In 1856, early settlers of Southern Utah built a chapel in Pine Valley. It is the longest-operating chapel in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
While herding cattle during the summer of 1855, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who had been called to settle southern Utah discovered the location of beautiful Pine Valley in southwestern Utah. The following year, St. George residents went to Pine Valley to harvest timber and establish several sawmills.
As more people settled in Pine Valley, they constructed a chapel. They called upon Ebenezer Bryce, a shipbuilder from Scotland and the namesake for Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah, to design and build the structure. There is some discrepancy regarding the methods used to design the chapel. Some sources claim that because he was a shipbuilder, the roof of the building is constructed to model an upside-down ship, while other sources state that Bryce used materials appropriately common for buildings, not ships.
While the roof may look similar to a ship, the description provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gives doubt to that claim: the building is made of pine wood, from “the finest trees in the valley, the same stand as those from which the pipe organ in the Salt Lake Tabernacle was constructed.” The foundation is made of local stone, mainly granite and red limestone. The building has three floors: a basement in which auxiliary meetings were held, a ground floor used for community purposes and as a schoolhouse, and an upper floor which contains the building’s chapel, used as the main space of worship.
Following the chapel’s original completion, Latter-day Saints in Pine Valley have since added an attic containing pictures of the original settlers and other historical artifacts. Another small building, the Tithing Office, was constructed in the corner of the lot. In 1971, the two buildings, the chapel and Tithing Office, were added to the National Register of Historic Places. Both are still in use today by Pine Valley locals as a church building and community gathering place, making it the longest-operating chapel in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.