake Tabernacle.
On February 13, 1994 it was annouced that the vacant tabernacle would be converted into a temple for the LDS Church.
The Uintah Stake Tabernacle is devoid of Gothic detail common in church architecture and is a more simplified and almost civic variant of the Georgian New England Church form. Of over forty tabernacles built in Utah, it is the only one existing in the eastern part of the state. Built during the years between 1900-1907, it is the most significant symbol of the Mormon culture in the Uintah Basin, one of Utah’s last frontiers to be settled by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Uintah Stake Tabernacle is also on the Utah Register of Historic Places.
Although the mining community of Park City began in the 1870s, it was not until 1895 that plans for the construction of this LDS Church were formulated. In 1897 construction on a meeting house was started and apparently completed that year. However, the church was burned in the great fire of June 19, 1898, which destroyed many of Park City’s buildings. Rebuilt in 1899, this building was formally opened for services on March 18, 1900. An addition was made to the rear between 1926-1930 and in 1938 work commenced on the amusement hall. The building served as a meeting house until 1962.
The LDS Park City Meetinghouse is located at 424 Park Avenue in Park City, Utah and was added to the National Historic Register (#78002696) on May 22, 1978.
The Park City Mining District dates to a beginning in 1868, with the discovery and location of various claims, among the more important were those by Rufus Walker and Ephraim Hanks. The discovery of ores and organized mining efforts in Utah is credited to the efforts of Col. Patrick E. Connor and his men, a group of California and Nevada volunteers, sent to Utah by the Secretary of War in 1862 to “watch” the Mormons and protect the Overland Mail. Connor’s men included many who were veterans of the California and Nevada mining fields. As such, the men, in passing their time, prospected the mountains in search of precious metals. When the first discoveries were made in the Park City area, Connor’s men were among those active in the vicinity.
In 1872, the discovery of the Ontario mine started Park City’s establishment as one of the West’s richest silver camps. Other operations such as the Daly Mining Company, also contributed to the district’s reputation. Mining in Utah for precious metals was promoted and advanced primarily by “Gentiles”; that is, non-Mormons. Irish influence was very pronounced and from the outset, Park City was a “Gentile Camp”.
Opposition to Mormons in Park City appeared very intense. In 1886 an organization known as the “Loyalty Legion” allegedly wrecked the home of an individual named (Gad) Davis, leader of the city’s Mormons. Additionally, the group encouraged mining companies not to hire Mormon miners. A “ban” existed for approximately seven years, when in 1894, church leaders prevailed upon the mining companies to employ Mormon miners. This coincided with the movement of Mormon entrepreneurs into mining ventures all over the state.
Church membership grew and meetings were held at Roy’s grocery store on Main Street. In 1894 Margaret D. Mason deeded lots 26 and 27, block 10 to the Trustees of the Park City branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, reserving for herself the rear fifteen feet of property for a consideration of $600.00. At a business meeting held at Park City on March 3, 1895 and attended by President William W. Cluff, a committee of three consisting of Frederick Rasband, Orvis J. Call, and George W. Curtis, was appointed to select a building site on which to erect a meeting house. In August, 1895, a building committee comprised of Thomas L. Alien, John Adamson, Frederick Rasband, Hugh Reid, and Fred Thompson, was selected for the erection of the church.
Sources indicate that in 1896, $1,136.19 was raised for the new meeting house. Work continued on the building in 1897 with nearly $1,200 having been raised. On March 1, 1897, the basement was completed to the extent that it was used for a priesthood meeting., A second meeting was held there in April, with Charles Rasband replacing George W. Curtis as branch clerk. The meeting house was destroyed by fire June 19, 1898 the “Great Fire” destroyed many of Park City’s structure on the upper main street area.
Action to remedy the problem was quickly taken. In July, Willard Sorensen and William E. Potts were elected trustees to hold the deeds to the Church property. By September, 1898, the building committee previously chosen was reorganized with Thomas L. Alien, Chairman, William E. Potts, secretary and James R. Glade, treasurer. This committee took the necessary steps for the erection of a new structure.
Construction commenced approximately in 1899 and the finished portion of the two-story structure was formally opened for use on Sunday, March 18, 1900 and consisted of the assembly area. The main room was 40 ft. by 40 ft. and 18 ft. high with two vestry rooms, 11 ft. by 16 ft. and 11 ft. by 14 ft. respectively. At the March meeting a silver sacrament service was presented to the branch by the Relief Society with numerous visitors attending and a formal address presented by Apostle George Teasdale.
In 1925 Margaret D. Mason deeded the rear 15 feet of lots 26 and 27, block 10 to the Park City Church. During the following year, steps were taken to construct a 30 foot addition to the rear of the building which was completed between 1926 – 1930. By 1938, work commenced on the Ward Amusement Hall in the lower level of the structure.
The church remained as the meeting house until 1957 when church members voted to build a new chapel at a cost of $114,000. In December, 1962, the new church was dedicated. The old structure was in private hands until 1976 when it was purchased by it present owner.
Thus, the church was the first chapel of the LDS Church in Park City, rebuilt after the 1898 fire. Its wood Gothic style renders the structure as a rare “existing” example of this style utilized by the LDS Church. In fact, the use of the frame Gothic style for a meeting house dates to the turn of the century and the Park City and Eureka chapels remain the only significant examples of the frame type. In addition, the Park City meeting house is the largest frame structure existing in the town that dates back to the conflagration of 1898.
This structure represented the culmination of years of struggle by the Mormon community in a “Gentile” camp and has served a basic function in tending to the religious needs of the Park City Mormon population. In 1976, the Park City Council designated the structure as a historic building.
In my exploring of the Utah and neighboring states I have come across many tithing offices, tithing barns, tithing granaries and more.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called the L.D.S. Church or the Mormons) settled a large part of the areas here and members of the church would donate 10% of their increase to the church – they would also barter for what they needed, trade grain for eggs, etc. Now the members of the church donate with money, but at the time when donations were grain, eggs, chickens, cloth and more these buildings were needed to handle all of that. (see other tithing offices on this page)
This is the Pleasant Grove Tithing Office, located at 7 South 300 East in Pleasant Grove, Utah.
Built c. 1908, the Pleasant Grove Tithing Office is historically significant as one of 28 well preserved tithing buildings in Utah that were part of the successful “in kind” tithing system of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon church) between the 1850s and about 1910. Tithing lots, which usually included an office and several auxiliary structures, were facilities for collecting, storing, and distributing the farm products that were donated as tithing by church members in the cash-poor agricultural communities throughout the state. Tithing offices were a vital part of almost every Mormon community, serving as local centers of trade, welfare assistance, and economic activity. They were also important as the basic units of the church-wide tithing network that was centered in Salt Lake City.
The exact date of construction of the Pleasant Grove Tithing Office is not known, but judging from its appearance and other circumstantial evidence it was probably built about 1908. Some of the basic features of this building, its square block shape with a symmetrical facade and an arched central porch, are much like those found on the tithing offices in Manti, Panguitch, Richmond, Sandy, and Hyrum, all of which were built between 1905 and 1910. The design of those buildings was one of at least three standard tithing office plans that were developed at church headquarters around 1905 and sent out to a number of wards in the state that requested to have a new tithing office built. Those plans were perhaps the first examples of what eventually became a policy with the church – developing standard building plans at church headquarters rather than having each ward generate its own. Although the Pleasant Grove Tithing Office has a flat roof and other minor features that distinguish it from the Type No. 3 design, the similarities between the two are sufficiently strong to suggest that they were built at about the same time.
The only other indications of when the tithing office might have been built are contained in letters from the Presiding Bishopric’s Office in Salt Lake City to Bishop Swen L. Swenson of the Pleasant Grove Ward. A letter of April 9, 1908 to Bishop Swenson stated that, “You are authorized to purchase hard wood shade trees and plant them around the [tithing] lot where needed.” The letter also granted approval for the purchase of water rights for the tithing lot. Similar improvements were made to tithing lots in other towns immediately after the completion of their new tithing offices, so it is reasonable to assume that the tithing office in Pleasant Grove was constructed in late 1907 or early 1908. The building was definitely built by at least the spring of 1909 when the local bishops were granted approval to have a telephone installed in the building.
In my exploring of the Utah and neighboring states I have come across many tithing offices, tithing barns, tithing granaries and more.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called the L.D.S. Church or the Mormons) settled a large part of the areas here and members of the church would donate 10% of their increase to the church – they would also barter for what they needed, trade grain for eggs, etc. Now the members of the church donate with money, but at the time when donations were grain, eggs, chickens, cloth and more these buildings were needed to handle all of that.
Many tithing offices were also bishop’s storehouses, my list of those can be seen here:
Utah’s tithing buildings can be divided into three major categories: those that were built prior to the turn of the century, those that were built after the turn of the century, and those that were built specifically as granaries. Within each category the style and design of the tithing offices reflect current trends in Utah architecture at the time that each tithing building was constructed. The earliest tithing offices are individualized efforts, much like the residences of the period, and contrast with the standard types of tithing offices built after the turn of the century. Stylistically the earliest tithing offices such as those at Escalante, Leeds, Kanosh, Pine Valley, Parowan, Paradise, Santaquin, and Vernal reflect the Greek Revival influence in that they generally have boxed cornices which return on the gable ends, and are temple-form buildings. Four of the eight early tithing offices were built of stone, a building material that was fairly common prior to 1890, but was used less frequently after the production of brick became firmly established. The Lewiston Tithing Office, also built just before the turn of the century, is an Italianate box, a common late nineteenth century residential house type. The Italianate box, a favored middle class house type in urban areas such as Salt Lake City and Ogden, was built only rarely in the rural areas of Utah. The tithing offices at Grouse Creek, Lakeview and Lindon were not designed in a particular style. The simple rectangular form of the Grouse Creek Tithing Office is reminiscent of the Greek Revival style, and the Lindon and Lakeview tithing offices are simple forms with common Victorian decorative elements.
Of the 13 extant tithing offices that were built specifically as tithing offices between 1905 and 1910, ten were built from two of three standard plans that were being developed by the LDS church at church headquarters. As early as the late 1880s the effect of the standardization of houses was felt in Utah as a result of the dissemination of house pattern books. Pattern books provided the prospective home owner with a variety of house designs and plans from which to choose. In Utah evidence of the influence of house pattern books is apparent in the almost exact replication of specific house types, with variations among houses of the same type occurring in predictable areas, such as porch designs, decorative details and the location of bays. The rise of the use of standard plans corresponds with the advent of building contractors, and the move away from owner-built homes. Economics favored the development and repetition of particular house types by general contractors. By the turn of the century the use of standard plans in Utah was the rule rather than the exception, and is evident in residential design. Churches, libraries, schools, and other small public buildings also reflect their influence.
Ten tithing offices built between 1905 and 1910 were designed from two of at least three standard plans that were being used, and were referred to as Type No. 2 and Type No. 3. Type No. 1 has not yet been identified. Both plan types are one story square brick buildings with low pitch pyramid roofs and coursed sandstone foundations. Type 2, which includes buildings in Fountain Green, Garland, Ephraim, Fairview, and Spring City, is characterized by an asymmetrical facade with an arched porch set into one of the front corners. The facade design of Type No. 3 is symmetrical with a centered entrance pavilion and two flanking windows. Examples of this type include the tithing offices at Sandy, Panguitch, Richmond, Manti, and Hyrum. Two doors are set inside the pavilion, each on a slight diagonal, and there is a small cupola atop each building with the exception of the tithing office at Hyrum.
The three other tithing offices built in the twentieth century are individual designs, but each reflects a major current in Utah architecture. The quasi-Neoclassical style of the Pleasant Grove Tithing Office was common to a number of small town public buildings, libraries and banks. The Prairie Style was commonly disseminated throughout Utah in a rather superficial manner as a general decorative influence on small town libraries, schools and commercial buildings. Many LDS church seminaries and several ward houses reflect Prairie Style influences, therefore it was a logical choice for the design of the moderate-sized tithing office in Richfield. The Smithfield Tithing Office is a bungalow. The bungalow was the most common residential choice in the second two decades of the twentieth century, but was not generally used for church or public buildings. Tithing office design in Utah from the beginning, however, was of a small scale comparable to and more closely tied with residential design than with the design of public and commercial buildings, therefore the choice of a residential style for the Smithfield Tithing Office is in keeping with the general tradition of tithing office design.
Only five buildings that were designed specifically as tithing granaries are extant. They can be divided into two major categories by their type of construction. Three of the granaries, those at Huntington, Oak City and Meadow, have balloon frames and an internal crib created by a wall of horizontal boards attached to the inside of a frame of 2 x 4 studs. This type of granary is commonly referred to as an “inside out” granary because the frame is most often exposed with the enclosing wall on the inside of the building. The second method of granary construction is evident in the Clarkston granary which was built of 2 x 4 inch boards stacked one on top of the other in even rows with spiked and butt-jointed corners. This construction method is referred to as “false timbering,” and although it occurs in granaries in other parts of the state, current documentation indicates that the greatest concentration of granaries of this type in Utah are in Cache County. The form of the Clarkston Granary is specific to Cache County, having a rectangular form with a porch and door on the broad side of the building, as compared with many other granaries which have no porches and have first floor doors in the gable end. The form of the Lewiston granary is identical to that of the Clarkston building, but it has a balloon frame with an exterior wall of drop siding.
The tithing offices and granaries that were built in almost every Mormon settlement between about 1850 and 1910 served not only as facilities for collecting revenue for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but also as centers of trade, social welfare, and economic activity in their communities. The tithing system consisted of local offices, regional offices, and the General Tithing Office in Salt Lake City, to which all surpluses from the other offices were forwarded. In the cash-poor Utah Territory during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, tithing donations were primarily “in kind” contributions consisting of agricultural products and donated labor, the dollar values of which were usually determined by administrators of the tithing program. The church used the tithing commodities for a variety of purposes, including converting them into cash to fulfill some of its own financial obligations, distributing them to the needy and the Indians, and issuing them in the form of scrip to employees of the church and workers on church public works projects in lieu of cash wages. The tithing system was the primary mechanism by which prices on goods and services were set in the individual communities and throughout the territory, thus helping create a more stable, unified economic system which differed substantially from the individualistic character of communities outside Mormon country. Twenty-eight well preserved tithing buildings have been identified in Utah.
I’ve come across photos/paintings of a few tithing offices that are now gone,
This cool looking building was originally the 2nd Ward Chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints until it was replaced with this building down the road. I wondered for a few years what it was and finally Jacob Oscarson pointed out this map.
“The first Scandinavian saints who arrived in Utah in 1852, located in the 2nd Ward and the first Scandinavian meetings in Utah were also held in this ward.
An adobe school house was erected on 7th South St. between 4th and 5th East street in 1852. This was replaced by a brick building in 1883, which, after the erection of a fine ward chapel on the corner of 7th South and 5th East streets, was used as a knitting factory.”
– Andrew Jenson’s Encyclopedic History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints