Castle Dale Stake Center new remodel
On March 20, the historic Castle Dale Stake Center building was rededicated by Pres. Allan M. Sharp, president of the Castle Dale Utah Stake, following a remodeling project that lasted approximately two years.
Sharp said, "Although this Castle Dale Stake Center was completed in 1950, it was the result of more than 15 years of planning. On Jan. 10, 1935, the leaders of the Castle Dale Ward first made contact with the presiding Bishop's office concerning the building of a new chapel. The request was favorably met and in July of 1937, a survey was taken on a plot of land to determine its suitability for a new church and amusement hall.
"There were some people who were concerned that the money and labor needed would be hard to come up with. The cost of the original building was estimated to be $50,000, $30,000 from the church and $20,000 from the local members, half in labor and donations of material and the other half in cash. Carlos Larsen, then president of the Elders Quorum spoke to the ward and committed the quorum and the other members as well to get behind the project and in June of 1939 Bishop E.A. Nielson returned from Salt Lake where he had conferred with church authorities and announced that arrangements had been made to begin work immediately to build a modern church house. The building was to be built where the old one had been so it would be razed before construction could begin. The Emery Stake building on the park square was to be left intact.
"Construction, however, did not begin immediately because of the outbreak of World War II. A few years later the original plans were canceled because it called for a flat roof, which the church architect would not allow to be used anymore. The original plans had been taken from a meeting house in Raymond, Canada. Rather than waiting for a year for new plans to be drawn up, L.T. Hunter, chairman of the building committee, decided to use the same plans that had been drawn up for the Granger Ward in the North Jordan Stake. At the same time Pres. E.G. Luke suggested that the building be constructed as a combined ward and stake center. That suggestion was quickly adopted and all the leaders in the Emery Stake and all of the wards agreed.
"In April of 1948, an exact location, this very one, was decided upon and actual construction began shortly thereafter.
"The original plans estimated that 300,000 adobe interior bricks would be required, and on July 21, 1940 the adobe brick making operation began. Soil for the bricks came from the Earl Seely farm because it had the right proportion of sand and clay and made a whiter brick that most other soils available. Allen Jones was in charge of the operation and Chris Jensen from Ferron, an expert brick kiln man, was employed to burn the bricks. Three large kilns sat where the parking lot is now. About 3,500 adobes (molded but unburned bricks) were made daily. That number quickly went up to 5,000 and by August, 90,000 were placed in the kilns for firing. Teenage girls had molded 12,000 of them. Many of the boys and men were up at the sawmills preparing lumber but helped as well after they came down and before school started. By September of that year, 250,000 adobes had been made and fired. Once again, because of the war, these bricks were either sealed up in the kilns, or buried in the ground to try to preserve them.
"As you can see, the walls of the chapel and the first floor of the original building are 12-13 inches thick, and were made by eight inch adobe interior brick and the outside face brick. The top floor has only four inch adobes behind the face brick making them 8-8.5 inches thick.
"The war ended in 1945 and the fundraising began that same year. Many of these donations have been documented. They consisted of lumber, the use of trucks and equipment, building materials, and even the first boiler was donated, and although it was used rusted on the outside, it was cleaned and served for many years.
"On July 8, 1951, the new stake/ward house was dedicated in an official ceremony conducted by David O. McKay, newly installed president of the Church. We have a rich heritage that is and always will be seen in this beautiful building, this house of worship, the first such building in Emery County," said Sharp.