History of Old Rock Church
Construction on the Old Rock Church started in 1869 and finished in 1872. The rock walls are 30 inches thick and 20 feet tall. The Rock Church was a Latter Day Saint meeting house that doubled as a town hall. The community would gather for church, theater, and dance. By the community it was referred to as “The Hall” then the “The Church” and later affectionately known and respected as “The Old Rock Church”. The South wing was added in 1926 for classroom space. Both the Chapel and the South Wing are on the national registry of historic places. Western U.S. settlement leader and Prophet Brigham Young even came to visit the Providence Church and in his old age hit the outside corner of the rock with his cane and proclaimed that the building would stand for centuries. This 150 year old building is one of Utah’s oldest, and the History is worth experiencing.
The following is a direct copy of the plaque that was placed on our grounds in recognition of the historic importance of the Old Rock Church
A symbol of heritage listed on the National Registry of Historic Places in recognition of its architectural and historic significance, and to encourage it’s preservation. The 1869 completion of the transcontinental railroad ended an Era, that of Utah’s overland Pioneers. For 23 years, Mormon settlers, “gathering to Zion’- a place where they could worship freely-had endured epic journeys of persistence and relentless tribulation, the best organized mass migration in American history. Leaving ancestral homes, established members and new converts, many just from the “old country” followed various routs to the “Mormon trail,” 1,300 miles of prairie, rivers, desert and mountains, which they trekked with covered wagons and handcarts. A few of these pioneers were the founders of Providence.
On Novermber 8, 1869 Church members decided it was time to construct a rock meetinghouse. Demonstration architectural skills, craftsmanship and work ethic, the stalwart settlers quarried rock, milled lumber, forged iron, and within 2 years erected this edifice: Church, cultural hall and community center complete with theater and dance floor. It was classic Pioneer architecture emblematic of the settlement of the American west. Enlarged over time to meet the needs of the growing community, it was the heart and soul of Providence where citizens would worship, socialize, work, play, and carry on traditions.
In 1969, the Church sold this site, ushering in yet another era. A precious legacy for all citizens, this Providence icon, though no longer a church, remains a living historic landmark where people come together and interact as we grow to embrace diversity. The rocks, mortar, beams and braces bind the generations in heritage. Our stewardship responsibility is to preserve it, utilize it as a community resource, honor the pioneer memory and perpetuate what is good. Heritage is the essence of the community, the sturdy foundation upon which we live our lives, feel a sense of place and pursue a vibrant future.
The Old Rock Church belongs to the Ages
The Rock Church ceased to operate as a Church meeting house and was purchased by a private owner. It has been a fabric store with reception center, a private home and assisted living center, and its current use as a B&B and event center.