US Route 89 Roadside Diversion: Paris Tabernacle
Ever been to Paris? If you have driven US 89 through Idaho, you have. And the one thing you can’t miss in Paris is the historic Mormon Tabernacle. Resting on a perfectly manicured green lawn, the 110-foot tall spire draws your attention to the red sandstone church in the center of town.
The first settlers arrived in Paris in 1863. The next year, they began stockpiling materials in anticipation of building a church. They cut timber in the mountains to the west and hauled sandstone from Indian Creek 18 miles away. Finally in 1884, Brigham Young gave permission to build the tabernacle which was designed by his son. Construction was completed in 1889.
When you stop to admire the tabernacle, you will notice a small building in front. Stationed inside are Mormon missionaries who will ask you politely if you would like a guided tour. Inside they will relate the history of the LDS church and the importance of the community gathering place. They will point out the ceiling which was constructed by a ship builder from England and the 84 year old organ with its 629 pipes. At a seating capacity of 1,500, the Paris Tabernacle is as impressive on the inside as it is on the outside.
To find your way to Paris, Idaho, go to the Brigham City to Montpelier Road Trip Guide on the US Route 89 Appreciation Society website.
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