Which was a source of regular frustration in the early years of the Logan temple?
A) The heating system
B) The roof
C) The record-keeping system
D) The landscaping
The answer: B, the roof.
In 1883—before the temple was even completed—a windstorm blew holes into the roof of the Logan temple. And that was just the start. By 1906, the roof had been repaired five times, including once in 1896 when the tin on the roof was blown right off. The roof was replaced in 1909, but still had trouble. In 1917 it had so many holes that the temple presidency requisitioned sixty wash tubs to catch rainwater!
Now for the next temple: St. George.
(Photo courtesy Wikipedia user Ricardo630.)
Note that I’m posting about them in the order I wrote and researched about them, not in the order they were completed. St. George was the first temple dedicated in Utah, and Logan was the second. I’m totally backward.
Like last time, I won’t be discussing historical bits that appear in At the Journey’s End, but (also like last time), below is a photograph of something that is mentioned in the book: the original tower and dome of the St. George temple, much shorter and squatty-looking than Brigham Young wanted it. He didn’t insist the Saints fix it, since they had already sacrificed so much to build the temple. But about a year after his death, lightning struck the tower and they rebuilt it the way he wanted it.
The tower and dome look much more proportional now!
(Photo courtesy Darrin Smith.)
Now for the St. George temple trivia:
1) This was the only Utah temple Brigham Young dedicated, because he died about three months later. At the dedication, he was so weak that he had to be carried room to room inside the temple.
2) The original architectural drawing for the temple featured a tall spire instead of a tower/dome construction.
3) Getting enough wood to build the temple—in the middle of a desert—proved difficult. It had to be cut and hauled in from Mt. Trumbull in northern Arizona, some 70 or 80 miles away. But first the trees had to be lugged to the sawmill in Antelope Springs, about halfway to St. George. The mill was about two miles away from water, so according to the history of Robert Gardner who was in charge of the lumber needs, "it took one man with a team all the time hauling to supply the Mill to keep up steam, and for domestic purposes."
4) The baptismal font and twelve oxen that supported it were made in a foundry in Salt Lake City and then hauled to St. George via railroad and oxen. The font was transported in several pieces and later bolted together. On the way down, the ox drivers had a difficult time keeping US soldiers (who believed they were carrying cannons) and others from peeking into their load. The drivers had a charge not to show the font or oxen to anyone besides bishops and whoever the bishops deemed could see them. The transportation took place during the same time as the John D. Lee trial, so emotions were high.
5) In 1928, a fire broke out in the annex of the temple in the early morning hours and caused several thousand dollars' worth of damage. The fire began in the furnace room shortly after the morning fire had been lit. Without an organized fire department—and with low water pressure—the fire was difficult to fight. Fortunately, it was put out before hurting the temple proper besides smoke damage, but the annex was burned up completely, leaving nothing but the stone walls standing.
Now for the St. George trivia question:
Who served as the first St. George Temple president?
A. Lorenzo Snow
B. Orson Pratt
C. George Albert Smith
D. Wilford Woodruff
Next time we’re going out of chronological order again, because the temple I wrote about third is Salt Lake City, but it was the fourth one dedicated. It’s also the one that’s freshest in my mind because that’s the book I just finished and is slated for release in two months. (Woohoo!)