West Jordan Journal Articles

The West Jordan Historical Museum News. 

 The West Jordan Historical Museum is very grateful to all who have visited the museum lately. The number of people, local citizens and other areas coming for tours at the museum is increasing every day. Thanks you for your interest and visits. Spring is here, the grass is greening and the leaves will be coming out soon. A perfect time to visit the museum.

 Many years ago, when West Jordan was very young and the Rock Meeting House (Pioneer Hall) was the only church building that served West Jordan and Midvale. There was not enough space for the sisters of the ward to have their own room. The sisters did have some money in their treasury and decided to build a house for the Relief Society alone. Sister Miranda Bateman was the president and she, with the help of the Bishopric, had the building all paid for before it was completed.

 The time was about 1882. All the work that the men could do was donated. Many of the sons and husbands of the sisters came and helped with the building. But lots of things had to be bought and the sisters furnished all of the money. In order to raise money for the building each sister was suppose to donate all the eggs she got from her chickens on Sunday. These she took to meetings and they were sold to the store. This practice was kept up after the completion of the house in order to have money for thread, bats, and other necessities for the making of quilts. Quilts were made and sold, carpets were made and sold, and many bazaars were given to raise the money. The brick building stood north of the Rock Meeting House on old Bingham Highway, near where the plumbing business now operates.

 They bought a stove, blinds for the windows, and borrowed some old chairs from the ward house. These chairs were used for many years although they had been discarded by the ward. The relief society had a table and a large box in which they stored their quilts.

 In connection with the meeting room a small granary was built in the west end of the house. There were no windows in it and one door led outside. The reason for building a granary was that Brigham Young had told Sister Wells, the General President of the Relief Society, to instruct the members of the Relief Society to gather wheat and store it in case of a famine. The teachers were supposed to ask for a donation of a bushel of wheat a year from each member of the Relief Society.

 Many socials were held in that old Relief Society house. Many large families who had scattered to other towns would hold reunions here and many ward functions were there. When large dinners were served, dishes were borrowed from the sisters and some dishes were donated for this purpose. 

 In 1900, construction was started on a new ward house on Redwood Rd. When the new ward house was completed, there was room enough so the sisters could have a room of their own. Therefore, the old house was abandoned.

 Over the years the building was used as a home. At one time the West Jordan Town Board considered using the building for city offices, but the building was in too bad of shape to be saved. Sadly it was later torn down. The Relief Society House was a tribute to the early pioneer women of West Jordan. Information concerning the Relief Society House was take from a story written by Mary Ellen Gardner, ( date unknown) and the History of West Jordan.

 Thank you for your support. Admission to the museum is free but we do accept donations. If you would like to be a volunteer at our upcoming Ice Cream Social on the Fourth of July or the Annual Pumpkin Walk on the third Saturday of October, please let us know. Businesses in West Jordan are invited to become involved in these yearly events. For more information, volunteering special tours, please give us a call at 255-3116 or 403-9030. For museum hours call 568-0938.



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