“On Saturday, the 13th inst. The doors of the Carnegie library will be thrown open to the public and any citizen may take out books under the rules and regulations of the library. Under the administration of ex-Mayor A. A. Walters, negotiations began with Andrew Carnegie and the location for the library procured. The drawing of plans by several architects, was unsatisfactory and Mayor Walter’s term of office expired before any great results could be obtained. Mayor Henry Marshall took office in January, 1910, and took active means to push along the library. He discharged the architects, then employed and secured plans from Ulmer & Son that were acceptable to Mr. Carnegie. The contract was let to Miller Brothers of Tooele last May and the building was finished in November. The cost was close to $6,000. Only $5,000 was given by Mr. Carnegie so that the city had to raise the balance. There is a library and gymnasium fund, and there was over $1,000 in that fund, so the council decided to draw from that fund and pay off the library indebtedness. There are over 600 volumes in the library.” – The Tooele Times – Thursday, May 11, 1911
Although not the first library in Tooele, the Carnegie library was the first FREE public library. As the Times article above states, the Tooele Carnegie Library was built in 1911 with a $5000 grant from millionaire/philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. The conditions upon which all Carnegie grants were given were that the recipient community donate the building site for the library, and promised to provide at least $500 per year for the upkeep and operation of the library building. Designed by Salt Lake City based architect Frank M. Ulmer, the Tooele Carnegie Library, which, complete with books, cost a total of $6500, was officially opened on May 10, 1911.
This page is for the Sons of Utah Pioneers historic marker on the building, the page directly for the building itself is located here: Tooele Carnegie Library
Built in 1911, the Tooele Carnegie Library is significant as one of sixteen remaining Carnegie libraries of the twenty-three built in Utah. Thirteen of the sixteen library buildings maintain their original integrity and are included in the Carnegie Library Thematic Resource Nomination. In addition to making important contributions to public education in their respective communities, these libraries are Utah’s representatives of the important nation-wide Carnegie library program, and they document its unparalleled effect in the establishment of community-supported, free public libraries in Utah.
Located at 47 East Vine Street in Tooele, Utah and added to the National Historic Register (#84000420) on October 29, 1984.
The Tooele Carnegie Library was built in 1911 with a $5000 grant from millionaire/philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie funded the construction of over 1650 library buildings in the U.S., 23 of which were built in Utah communities. The conditions upon which all Carnegie grants were given were that the recipient community donate the building site and provide an annual maintenance budget of at least 10% of the grant amount. The city of Tooele provided the books and building site for the library, and promised to provide at least $500 per year for the upkeep and operation of the library building. Designed by Salt Lake City based architect Frank M. Ulmer, the Tooele Carnegie Library, which, complete with books, cost a total of $6500, was officially opened on May 10, 1911.
Although the Carnegie library was the first building constructed and used specifically for library purposes in Tooele, it was not the first library organized in the city. The Tooele City Library Association was first organized in February 1864 under a territorial legislative charter. Due to financial difficulties brought about by the Association’s involvement in the construction of a social hall in the town, the book collection was taken over by the Tooele (LDS church) Ward Ecclesiastical Board in 1878. Members of the library were assessed annual dues to cover the operation expenses of the library and to pay the $35 annual salary of the librarian. The library operated out of the social hall (known as the Opera House), which it shared with other community activities. A private, fiction library was opened in Tooele in 1893 by William C. Foster, secretary of the library association. Foster, who operated his library until his death in 1906, rented out books for a fee of 25tf per month. The $5000 Carnegie grant enabled the city to replace those private, user-funded libraries with the city-supported Tooele Free Public Library. It has continued to serve as the city’s library up to the present, although the original building was expanded in 1973 by a major addition on the west. Despite that addition, the building retains its original integrity.
The Tooele Carnegie Library is a long rectangular building set on a slight hill so that from the façade it appears to be a one story building, but it actually drops off to two stories in the rear. It is oriented gable end to the street, resembling a temple-form building, with a door centered between two windows, and has a portico spanning the façade. The low pitch of the gable roof, the domestic scale of the building and porch, and the use of fish-scale shingles in the gable section are reminiscent of bungalows that were being built at the same time. The symmetrical arrangement of openings on the façade, the returns of the cornice, and the wide frieze of the entablature, however, counter the domestic character and emphasize Classical Revival influences.
Alterations to the Tooele Carnegie Library include the addition of a large brick wing on the west side of the building in 1973, which cuts into the west wall of the library building, and the painting of the exterior brick walls (n.d.). These changes, however, do not substantially affect the original integrity of the building. The addition was set back far enough that the façade of the library is completely unaffected by the addition. The 1973 addition visually joins the library building with the 1867 stone Tooele County Courthouse/City Hall on the west, although the addition is joined to the courthouse only at the roof level and the two buildings neither share a common wall nor are connected on their interiors. The Tooele County Courthouse/City Hall was listed in the National Register in 1983.
The old Broadway Hotel (built in 1911) at Broadway and Date in Tooele, Utah (145 N Broadway Ave) stands majestic and abandoned for now, there has been talk over the years of restoring it but nothing happening yet. I love the big cool looking building.
This area was first settled beginning in 1856. In 1934, a large area of some 33 square miles, comprising the settlements of Clover, St. John, and Vernon, was incorporated into a town called Onaqui. The incorporation was essentially a bureaucratic tactic to secure federal aid for development of municipal infrastructure, including from the Rural Electrification Administration. When the people of Vernon were granted a petition to incorporate separately on 22 February 1972, the remaining town was renamed Rush Valley.
Saltair has been several resorts on the shore of the Great Salt Lake. The first was built in 1893 and designed by Richard K.A. Kletting, resting on over 2,000 posts holding it above the water. It burned down in 1925.
The replacement, Saltair II also burned down, this time in 1931.
William and Emma J. Hughes Ajax The unique two-story underground building was established in 1870. Shortly thereafter a post office called “Centre” was added. The building was 80 x 100 feet, in some places the lower floor was 20 feet below ground. The excavation was done by William Ajax using a shovel and wheelbarrow. The building’s support timbers were cut from juniper and pine trees. These trees were located in the mountains west of here where he walked to and from each day to cut the timbers. The roof was constructed of poles covered with juniper boughs, sod and clay. The store was illuminated by sunlight coming through south-facing windows in the roof. Shoppers were offered a wide variety of merchandise, food, clothing, housewares, hardware, tools and medicine. Goods were arranged in department store style. It was estimated the value of the merchandise was in excess of $70,000.
Patrons came from the mining camps, sheep and cattle ranches and the communities of Rush and Vernon Valley. Meals and lodging for travelers were provided. Their livestock was also cared for in sheds and corrals located west of the present highway. Wild grass-hay was cut in nearby meadows. It was sold to miners in Stockton, Ophir and Mercur. The coming of the railroad through Rush Valley made supplies and travel more accessible, thus ending much of the need for a store in the area. William Ajax died in 1899, his family operated the store until 1914 when they liquidated the merchandise.
The building was abandoned, and later it was burned, (perhaps railroad transients camping at the building). All that remains are the mounds of dirt just east of the monument.
This illustration depicts the living quarters where meals and lodging were provided. A portion of the underground store was under this building.
See other historic markers in the series on this page for SUP Markers.
Richville was located between Lake Point and Tooele near the former site of E. T. City. Saw, woolen, and flour mills were built nearby and subsequently names were developed: Mills, Milton, Millvale, and Milltown. For a short period of time Richville was the county seat. After the county seat was moved to Tooele and the mills shut down, the community was abandoned. Today it is Mills Junction.
The U-138 exit from I-80 leads into a brief corridor of gas stations and convenience stores and continues through present-day Lake Point and Mills Junctions, two adjacent communities whose borders essentially overlap. This corridor was an important meeting place in pioneer times.
Near here, Adobe Rock, a large outcrop at the northwest point of the Oquirrh Mountains, was a favorite pioneer rendezvous spot. Its name came from a small adobe house Captain Howard Stansbury (a U.S. surveyer of the area) had built nearby to house his herders. It was the site of many travelers’ camps and a familiar point of reference. The Donner party camped near Adobe Rock in 1846. On July 27, 1847, apostle Orson Pratt and two other men climbed to the top of the rock to get a view of the Tooele Valley. Later, when Brigham Young came to visit the settlements, this was where he was greeted.
Mormon Pioneers quickly took advantage of mountain streams in the area to power their gristmills. The mills were eventually closed, and by 1889 the town of Mills Junction was abandoned. The Benson mill, constructed in 1854 by the grandfather of Ezra Taft Benson, and LDS apostle and two-term secretary of agriculture under President Eisenhower who later became LDS Church president, has been restored and operates as a museum. The mill is open from April through October.(*)