Brigham City Tabernacle
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.
Located in Brigham City, Utah.
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.
The Old Mill
On this site, in 1876, the Cedar Co-operative Mercantile and Manufacturing Institution constructed the Cedar Co-op Mill. It was a large, three-story wooden building. The original two sets of four foot grinding stones were turned by water which was brought in a ditch from Coal Creek to the South and East. This mill ground the flour, cereal and livestock food for much of Iron County. In 1900 the grinding stones were replaced by a set of rollers. The Mill was changed to a plaster mill in 1914 and operated until 1945. In 1952 the building was torn down and the property sold to Cedar City. For many years this mill was a hub of activity in this valley.
This is S.U.P. Marker # 173, see the others in the series on this page.
Jacob Hamblin, pioneer, missionary and friend to the Indians, planted cottonseed in the fertile river bottoms near here in 1855. A settlement was established the next year called Tonaquint, after a local band of Indians that were located there. As part of the Cotton Mission, four families built a few log cabins and willow huts. Sometimes called Lower Clara, with nicknames of Seldom Sap, Never Sweat and Lick Skillet, it was abandoned in 1862 due to a series of floods. However, some farming was continued and it was later known as Seep Ditch.
Brigham Young’s Vision
This is S.U.P. Marker # 174, see the others in the series on this page.
Near this spot, in the fall of 1859, Brigham Young, statesman and leader of the Mormon people, silently gazed at Pine Valley Mountain, and then the valley and hills of black lava and vermillion rock before him. He saw in vision a thriving community. With a sweep of his arm he spoke: “There will yet be built between those volcanic ridges, a city of spires, towers and steeples, with homes containing many inhabitants.”
Jedediah Strong Smith
This is S.U.P. Marker # 176, see the others in the series on this page.
In 1826, Jedediah Smith, searching for a route to California, entered what is now Washington County by crossing the black ridge north of here then following Ash Creek to the Virgin River. He followed the Virgin River through the Virgin River Narrows (present route of I-15) overcoming many dangers associated with the steep, narrow, winding, rugged canyon. In 1827, he returned to California following the same route to the confluence of Santa Clara Creek and the Virgin River. Anxious to avoid a repetition of his experience in the Virgin River Narrows, he proceeded up Santa Clara Creek and turned southwest over the low mountain (present day Old Highway US 91) to a ravine which led him to the Beaver Dam Wash and its confluence with the Virgin River.
The Southern Exploring Company
This is S.U.P. Marker # 175, see the others in the series on this page.
In the fall of 1849, Brigham Young formed the Southern Exploring Company led by Parley P. Pratt. Through that winter this company of 50 men explored potential town sites and resources from Nephi to present day St. George as part of Young’s plan for a corridor to the sea, also called the Mormon Corridor. Twenty of the company under Pratt reached their further point south at the confluence of the Santa Clara and Virgin Rivers on January 1, 1850, near this monument. Their reports resulted in the settlement of all the towns between Nephi and St. George.
Grave of Shem, Shivwits Indian Chieftain
Located in the St. George City Cemetery.
1840, Feb. 24, 1930 Friend of the pioneers and faithful member of the LDS Church
Shem was a well-known chieftain of the Shivwits Band. Highly respected by the new settlers and his own people, Shem served as a peacemaker for the two cultures. He converted to the LDS Church and was a faithful member. He died in 1930 at the age of ninety years. His grave had gone unmarked for many years.
Shem, Shivwits Band Chieftain is SUP Marker # 112, see others here.
Suicide Rock & the Reservoir
One of the foremost sights that met the eye of the early travelers when they reached the mouth of Parley’s Canyon before entering into the valley of the Great Salt Lake, was a huge mass of red rock which stood in the middle of the mouth of the canyon. It consisted mainly of red sandstone and had stood as a sentinel for centuries.
For hundreds of years, it stood as a watch tower for the Indians until, as the story goes, an Indian maiden upon learning of the death of her brave, leaped from the top, to her death on the rocks below, giving it the name of Suicide Rock. Now, it is a billboard for the youth who dare to climb its heights with paint brush or spray can.
In the settlement of the valley with a constant increase in population, the water from the various canyon streams of the Wasatch Range provided irrigation as well as culinary water for the people. In order to free up more of the canyon water culinary use, a canal was built from Jordan Narrows conveying Jordan River water to the east bench of the Salt Lake valley. The Jordan and Salt Lake City Canal was begun in 1879, and completed in 1882, and has remained in constant use since. The canyon streams were thereafter enhanced with reservoirs to catch and retain the spring runoff, for use in the drier seasons.
In about 1891 a reservoir was built on the east side of Suicide Rock to help contain the spring run-off from washing out the farms west of the canyon mouth, as well as to help provide a way of getting water from the stream to where it was needed. From this reservoir, and ditches from the canyon stream above the reservoir, culinary along with irrigation water was conveyed to the various farms below as well as up to the plateaus on the north and south sides of the hollow which were located above the canal. This reservoir served for many years until an extremely wet spring one year washed out part of the reservoir and some of the railroad tracks and roadway in the canyon. Culinary water supplies had been further enhanced by this time and a direct connection was made to use Parley’s Canyon water, so the reservoir was never replaced.
Of the stream, the roadway, and the railroad line that ran in the narrow spaces between the rock and canyon sidewalks, only the stream remains.
This is S.U.P. Marker # 79, to see the others in the series visit this page.
St. George Memorial Plaza
This consists of 10 individual monuments and plaques installed in the City-owned Plaza located on the corner of St. George Boulevard and Main Street in downtown St. George, Utah. Each plaque is mounted on a large native sandstone base, and depicts various homes and sites in the downtown area of historic significance.
- 72 – St. George Memorial Plaza
- 72.01 – And the Desert Shall Blossom
- 72.02 – Gardners’ Club Hall
- 72.03 – St. George Social Hall “Opera House”
- 72.04 – Brigham Young Home
- 72.05 – Pioneer Courthouse
- 72.06 – Erastus Snow’s Big House
- 72.07 – Dixie Academy
- 72.08 – St. George Temple
- 72.09 – St. George Tabernacle
- 72.10 – Woodward School