Category Archives: Church Buildings

Trinity African Methodist Episcopal Church

Published / by Martha Hernandez / Leave a Comment

Write up by Martha Hernandez

Placed by: Utah State Historical Society

GPS Coordinates: N 40° 45.390 W 111° 53.025

Historical Marker Text: Organized during the 1880’s by the Reverend T. Saunders, this congregation has served as a focus of Black religious, social, and cultural activity in Utah from territorial days to the present. In 1907 property at this spot was acquired, and a church designed by Hurly Howell was constructed through the sacrifice and energy of the congregation under the Revered T.C. Bell. Restoration was begun in 1976 under the Reverend D.D. Wilson.

Extended Research:
The beginnings of the African Methodist Episcopal church of Salt Lake City can be traced back to an organizational meeting led by Reverend James Saunders on November 1890.[1] Although initially located on Fourth West and Sixth South, the African Methodist Episcopal church switched locations several times between 1890 and 1910. Additional changes took place under the leadership of Reverend McIntyre, including a name change. The A.M.E. Church became the Trinity African Methodist Episcopal church.[2]

Finally, in 1907, after years of holding church meetings in private homes, the congregation of the Trinity African Methodist Episcopal Church fundraised and purchased the land property where the Trinity A.M.E. still stands today. Construction of the church building began in 1909 and restoration took place under Reverend D.D. Wilson in 1976.

The Trinity A.M.E. Church is located at 239 East Martin Luther King Boulevard (600 South) in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Trinity A.M.E. has Gothic revival architecture. The building is small and rectangular with a square tower, stained-glass windows, wooden doors, and a red brick exterior.

In addition to providing religious services, the Trinity A.M.E. played a critical role in the development of community for African Americans in Salt Lake City between 1890 and 1910. Shortly after the founding of the Trinity A.M.E., the African American community in Salt Lake City founded fraternal orders, civic and social clubs, and a women’s club.[3] The small population size of the African American community in Salt Lake City, along with racial prejudice against African Americans at the national level between 1847 and 1910 created the need for spaces where African Americans could worship, congregate, socialize, and support each other.[4] African American churches like Trinity A.M.E. served the spiritual and secular needs of their members.

In 2012 the Trinity A.M.E. Church suffered water damage to its basement walls, which caused attendance to dwindle to about 50 worshipers per week.[5] As of 2017, the Trinity A.M.E. church is a living landmark and continues to serve its congregation by holding religious services including Sunday morning worship, church school, bible study, and special events like film screenings.[6]


[1] Miriam B. Murphy, “African Americans Built Churches.” Utah Historical Quarterly.

[2] Ronald G. Coleman, “A History of Blacks in Utah, 1825-1910”. (PhD dissertation, University of Utah, 1980), 90-91.

[3] Ronald G. Coleman, “African American Community and Politics, 1890-1910,” Utah Historical Quarterly.

[4] George M. Fredrickson, The Black Image in the White Mind: The Debate on Afro-American Character and Destiny, 1817-1914, (New York: Harper & Row, 1971).

[5] Donald W. Myers, “Faiths Rally to Restore Historic Salt Lake City Church”. The Salt Lake Tribune. February 16, 2012.

[6] Kristen Moulton, “Salt Lake City Church Screens Raw but Redemptive ‘Precious’”. The Salt Lake Tribune. July 2, 2010.

For Further Reference:

Primary Sources:

Moulton, Kristen. “Salt Lake City Church Screens Raw but Redemptive ‘Precious’”. The Salt Lake Tribune. July 2, 2010.

Myers W. Donald. “Faiths Rally to Restore Historic Salt Lake City Church”. The Salt Lake Tribune. February 16, 2012.

Secondary Sources:

Coleman G. Ronald. “A History of Blacks in Utah, 1825-1910”. (PhD dissertation, University of Utah, 1980), 90-91.

Coleman G. Ronald. “African American Community and Politics, 1890-1910.” Utah Historical Quarterly.

Fredrickson M. George. The Black Image in the White Mind: The Debate on Afro-American Character and Destiny, 1817-1914, (New York: Harper & Row, 1971).

Murphy B. Miriam. “African Americans Built Churches.” Utah Historical Quarterly.

Brigham Young’s Beehive House

Published / by Joshua Tedeschi / Leave a Comment

Write up by Joshua Tedeschi

Placed by Brigham Young and Truman O. Angell (Later additions by Jon Young)

GPS Coordinates : 40.7696° N, 111.8888° W

Historical Marker Text Part 1: In 1847 after the Mormons arrived to Utah led by Brigham Young, they attempted to settle the Salt Lake Valley. In order to accomplish this goal of developing a society in this region Young had to establish residence in the area and in 1854 with the help of temple architect Truman O. Angell, he was able to construct what would be known as the Beehive House. This house was given its name from the idea that the Mormons had the work ethic of a colony of bees and their togetherness and dedication to being a successful society provided them with the symbol of the beehive and that is why it is seen so frequently throughout the home itself.

Historical Marker Text Part 2: Brigham Young was required to construct such a large home to accommodate his wives seeing that he lived a polygamist lifestyle. However, he did not stay in the same room as any of his family members. Seeing that he had so many people visiting him on a daily basis he preferred to complete these tasks in a room or his office while his first wife, Lucy Decker, was able to take care of household activities from her own quarters. The construction of the Beehive house provided the continuing symbol of the beehive for many years to come and is something that is still seen today in Utah’s society.


Extended Research: Brigham Young, born in June 1801, became the second President of the LDS Church and was credited with the establishment of Salt Lake City when the Mormon pioneers moved west in 1847. Once establishing himself as a devout Mormon and eventual polygamist he ended up marrying 55 women and had over 50 children. The only way to accommodate this kind of family was with a rather large residence and that is how his house in Salt Lake City came into play. Young was an extremely family oriented man but chose to keep business separate from family seeing that he had his room separate from his wives. The decision to separate his bedroom from that of his wife. was strictly business oriented and he finally had something worth working for but even in this time of people coming in and out of his home frequently he set aside a few hours each night at 6:30 to spend time in the family room with his family. Growing up with a job as a carpenter, once Young discovered the Book of Mormon it gave his life a sense of purpose and his arrival in the Salt Lake Valley provided him with a new opportunity to dedicate himself to his religion and to his family. His roll in becoming the president of the Mormon church drastically changed his life in a sense that he was essentially leading a group of people toward freedom and the responsibility that came with having control over the Mormon religion began to take over his everyday routine. Throughout his life however, Young always lived a middle class lifestyle and never had any fancy belongings or luxuries that would let you know that he was the leader of the Mormon community. It was not until Young’s passing and his son Jon took over the residence and ended up adding a large portion onto the home and could substantially tell the difference because Jon was a wealthy businessman. The Beehive house in itself represents much more than just the life of Brigham Young, it provides insight into how the Mormons settled and developed that Salt Lake Valley and why it is shaped into the city it is today. Young’s ability to balance both family and running the church is clearly revealed when examining his home because he was able to keep them strictly separated yet still made substantial time for both. His home holds a substantial piece in Utah history because it reveals how those migrating to Utah were able to come together as a society to create the lifestyle that they had wished to live out from their creation.  The beehive is a perfect representation of what it took for the Mormons to create a society in which they could peacefully live outside of government grasp and continue moving forward as a people that would eventually be accepted into the United States Culture. Unfortunately for them, their attempt at a peaceful move outside of US control turned out to be not so peaceful and actually led to much larger conflict in which the Mormons were seen as a group of people who were a plague to the rest of America.

(Blueprint of Temple to be constructed in Valley in Brigham Young’s office)

(Recurring theme of bees carved into wood beams)

(Brigham Young’s bedroom)

(Family Room)

(Painting of Salt Lake Valley during Mormon settlement)



Secondary Sources

Hendricks, Rickey Lynn. “Landmark Architecture for a Polygamous Family: The Brigham Young Domicile, Salt Lake City, Utah.” The Public Historian, vol. 11, no. 1, 1989, pp. 25–47.,

“Little-Told History” of Beehive House and Lion House”, R. Scott Lloyd

“Women at home in the Beehive House” Natalie R

Primary Sources

“Brigham Young at Home” Clarissa Young Spencer

Beehive House Personal tour

Cathedral of the Madeleine

Published / by Stephanie Gladwin / Leave a Comment

Cathedral of the Madeleine

Write up and Photos by: Stephanie Gladwin


Historical Marker Transcription: Cathedral of the Madeleine: Begun the land purchase in 1889 dedicated 1909. Architects C.M. Neuhausen, B.O. Mecklenburg, John Comes. Built under leadership of Bishop Lawrence Scanlan with monies from the pius fund, mining philanthropists, and parishoners.

The Historical Marker was originally placed by: the Utah State Historical Society

Cathedral of the Madeleine Marker Coordinates: 

40.7696° N, 111.8817° W

Extended Research:

Land to build the Cathedral of the Madeleine was purchased in 1890 by Utah’s first Catholic Bishop, Lawrence Scanlan. Construction of the Cathedral started in 1900, was completed in 1909, and was dedicated the same year on August 16th.[1]

The Salt Lake Herald  covered the grand dedication of the Cathedral of St. Mary Magdalen. The Herald called the cathedral “One of the most magnificent Temples of Worship in the entire West” [2] and described it as a “Monument of the progress of the West and of America.” [3]

Bishop Lawrence Scanlan requested at the time of the dedication that the choir sing his favorite hymn, “Home Sweet Home,”[4] a song enjoyed by the thousands of parishioners who attended the grand event. At the time of the dedication, there were 10,000 Utah Catholics.[5]

Father Scanlan wanted the cathedral to serve many purposes. He thought it could serve as a home for Utah Catholics but also to serve as a representation that although Catholics in Utah were “small in number, [they] were rooted and powerful around the world.”[6] The Cathedral was double the size and cost than was originally planned. [7]  It was modeled after traditional Romanesque architecture on the exterior and Gothic on the interior. The traditional shape of the Cathedral represented the power of the Holy Roman Church throughout world history.[8]

Renaming of the Cathedral from St. Mary Magdalen to Madeleine came from Utah’s Second Bishop Joseph Glass, a very traditional Catholic. Glass had spent time in Europe before his death in 1926. He remodeled the interior of the Cathedral to better reflect the traditional Holy Roman Catholic Church, especially through art and interior design. He also renamed the Cathedral as the Cathedral of the Madeleine, with a French spelling to remind him of his time in France before his death.[9] Both Father Scanlan and Father Glass have been canonized within the Salt Lake City Catholic Diocese for their leadership on the construction of the Cathedral and the fiscal responsibility that came with it. They were not only able to pay off the debts of the Cathedral, but did so during the Great Depression.[10]

Since the Catholic community in Salt Lake City is still active in community affairs, it is important to not only recognize its historical importance in Utah but also the role that it plays in the 21st century. The Latino community is especially still impacted by the Catholic diocese and Cathedral today.[11] The Cathedral serves as a place for celebration, tradition, education, and culture for the growing Latino Community in Salt Lake City. The Salt Lake City Diocese served 291,000 Catholics in 2014.[12]

Since the 2008 U.S. presidential election, the Catholic leadership and Latter-day Saint leadership in Utah have worked hand in hand to promote a “moral” vision and maintain a conservative political stance. In a speech given by Chicago Bishop Frances George visiting Salt Lake City, he said,

“One of the high points of the centennial celebrations of the Catholic Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City was the presence of LDS President Thomas S. Monson at a multi-faith service on August 10, 2009, honoring the cathedral’s civic engagements. At the service, President Monson spoke eloquently about the enduring friendships that Catholics and Latter-day Saints have forged by together serving the needs of the poor and the most troubled of society. Through such shared dedication, he noted, we will ‘eliminate the weakness of one standing alone and substitute, instead, the strength of many working together.’”[13]

This speaks to the modern relationship between the Catholic Community in the Latter-day Saint dominated state of Utah. The Cathedral still serves as a hub for Utah Catholicism and now functions as a place for public outreach and interfaith dialogue..


[1] Productions, Third Sun, The Cathedral of the Madeleine: History of the Cathedral (Salt Lake City, Utah: Cathedral of the Madeleine,2013), 1.

 [2] “Dedication, St. Mary’s Cathedral,” Salt Lake Herald, August 16, 1909.

[3] “Dedication,” Salt Lake Herald, August 16, 1909.

[4] “Dedication,” Salt Lake Herald, August 16, 1909.

[5] Kristen Moulton, “Cathedral of the Madeleine: A Century of Faith Set in Stone” Salt Lake Tribune, August 7, 2009.

[6]  Moulton, “A Century of Faith Set in Stone.

[7] Productions Third Sun, History of the Cathedral.

[8] Moulton, “A Century of Faith Set in Stone.”

[9] Moulton, “A Century of Faith Set in Stone.”

[10] Moulton, “A Century of Faith Set in Stone.”

[11] Productions Third Sun, History of the Cathedral.

[12] Productions Third Sun, History of the Cathedral.

[13] Francis George, “Catholics and Latter-Day Saints: Partners in the Defense of Religious Freedom” (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Speeches, 2009-2010), 2.

Secondary Sources:

Primary Sources:

See image gallery for primary source photographs taken of the 1909 dedication.

St. George Tabernacle

Published / by admin / 1 Comment on St. George Tabernacle

write-up by Alan Johnson

Placed by: Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, No. 97

GPS Coordinates: 37° 6′ 29″ N, 113° 34′ 58″ W

Historical Marker Text (1):

 In 1863, Orson Pratt, Amasa M. Lyman, Erastus Snow, apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, laid the cornerstones 18 months after pioneers arrived in St. George. Truman O. Angell, Sr., Architect. Miles Romney, Supt. Of Construction, assisted by Edw. L. Parry, Archibald McNeil, Samuel Judd, Wm. Burt, David Milne and many others. Peter Neilson gave $600 cash. Tower capstone laid Dec. 1871. Costing over $110,000, it was dedicated 14 May 1876 by Brigham Young Jr.

Historical Marker Text (2):

Brigham Young’s purpose in building this tabernacle was to provide an ornament to the city. It’s 3 foot thick basement walls of hand-cut limestone bear individual stonecutter marks. Roof trusses were hand-hewn and the twin spiral staircases with balust-rades were also hand-carved. The ceiling and cornice work were locally cast, but the 4-faced clock was made in London. Started in 1863, the building was completed in 1871.

Photo Credit: (accessed on 9.19.16)

Extended Research:

 In the fall of 1862, Brigham Young asked the settlers of southern Utah to build a tabernacle, stating that it “will be not only useful but also an ornament to your city and a credit to your energy and enterprise.”[1] Asking the settlers of St. George to begin building a tabernacle within a year of their arrival meant that President Young intended this settlement to be permanent. Brigham Young remained intimately involved in the planning and construction of the St. George Tabernacle until its completion and provided encouragement and needed resources to the workers. St. George residents built the tabernacle while they were living in tents, sleeping on the ground, and trying to establish their own farms and businesses.

Brigham Young served as the initial architect of the building, in collaboration with Erastus Snow, leader of the St. George settlement. The two exchanged several letters in 1862 and 1863 discussing the type of building to be constructed, materials, dimensions, and general style. The decision to construct the building from sandstone came from these letters.

Main Hall Ceiling.

In form, the St. George Tabernacle is a typical New England meetinghouse in the Colonial-Georgian style. What makes it different from other New England meetinghouses is its monumental size and sandstone exterior. The St. George Tabernacle construction was primarily a public works project rather than being financed by individuals or private companies. Workers were paid with Church tithing funds and settlers from all over southern Utah Territory either worked on the building or provided goods to aid in its construction. The tabernacle was a public works project in part to stimulate the local economy. There were not very many business opportunities in early St. George, and many of the tabernacle construction workers were also farmers struggling to raise enough crops to support a family.

Ceiling trusses.

St. George residents began meeting in the tabernacle as soon as the building was sufficiently completed. Starting in 1869, many meetings were held in the basement as work continued on the main floor. Meetings were then held on the main floor while finishing work was completed in the basement. Meetings then moved back to the basement while finishing work was done on the main floor. The Saints met regularly in the unfinished building and were overjoyed when it was finally completed and dedicated on May 14, 1876, just a year before the completion of the St. George Temple. The St. George Tabernacle was used as a meeting place for St. George Stake meetings, ward functions, and community events through the 1970s. The Church undertook a restoration and preservation project on the tabernacle in 1992, which solidified the tabernacle’s place as a Church historic landmark.[2]

Interior Wall.

[1] Brigham Young to Erastus Snow, Oct. 1, 1862, St. George Stake Manuscript History, Church History Library.

[2] This content is pulled largely from internal training materials produced by the Church History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

For Further Reference:

Primary Sources:

Minutes of meetings held in the upper room of St. George Tabernacle, 1872 December 28-29, Brigham Young office files; Journals, 1832-1877; Journals, Minutes, and Itineraries, 1844- 1877, Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints., Call Number: CR 1234 1.

Brigham Young to Erastus Snow, Oct. 1, 1862, St. George Stake Manuscript History, Church History Library.

Secondary Sources:

West, Ester. Counting on faith: the story of the St. George Tabernacle windows /retold and illustrated by Ester West. Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Call Number: M287.2 W516c 2015.

Pine Valley Chapel

Published / by admin / Leave a Comment

write-up by Alan Johnson

Placed by: Division of State History, N-20

GPS Coordinates: 37° 23′ 39″ N, 113° 30′ 56″ W

Historical Marker Text:

Built in 1868. Designed after the New England Chapel pattern by Ebenezer Bryce, a ship builder, who said he was building it like a ship.

Extended Research:

In response to a call from Brigham Young, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a group of pioneer settlers made their way to southern Utah to colonize and serve as missionaries to the Native Americans in the area. Jacob Hamblin, William Hamblin, Isaac Riddle, and their families were part of this group. In the summer of 1855, while out herding cattle, Isaac Riddle came upon Pine Valley.  In just a few years, Pine Valley became home to an operating lumber mill that supplied some of the needed building materials for the St. George Temple and Tabernacle.

After some time, those in Pine Valley desired a permanent church building. President Brigham Young and the local church leaders, Erastus Snow and his brother William Snow supported the idea and Ebenezer Bryce was asked to plan and construct the chapel. Bryce worked out the final plans with the local church leaders and with a group of faithful workers the chapel was constructed, which is still in use today, making it one of the longest continuously operated chapels in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The building was rewired for electricity in the 1960s, and bathrooms were installed in the area under the exterior staircase. The small attic room (commonly called “The Prayer Room”) was also completed. In 1971, the Pine Valley Chapel was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. In 1998, a replica of the Meetinghouse was built and is found at This is the Place Heritage Park.

Additional information at the site.

The chapel received a seismic upgrade from 2000 to 2004, in which all of the windows, siding, roof and exterior siding were replaced. There were also some interior cosmetic fixes. The chapel was dedicated on May 15, 2005 by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland.

For Further Reference:

Secondary Sources:

Elder Jeffery R. Holland rededicates a chapel in Pine Valley, Utah. Spectrum (St. George, Utah), 2005 May 16.

Jensen, Cory. Ebenezer Bryce served an apprenticeship in shipyards in his native Scotland. After joining the Church and emigrating to Utah, he began construction on the chapel in Pine Valley, completing the building in 1867. Folklore about the building states that Bryce built the building like a ship. No documentation has been found to support this folklore. Heritage (Utah Heritage Foundation Newsletter). Vol. 35: No. 1 (Winter 2001), page(s) 16-17.

Utt, Emily. Pine Valley Meetinghouse and Tithing Office Statement of Significance, (2010).

Deseret News Publishing Company (2016). Beautiful little chapel. Retrieved from

National Park Service (n.d.). National Register of Historic Places. Retrieved from

Pine Valley Record. Records. Church History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah [LR 6941 2 FILMING 2]

This is the Place Heritage Park (2016). Pine Valley Chapel. Retrieved from

Additional photos:

Interior view of the rafters.

Inside the chapel, ceiling fixtures.