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Utah’s Latest Additions to the National Register

Check out the latest historic properties in Utah listed on the National Register of Historic Places: the Smithfield Tabernacle, Smithfield, Cache County; the Thomas Clark & Millie Callister House, Fillmore, Millard County; and the J.M. Wilbur & Company Blacksmith Shop, Eden, Weber County.

Smithfield Tabernacle
Smithfield, Cache County

Statement of Significance: The Smithfield Tabernacle/Youth Recreation Center, located in Smithfield, Cache County, was constructed in 1902 (construction commenced in 1883) and renovated in 1955.  The building is locally significant under Criteria A in the areas of Religion and Community Planning and Development, as well as the areas of Social History and Entertainment/Recreation.  In the area of Religion, the building is significant as it was the primary place of worship for the Latter-day Saint (LDS or Mormon) community in Smithfield for many decades. The Smithfield Tabernacle was financed and constructed by the local Smithfield Ward congregation which was unusual for a small congregation to construct such a large edifice. The vast majority of LDS tabernacles were constructed by and for multiple Latter-day Saint congregations to meet together in a larger congregation called a Stake.  It should be noted that this falls under Criteria Consideration A as the Smithfield Tabernacle was originally a religious-use building.  However, the building is also significant for reasons other than religious use.  In the area of Community Planning and Development it is significant for its association with the planning and development of Smithfield City, specifically in the development and 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.  In the areas of Social History and Entertainment/Recreation the building is significant as an important gathering place for community and recreational purposes. From the time of its construction the Smithfield Tabernacle was the largest building in Smithfield and was the symbolic center of the community.  As such it was used for all large community gatherings including plays, concerts, graduation ceremonies, and political and agricultural meetings, in addition to religious services. When the local LDS congregation outgrew the Smithfield Tabernacle in 1942, out of concern for the deterioration of the unused building, which had been an icon the community, 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 the Smithfield Tabernacle had significant architectural changes when remodeled as the Youth Recreation Center, the building remains a strong representation of the development and use of public space in the Smithfield City as well as a social and recreational facility at the heart of the community. Although some architectural details are 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. The period of significance is from the time of construction in 1902 to the end of the historic period in 1966.

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Thomas Clark & Millie Callister House
Fillmore, Millard County

Statement of Significance: The Thomas Clark and Millie Callister House, constructed 1896 in Fillmore, Millard County, is locally significant under Criteria A and B.  Under Criterion A the house is significant in the area of Communication. The Callister House served as the main office of the Millard County Telegraph and Telephone Company for 15 years. The main switchboard was operated by Mildred “Millie” Callister, wife of Thomas Clark Callister. This was the first telephone switchboard in the county and provided phone service for the entire county. Under Criterion B the house is significant in the area of Politics and Government. Thomas Clark Callister lived here while serving as mayor for two terms from 1917 to 1920. As one of Fillmore’s most influential mayors, he was a well-known engineer who spearheaded much of Millard County’s water and irrigation infrastructure during his time in office. His work as county surveyor and engineer was attributed to controlling flood and erosion of the Fillmore Mountains. Thomas Clark also was a prominent businessman, who owned the Millard County Telegraph and Telephone Company and was chairman to several committees in his lifetime, including the Library Loan and American Red Cross.  The period of significance is 1907 to c.1922. This covers the period the house was purchased by the Callisters and the telephone switchboard was installed until the operation was moved to another building, c.1922. This also includes the two terms Clark Callister served as Mayor of Fillmore, from 1917-1920.

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J.M. Wilbur Company Blacksmith Shop
Eden, Weber County

Statement of Significance: The J.M.Wilbur Company Blacksmith Shop, built in 1895 and rehabilitated 2011-2014, is a brick, one-part block commercial building with a stepped gable parapet and Late Victorian Commercial details. The building is historically significant under Criteria A. The period of significance dates from 1895, when it was built by Jesse Wilbur, to1951, when Jesse passed away. Jesse partnered with his son Glenn in 1924, and they used this building as a commercial outlet providing primarily blacksmithing and other related services to local farmers and the surrounding communities. Following Jesse’s death, Glenn carried on the business for two more decades. It is significant under Criterion A in the areas of Industry and Commerce because it provided essential services in a developing community and played a vital role in the development and success of the village of Eden, Utah and surrounding Ogden Valley.  The building was originally designed and constructed to facilitate the needs of the blacksmithing industry—a once very common and necessary business in frontier life—and is the only known continuously functioning blacksmith shop remaining in the region. Following a recent careful rehabilitation, the building continues to operate as a blacksmith shop today.

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The National Register of Historic Places is the official federal list of properties that are significant in American history, architecture, archaeology, or engineering.

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