Built in 1911 by six local businessmen, Ephraim Social Hall is an imposing two-level, three-story tall commercial brick building. The interior capacity is stunning. Originally, the expansive first floor housed the J.F. McCafferty general store in front and the Consolidated Wagon and Machine Co. in the rear. A grand social hall on the second floor is still intact today with 22 foot-high ceilings, tall windows and an enormous dance floor made of maple hardwood. The second floor also contained a ticket room/coat room and ladies and gentleman’s parlors.
Ephraim Social Hall came alive in 1911, as the blazing light of large tungsten lamps reflected in full length mirrors and a live orchestra played for dancers, while spectators sat in galleries.
The building is now owned by Roy Crouch and the downstairs is a pizza parlor and the upstairs is still used as a dance hall.
The old tithing office/Bishop’s Storehouse in Spring City, Utah. I’ve been trying to document all of the old tithing offices I can (see the link below for others). This one was built in 1905 and is very similar to those in Fountain Green and Ephraim.
This squared limestone block building likely was constructed in the 1870’s or 80’s. The upper floor served as the City Hall, with a raised front entrance and tall plastered ceiling. The lower floor was the City Jail with its separate front and side entrances and two iron-barred jail cells. The front porch has been altered but otherwise, the broadside-facing structure is architecturally intact including the six over six windows and their Federal style lintel caps.
Old-timers claim there were more than two jail cells, but this is not structurally indicated. Most inmates were vagrants or drunks from the train, who disturbed neighbors with their loud complaints from the jail. One elderly gentleman remembered the police arresting some young miscreants (he was one of them) for disobeying the curfew law, and locking them up for a few hours to persuade them to be law-abiding. The building is now a house, but the exterior is largely unchanged from the days when it was a jail; iron bars still remain on the basement windows. The prison cells in the basement are now a guest room and storage room; the jail entry area is a study and bookshelves and a fireplace. The main floor has a kitchenette, dining area, and a living room.(*)
The Fairview Amusement Hall, built c.1927, is significant under Criterion A as the primary social meeting place in the small central Utah town of Fairview. The Amusement Hall is built around the original dance floor of the Eclipse Pavilion, which was constructed in 1895. Theater, music, and social dancing were popular activities in early Mormon settlements of Utah where several miles often separated isolated communities. The Fairview Amusement Hall is the only remaining such building in town and one of very few remaining in the state. The Fairview Amusement Hall has been in continual use since its construction and is still used for dances and other social events. The building retains its architectural integrity and is one of a number of contributing historic buildings along Fairview’s Main Street.
About 1878, a social hall was erected. This building had a good dance floor and stage and served as amusement hall for the people until the summer of 1899, when it was destroyed by fire. However, before this time, in the year 1895, a new dance hall known as the Eclipse Pavilion was built. After the social hall burned, a stage was put in the Eclipse Pavilion, and this served as both dance hall and opera house until 1927, when it was replaced by the current amusement hall. However, the floor of the Eclipse was retained in the new amusement hall.
The group who built the Eclipse purchased the land from Joseph Wing. The 1/4-inch quarter-sawn oak flooring was ordered from a Mr. Jex in Spanish Fork, Utah. The building was 108 feet long and 50 feet wide. A Confectionary and ice cream parlor were built at the west end. The Post Office was also in the building part of the time. The Eclipse was sold in 1907 to Lindsay Brady who sold it to the Mormon Church in January 1910. It continued to be used as a community center and dance hall. In June 1921 the Fairview Ward was divided into two wards and Allie Carlston, a builder/contractor, was “chosen to manage the Pavilion or the Eclipse Dance Hall as it was called then… As manager, the debt was paid off and.. .a sinking fund accumulated.”
At that point, Allie Carlston received permission to replace the building if he could find a way to pay for it. He visited LDS Church President Heber J. Grant and explained that they had a community firetrap as an amusement hall in Fairview and that they had plans to demolish it and build a brick structure around the present floor since it was in perfect condition. They would build the brick walls then demolish the remaining portion of the old building after the new one was completed. Arrangements were then made to go forward with this plan. Carlston supervised the job and Oscar Amudsen did the brick work with his son, Whit, helping on the interior layer of adobe brick. The new Amusement Hall was completed c.1927 and the two wards appointed a manager for the Amusement Hall and continued to oversee it. The LDS Church first approached the city about taking over the Amusement Hall in 1968. It was finally deeded to the city October 5, 1982, on a restricted deed that continued the no drinking or smoking policy that had been established in 1896 along with tenets of the LDS Church.
The Amusement Hall is located at 65 S State St.
The Amusement Hall has always been a very important part of Fairview Social Life. It has been used for many various events over the years. People came from far around to the regular and special-occasion dances. The young men herding sheep and cattle on the mountain would come down to the dances. People from Snow College in Ephraim (approximately twenty miles to the south) and the Brigham Young University (approximately fifty miles to the north) joined with the locals as well; the railroad that ran through Sanpete Valley was convenient transportation.
A church missionary farewell or homecoming called for a dance. Many courtships started and continued in the Amusement Hall. Young married couples went to the dance for their night out. Wedding anniversaries, ninetieth birthdays and other special events have used the Amusement Hall for family and friends. Old folks’ dinners and reunions were and still are held here. Theatrical presentations found a place for performance as well. Wednesday was roller skating night for many years beginning in the early 1950s. Dance Classes and wrestling instruction have provided youth entertainment and knowledge and craft shows are also a popular event. Santa Claus still visits every year, and civic meetings are still held here. Although the popularity of individual events has varied over years, the Fairview Amusement Hall retains its place in the memories and current lives of Sanpete residents.