There is a certain air of mystery and curiosity concerning old buildings -- seemingly ancient, sometimes decaying, with an untold history that beckons to the inquisitive passerby to unearth the concealed past.
The charm of the past is both intriguing and sometimes intimidating to investigate. I thought it might be difficult, but it is not really that hard. Using a phone book and social skills, one can discover just about anything, which is how I came to discover the following information about curious buildings in Farmington, the dear city in which I live.
I have always had an interest in such buildings. I remember visiting the Rock Chapel in Farmington as a child. This chapel is one of the oldest buildings in our town, and full of a rich history.
To learn more about the Rock Chapel, I contacted LDS Church historian Glen Leonard. The story of how the building at 272 N. Main St. came to be began in 1849, when the Farmington ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized. A log building, used for school and church meetings, originally housed the members. Then, in 1855, the congregation moved to the courthouse in Farmington and met upstairs.
In 1861, after fundraisers and countless hours of volunteer work, the Rock Church -- which ironically is made of timber -- was begun, and in December of 1883, it was finished. Brigham Young held a two-day conference there in January 1884. It was snowing and the meetinghouse was jam-packed as people listened to Heber C. Kimball talk for hours on end, and heard the building dedication by Wilford Woodruff.
Fast-forward to 1941, when the Rock Chapel underwent a remodeling and gained a new addition. The Rock Chapel is known to many members of the LDS Church as the building where the first Primary, a religious class for children, was organized by Aurelia Rogers. A mural depicting this event is found in the west end of the building.
But the Rock Chapel isn't the only old building in Farmington that aroused my curiosity.
Every day on my travel home from a grueling day at high school, I pass by a large, beautiful, old building. Its mere presence was a mystery and its purpose unknown to me until now. The size of the building and the many windows are what first caught my eye. I soon began to see beautiful details like the warm brown tones of the bricks.
Through some investigation, I found out that this majestic building at 1400 N. Main St. was built in 1915, and remodeled in 1955. It was also used as an LDS Church for approximately 55 years and then sold to another church in the early 1970s. The pastor then sold it to some Cambodian refugees who lived there in the mid-1970s. The building was then sold once again and used as a home until 2010, when it became unsafe to be inhabited.
Now this building, which intrigues me, is scheduled to be demolished this month. I will miss this pleasant site on my way home from school. The land will be sold and used again, following the great cycle of urban life.
Every year, new houses are built that replace the old. The progress of mankind almost always requires the old to be done away with and the new to be brought in. It is a sad fact that everything has an expiration date, from milk to buildings to life.
Yet to compensate for the loss of the past is the hope and brilliance of the future and all that it brings; so with destruction comes creation. It is in our minds and hearts that the past is preserved and the future paved.
Maybe this helps you gain more appreciation for the unknown wonders of your own neighborhood. The history of our world is so rich and is always changing. With a tone of reflection, mankind wonders upon the ruins left by those who came before. It is up to those who wish to seek the delights of knowledge to go and find out more about their surroundings.
What I learned through this experience is not to be afraid to discover and ask questions, to get out of my comfort zone and find the unknown that exists beyond me. The world is worth discovering, so perhaps the next time there is an old building or anything that makes your mind race, you will remember to discover what's out there. Good luck with your investigations!
Sarah Stratford is a junior at Davis High School. Her hobbies are many and varied. Email her at email@example.com.