Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Part of our Heritage, The Paris Tabernacle

A Part of our Heritage, The Paris Tabernacle
As we were driving through Paris, Idaho yesterday I couldn't resist stopping and taking a couple of quick pictures. The Paris Tabernacle has always had a special place in my heart. I remember dad telling me that it was there after a conference that he first saw mom. They were both fourteen years old. He said that from that moment on he knew that she was the girl he would one day want to marry. I also remember the Stake Conference meetings we attended there as I was growing up. I remember listening to some of the Apostles and even President David O. McKay in that building. I remember my Seminary graduation and that we had a special speaker, A. Theodore Tuttle, who came to our little graduation ceremony (there were only about thirty of us in that graduating class) and addressed us. He went on to be one of the leaders of the Church and a General Authority for many years. It was there that I graduated from Fielding High School in 1958. I remember going to special patriotic programs that were held in the Tabernacle each year in celebration of Independence Day on the Fourth of July. I remember being involved in special dramatic production when I was the Stake Young Men's President in the Paris Idaho Stake. It was called RX, Take Thou the Following. I'm not sure where that title came from, but it had a special spiritual meaning and turned out to be a great success. Iris and I even attended an Original Opera written by one of the Call brothers from Star Valley that had its premier performance in the Paris Tabernacle. Of course, an improvised stage was created for these productions. I'm sure it was not world class, but it was a definite treat for Bear Lakers and others who filled the Tabernacle. I'm sure many of the rest of our family have special memories of this place in their lives as well.

The exterior of the building ins imposing in its own right but the interior is a genuine work of art as you can see in the photo below.
Much of the lumber for the construction of this building came from my Grandfather Price's mills in Paris. You can still see some of the remains of one of the mills at the mouth of Paris Canyon. He also owned a shingle mill, and I'm sure the meticulously cut four inch shingles were a product of his mill. Each time I enter this building I am awestruck by the workmanship of these hardy pioneers of the Bear Lake Valley. Others of our pioneer Bear Lake ancestors undoubtedly spent many, many hours helping to complete this building which was finished in dedicated by President Wilfred Woodruff in September of 1889. During the construction of this building which was built entirely by donated labor and money, many of the saints in the area were still living in humble cabins, some of which still had dirt floors. It is a testament to the faith they had in God and their religion, and in their desire to worship and honor Him. I am glad to have descended from such pioneer stock.
Above is a tea pot and creamer that was owned by our grandfather, Arthur Eborn. He inherited it from his own grandparents according to the card in a display case located in the foyer of the Tabernacle along with relics from other pioneer families of the area.

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