The Temple Granite Quarry historic marker in Little Cottonwood Canyon

This article originally appeared in Vol.51, No.4 (2004) of Pioneer Magazine.

Historical Monument was originally dedicated on September 28, 1934 in honor of the men and women who helped quarry granite stone from for the Salt Lake Temple- The rededicated the monument on September 25, 2004.

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin (1917-2008)

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin was the special guest who rededicated a monument in the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon (which was moved and restored by the Temple Quarry Chapter) on the beautiful fall morning of the 25th of September 2004. This monument was relocated into the Temple Quarry Park created by the United States Forest Service in 1993. Its previous location was in a “no parking zone” beside the Little Cottonwood Canyon road. The monument needed special attention to repair some vandalism and to refurbish the Temple Granite Quarry plaque.

Elder Wirthlin was about seventeen years old and a Boy Scout member when he accompanied his father, Joseph Wirthlin, and George Albert Smith of the Utah Trails and Landmarks Association, as the monument was originally dedicated seventy years ago on September 28, 1934. Elder Wirthlin’s wife and son, Joseph Wirthlin, also accompanied him on this special occasion. After Elder Wirthlin’s remarks, now as an apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he rededicated the monument of the Temple Granite Quarry and quarry workers.

The Granite View Stake Boy Scouts presented a special Flag and Pledge Ceremony. Other special guest speakers were Nelson Clayton, who designed and supervised the construction of the LDS Granite Mountain Storage Vaults; Eugene Hilton, past stake president and a resident of Wasatch Resort, living in the home where President Wilford Woodruff lived when he supervised the quarrying of temple granite for the Salt Lake Temple, The Temple Quarry Chapter, Sons of Utah Pioneers, officers and members conducted and participated in the program.

Gerald B. Haycock, working with and Trails, gave a short history of the quarry area and the quarry monument and why the monument was being relocated. Bill Bingham displayed some of the tools that were used by the quarrymen to extract temple building blocks from the huge granite boulders located on the canyon floor. The cut stones were then hauled about twenty miles to the Salt Lake Temple site and finished before placement into the Salt Lake Temple for all the world to see and enjoy.

Many historical buildings and monuments have been built of the “Temple Granite or White” (salt and pepper), as it is called, because it was first used in the construction of the Salt Lake Temple, President Brigham Young wanted the best materials available in the temple construction. The Utah State Capitol, LDS Church Administration Building, Assembly Hall, Frank E, Moss Federal Building, Brigham Young Monument, “This Is the Place” Monument, and the new LDS Conference Center are a few of many choice projects of “Temple Granite.” Wilford Hansen and his son Weston and their helpers quarried the granite rock that was used to repair and to add an Annex to the Salt Lake Temple,

A time capsule naming 175 honorary quarrymen was placed in the base of the monument at the time of the original dedication and was not disturbed during the relocation process. Another time capsule will be added shortly in front of the monument base, at its new location, adding to and including new materials about the Temple Granite Quarry area.

Many people were involved in the rededication, relocation, and repair of this monument, too many to mention individually, but we wish to thank all who gave of their time and/or substance in the completion of this worthy project.

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