The Alberta Stake Tabernacle, built on the northeast quadrant of the Cardston Temple Block, then known as Tabernacle Hill, was one of the most beautiful buildings in southern Alberta. Built by the leaders of the Alberta Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which was the first stake organized outside the United States and the first stake in Canada, the tabernacle served not only as a meeting place but as a monument to the sacrifices of the early settlers.
The cornerstone was laid August 23, 1908, with David O. McKay officiating. This red brick building replaced an old assembly hall that had been built under the direction of Stake President Charles O. Card to serve as a combined community hall and meeting place.
When Edward James Wood became the Alberta Stake President, he realized that the assembly hall was inadequate in size. He designed the tabernacle with seating for 1,200, including a gallery, curved oak benches, and an elevated pulpit. Behind the pulpit was space for an orchestra and seating for the stake officers. Rising up behind the orchestra were rows of seats for the choir. The organ at the very top provided music for the meetings.
Church members began raising funds for the building at great personal sacrifice, and the tabernacle was finished four years later in 1912. It served primarily as a meetinghouse for large LDS Church conferences, but was also used for educational and cultural events and was made available to other denominations. Hyrum M. Smith dedicated the building on August 5, 1917. Many Latter-day Saint general authorities attended conferences in the tabernacle, including Joseph F. Smith, president of the Church.
The Alberta Stake Tabernacle served the people of southern Alberta for 42 years until a new stake center was built west of the Temple Block. The structure was dismantled in 1954.
The text above is from the plaque that is Daughters of Utah Pioneers historic marker #544, located at the corner of 3rd Avenue and 2nd Street in Cardston, Alberta, Canada
The following text is from the National Register of Historic Places nomination form (#72000436), it was added to the register on December 8th, 1972 and is located at 51 South Main Street in Paris, Idaho.
A Mormon Stake includes a group of local church congregations (known as wards), and in many areas of the Mormon intermountain west, stake tabernacles are regional community centres. (The Salt Lake tabernacle in Temple Square is the best known of these.)
Paris, the earliest of the Bear Lake Mormon settlements, was established September 26, 1863, and a number of other Mormon towns followed in the summer of 1864. Increased population in the valley led to formation of the Bear Lake Stake of Zion, June 20, 1869. Brigham Young and a number of Mormon apostles came up for the occasion. A general reorganization of the stake, August 25-26, 1877, preceded the building of the tabernacle after 1884. Aside from its regional community importance, this tabernacle is of unusual architectural interest.
The Mormon Tabernacle of Bear Lake Stake in Paris, Idaho, is in the Romanesque revival style. It was designed by architect Joseph Don Carlos Young of Salt Lake City, a son of Brigham Young, and constructed under the supervision of Thomas G. Lowe of Logan, Utah.
Materials for the imposing Victorian structure, with its six-story bell tower, were gathered from the surrounding countryside, Red sandstone, the principal material, was quarried in Indian Creek Canyon, eighteen miles away, and hauled around the lake by horse and ox teams. In winter, much of the stone was sledded across the ice of Bear Lake. The stone cutting and carving were done by a family of Swiss masons, recently arrived in Utah. Jacob Tueller and his three sons moved to Paris to work on the tabernacle, and starting in 1884, devoted four years to the project.
All of the wood used in the structure, including the shingles, was cut in the canyons nearby. Most of the work was done by the Mormon settlers themselves, each contributing his own skill. A number of fine craftsmen in wood shaped the interior detail; especially noteworthy is the work of James, Nye on the pulpit and choir ceiling. Overall dimensions are 127’6″ x 73’4″.
The building is in excellent condition and has not been altered since its dedication, September 15, 1889.
On this site was located the Carbon Tabernacle, a landmark and center place of worship from 1914 to 1961 for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
For 47 years the Tabernacle served as the Carbon and North Carbon Stake Center, the ward meetinghouse for Price First and Second Wards and the scene of many civic, political, graduations and recreational programs.
With the completion of the basement on March 14, 1914, the quarterly two-day conference for Carbon Stake was held. The last meeting was held June 4, 1961.
Designed by Miles E. Miller, a young Salt Lake City architect, at an estimated cost of $35,000. Ground breaking for the Tabernacle took place August 28, 1911. The dimensions of the two-story structure were a hundred-fifteen feet long, sixty-six feet wide and thirty-two feet high, with a tower at the northwest corner. The foundation was of reinforced concrete, the walls were of white enamel pressed cement bricks layed with black mortar and trimmed with white stone. On the main floor was a large auditorium furnished with oak pews to seat a thousand persons. It housed one of the largest and best toned pipe organs in the state. At the north of the auditorium was a large Relief Society room with adjoining classrooms. On the second floor was a balcony that oversaw the main meeting hall, five classrooms and two other classrooms in the tower. In the basement was a large amusement hall, dance floor, stage, dressing rooms and baptismal font.
After twelve years of construction, and at a final cost of $100,046.62, the building was dedicated July 1, 1923, a tribute to the contributions of labor and dollars of the L.D.S. people and their friends of Carbon County.
The Ely L.D.S. Stake Tabernacle is significant under criterion A because of its association with the history and development of the Church of the Latter-day Saints in Nevada and under criterion C for its noted use of Colonial Revival architectural design. The Tabernacle was built in 1927 and serves as an excellent expression of the regional character of White Pine County for Ely, which was the seat of government. Situated in a mining community in a region once beyond the boundary of Nevada and within the sphere of influence of the Mormon Church, the Tabernacle is a symbol of diverse cultural elements meeting on a common ground. In addition, the use of Colonial Revival motifs for the building, highlighted by a striking contrast of light and dark building materials, creates an excellent example of twentieth-century monumental architecture in eastern Nevada.
The Mormon State of Deseret, founded in the mid-1840s as a refuge for members of the faith fleeing persecution in the eastern states, originally encompassed the entire Great Basin including what is now Nevada. The Great Basin is a unique portion of world geography, draining into itself rather than an ocean. It occupies an enormous amount of western North America and a majority of Nevada and Utah are within its boundaries.
When Congress created the Nevada Territory in 1861, it included only the part of the Great Basin to the west of the 116th longitude. This created a territory about half as wide as the present-day state. When mineral deposits were discovered in the Austin area (in what is now central Nevada), Congress added to Nevada in 1862 so that it included those parts of the Great Basin to the west of the 115th longitude. Further discoveries of minerals in the Pahranagat Valley inspired an 1866 modification of the boundary so that Nevada – a state after 1864 – extended still further east to its present border at the 114th longitude.
The growth of Nevada at the expense of Utah was inspired by a general dislike of Mormons over polygamy and the perception that they were insular and autonomous. In addition, the Church of the Latter-day Saints attempted to discourage mining because mineral strikes often caused rushes importing non-Mormons and thereby threatening the Utopian, faithful society the Mormons hoped to establish. The federal government regarded Nevada, founded as a mining state, to be the best manager of mineral rich lands, and so its boundaries expanded eastward as prospectors explored the previously little-known hinterland and identified ore bodies.
Although Nevada acquired and oversaw the exploitation of mineral resources in its new found lands, the eastern fringe of the state was close to Salt Lake City and remained in that capital’s sphere of influence in many ways. . This created a fundamental dichotomy in the resulting settlements. For example, Panaca in Lincoln County to the south was a Mormon agricultural settlement while nearby Pioche was a non-Mormon mining town. The two coexisted for economic and geographic reasons, but they remained insulated from one another. Similarly, White Pine County, founded in territory once entirely in Utah beyond the original Nevada border, had long been the object of Mormon settlement and expansion. Its mining potential contributed to irregular population trends. Hamilton, to the west of Ely and the first: White Pine County seat, was founded and largely abandoned within two decades. A few other mining areas suffered similar fate. At the turn of the century, however, a major copper strike occurred in central White Pine County creating a basis for long-term settlement and economic prosperity. Ely, founded at the center of the strike, became the seat of government for White Pine County, and an infrastructure for a stable community soon took root.
Mining towns based on gold and silver mining almost by definition can prove difficult for Mormon expansion. A diversity of faiths and ethnic backgrounds provide the community with little cohesion. The booming nature of their economies can lead to a free-wheeling life style. In addition, the tendency of boom towns to disappear as quickly as they were founded creates an atmosphere which is not conducive to the growth of an institution such as the Church of the Latter-day Saints which thrives or. stability and continuity. Copper mining, on the other hand, typically involves the development of a large diffuse ore body, the mining of which can take decades, providing a long term economic basis for a community. Ely – based on copper mining and situated on land previously part of Utah – provided, therefore, an ideal soil for Mormon roots. The Ely L.D.S. Stake Tabernacle can been seen as a symbol of the synthesis between the Nevada mining economy and the Mormon sphere of influence.
The Church of the Latter-day Saints assumed an early role in Ely, but for two decades met in temporary, borrowed or rented facilities. An Ely Branch of the Church was organized in 1915. In 1920, the nearby McGill Ward acquired jurisdiction over the Ely Branch, but in 1926, Ely was formally organized as a Ward with George A. Wilson as Bishop. At the same time, the Ward was placed under a newly-organized Nevada Stake (a still larger component in the Church organizational chart). Under Bishop Wilson, the Church erected its stake tabernacle in Ely (granting that community pivotal importance for the region) at a cost of about $60,000. The building included an auditorium with seating for 600, an amusement hall in the basement, a baptismal font, Relief Society room, and several classrooms. In all the building became an important center of Church activity in the area. Although the building was opened in 1928, a formal dedication ceremony by Church President Heber J. Grant did not occur until April 26, 1935. The building was replaced by a newer facility in 1957, but the first building remains as a symbol of the earlier, dynamic community and its relationship to its Mormon roots, reestablishing itself in land formally under the preview of Utah, now in the midst the Nevada’s twentieth-century mining boom.
The Ely L.D.S. Stake Tabernacle is also significant under criterion C because of its local interpretation of Colonial Revival architecture in a part of the Great Basin with few such monumental buildings. The two-story, brick building occupies a prominent corner of the main street in Ely. The design of the building was part of a ten year effort (1922-1932) by the Church of Latter Day Saints to consciously upgrade the architecture of its churches. In this building, the bold architectural features, including a Palladian motif for the front door, cornice returns, quoins of alternating colors, and arched windows with keystones, create a commanding presence. The contractor for the construction was Joseph Van Carolos Young, grandson of Brigham Young. There are very few buildings in rural Nevada of this style, and, fortunately, the building is in the process of being restored for the use of many future generations.
The Ely L.D.S. Stake Tabernacle, constructed in 1927-1928, is a prominent reminder of the presence of the Mormon church in Ely, Nevada. While the name of the building’s architect is not known, the design incorporates many characteristics of the Colonial Revival, indicating that the designer had formal training. The Tabernacle, originally used as a church and community meeting place, is now owned by the White Pine Community Choir for an auditorium. Future plans include use as a community center. The building retains its historic integrity.
The former church is located on Aultman Street, the main east-west thoroughfare through Ely; the courthouse and public park are one block to the west. Various commercial establishments occupy these blocks of downtown Ely. A motel is located directly east of the Tabernacle and the high school is across eighth street to the west. To the north, a residential neighborhood occupies the hill above the downtown district.
The Ely Tabernacle is a T-shaped, two-story brick building on a concrete foundation, with a gable roof across the base of the “T” and a hip roof across the top of the “T.” The main entrance to the church is located in the gable end of the building, and is emphasized by a large, Palladian motif doorway and a multi-lite, hexagonal window in the wall above. Of note is the brick coursing: the walls have only stretchers and no headers; they may be only a façade. The main elevation is further emphasized by alternating quoins of concrete and brick, and cornice returns. The cornice around the reminder of the building is dentiled and the roof has asphalt shingles.
The side and rear elevations have multi-lite, double hung wooden rectangular and arched windows, many of which are boarded over. A second entrance is located on the west wing, and has a pedimented doorway with a transom and an arched window above. A second row of windows is located just above ground level and lights the lower floor. A third row of windows, illuminating the gallery, is found in the rear wing.
The first floor and second-floor gallery retains its historic integrity, and has fine wood floors and architectural detailing. The foyer leads into a central auditorium with side aisles which can be closed off with french doors. The basement level, not distinguished architecturally, includes meeting rooms and a kitchen. The building is being restored by the White Pine Community Choir Association.
Located at 900 East Aultman Street in Ely, Nevada and added to the National Register of Historic Places (#93000685) on July 29, 1993.
Construction for this large, Victorian Gothic style Smithfield Tabernacle began in 1883, was completed in 1902, and was renovated in 1955. The building is significant as it was the primary place of worship for the LDS community in Smithfield for many decades. The tabernacle was financed and constructed by the local Smithfield LDS Ward congregation. Constructing such a large edifice was unusual for a small congregation. The majority of LDS tabernacles were constructed by and for multiple LDS congregations to meet in a larger congregation called a Stake. The building is also important for its association with the planning and development of Smithfield City, specifically in the use of public space. Typical of early Mormon settlements in the Great Basin region, this large edifice was constructed on the public square to serve as the community center and to establish a feeling of permanence.
From the time of its construction, the Smithfield Tabernacle was the largest building in Smithfield and was the symbolic center of the community. Its distinctive yellow brick was locally manufactured in Smithfield. In addition to religious meetings, the building was used for all large community gatherings, including plays, concerts, graduation ceremonies, and political and agricultural meetings.
When the local LDS congregation outgrew the Smithfield Tabernacle in 1942 and out of concern for the deterioration of the unused building, residents found a new purpose for the building as a much-needed youth recreation center. It served as the only public recreation facility in Smithfield from 1955 until the construction of a new recreation center in 2000. Although some architectural details have been altered or were removed, the building still clearly reflects its original use as a place of worship while accommodating the more recent use as a recreation facility.
Located at 99 West Center Street in Smithfield, Utah and added to the National Historic Register (#100000509) on January 17, 2017
Construction of the Kaysville Tabernacle began in 1912 and the building was dedicated May 24, 1914. When the old adobe meetinghouse, built between 1855 and 1863, became too small, Kaysville architect William Allen was commissioned to design a new church across the street. A groundbreaking ceremony was held July 24, 1912 under the direction of Bishop Henry H. Blood, who later served as Utah’s governor from 1933 to 1941. The Tabernacle combines “modern” and Greek Revival styling and is noted for its beautiful stained glass windows.
The Wellsville Tabernacle is one of two tabernacles in Cache Valley, and dominates the south end of the valley. Built during the years 1902 to 1908, it demonstrates the persistence of the Mormon village form, based on cooperative idealism. In spite of alterations, primarily to the tower, the architectural form and imposing scale make the tabernacle one of the four major landmarks in the Mormon settlements of northern Utah.
Plans for the Wellsville Tabernacle were prepared by the architect C.T. Barrett under the direction of Bishop Evan R. Owen. Ground was broken in 1902 by former Bishop William H. Maughn who had served as bishop for forty years. The cornerstones were laid by Apostle Owen Woodruff and President Seymour B. Young in 1903. It was dedicated June 28, 1908 by Anton H. Lund of the Mormon Church’s First Presidency.
All the materials came from local sources. A rock quarry, a lime kiln and a brickyard were operated by local men. William S. Poppleton supervised the stone work, quarried in nearby Sardine Canyon. Job Miller Sr. made the red brick, which was laid by Fred Douglas and Co. Alex Hill provided the rough lumber from his sawmill in Blacksmith Fork Canyon. Thomas Thorpe Sr. directed the plaster work and the Brenchley Brothers did the iron work. Daniel and William Walters and Francis 0. Gunnell were responsible for the carpentrywork. Professor Emil Hansed, a landscape gardener, supervised the planting of the lawn, shrubs, and trees. The total cost of the building was $65,000.
It was added to the National Register of Historic Places (#80003893) November 26, 1980.
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.