Logan tabernacle, a tourists treat

The popular Noon Concert Series attracts hundreds of people to hear local musicians like the Fry Street Quartet that performed recently.

The Logan Tabernacle is a unique building in Cache Valley; it is a tourist magnet, a community gathering place and a place of Sunday Worship.

Daniel Starks the building caretaker of the Logan Tabernacle loves to talk about the edifice, it’s history and what it means to residents and visitors alike.

When people come down Main St. for the first time, the historic tabernacle stands out. The building was built by early pioneers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and completed in 1891. It took  27 years of hard unpaid labor using all local materials to complete the structure.

The tabernacle is generally open for visitors during the day and staffed by volunteer tour guides. This year the guides are from the Providence area. The guides greet people as they enter, and offer tours of the building, including information on its history.

“We are open from Memorial Day to Labor Day,” said Vern Osmond, the tour guide coordinator. “We were open 26 days in June and had close to 800 visitors from all over the world.”

Osmond’s records show they had visitors from Russia, Holland, China, Finland, Austria, India, France and England during their first month.

“It was built and dedicated for a community gathering place,” Osmond said. “That’s why we can hold things like Summerfest, community concerts, and Christmas and Easter programs here.”

The Logan Tabernacle located at 50 Main Street is a historical landmark visited by thousands of tourists a year.

Osmond’s visitor numbers don’t include the visitors that attend the Noon Concert series, held Monday through Friday, which generally attracts about 200 visitors per day.

The Noon Concerts are really a highlight for many of the Arizona crowd that spend their summers in university housing,” Osmond explained.  “There are also generally over 200 genealogist who come daily and use the Family History Center, in the basement of the building.”

Many visitors are interested in the organ, with its 2,850 pipes that fill the east wall of the building.  It is the fifth largest organ in the state behind, the Tabernacle at Temple Square with 11,623 pipes, the conference center organ with 7,708 pipes, Cathedral of the Madeline organ  (4,066 pipes) and the Ogden Tabernacle (approximately 3,000 pipes and 60 ranks).

“I like to talk to folks about the organ,” said Daniel Starks the building caretaker. “We are so blessed to have the grand organ we have, it’s a classic.”

The Opus 620 pipe organ was originally installed in 1908 and last upgraded in 2009.

Starks will sometimes play the organ when given the opportunity.

“We are so blessed to have this building in our Valley,” Starks said. “It is a multifaceted building.”

He mentioned that there is a committee of community members, not all of the Latter-day Saint faith, who decide what programs they will have.

“The Tabernacle is a registered historic building, so they can’t make any major changes to the building without authorization,” he said. “The Christmas holiday season is especially nice, it brings a lot of children.  The tabernacle is widely used that that time of year.”

Martin Gonzalez a maintenance worker repairs the light that illuminates the pedals of the organ at the Logan Tabernacle.

Paul Phillips, who does maintenance for the building, said before the Family History Center dominated the basement area, it was a community area for dances and other gatherings.

In 1885, the building was used for the semi-annual General Conference of the Church.  The building was a gathering place for the Cache Stake, which at one time stretched from Calgary Canada to the north and Salt Lake to the south.

The tabernacle sits on eight acres of well-manicured lawns and large shade trees.

Most people visiting the Logan Tabernacle want to know about the organ with its 2,850 pipes the fifth largest in Utah.

 

The Geneology Center in the basement of the Logan Tabernacle sees about 200 visitors a day.
Brenda And Rob Dickey are volunteer tour guides at the Logan Tabernacle. During the month of June they had 800 people form several different countries visit the Historic Building on Main Street.

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