An Image of the Past: The Cedar City Tabernacle

Frontier Homestead State Park has a large and varied collection of images, documents, magazines, and other archival materials. From time to time, we thought a look into that collection could prove interesting. Today, we are sharing images of the Cedar City Tabernacle. In November of 1851, Cedar City was settled by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for the purposes of mining iron. Once they had fixed the final location of their community, they began the construction of a small social hall to conduct community business. In 1872, local religious leader Christopher J. Arthur suggested replacing this social hall which a much grander structure and on November 2, 1877 the cornerstone was laid for what would become the Cedar City Tabernacle.  The building sat on the corner of Main and Center streets and construction was completed in 1885. In 1909 an electric clock was added to the steeple. The Tabernacle served as the center of worship for many of the community for decades.

The Tabernacle with the District School in the background.

The Tabernacle in the winter.

The Tabernacle

During the difficult times of the Great Depression,many communities, including Cedar City, sought federal funds for the construction of public buildings in hopes of bringing much needed construction jobs to the area. In March of 1931 the Cedar City Chamber of Commerce approached the Cedar City Council seeking financial assistance to acquire the Tabernacle lot for the purposes of building a new Federal building. The vote was unanimous. In 1932, the Tabernacle was torn down and construction began on a new Cedar City Post Office. This building now serves as the City offices.

The Tabernacle stone which sat on the west exterior wall and now resides in the Cedar City Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum