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Tabernacle construction didn't start until 1884, after the temple in Logan, Utah, was completed. The Romanesque Revival, red sandstone tabernacle was based on the designs of Young's son, Don Carlos Young, and includes his trademark non-identical towers on either side of the 80-foot tower hovering over the building front.
The red sandstone was quarried from the east side of Bear Lake and transported -- sometimes over the frozen lake -- 18 miles by ox and cart back to the construction site. Much of it was brought to Paris 20 years before construction started and stored until needed.
The tabernacle is just over 127 feet long, 73 feet wide, and it's 110 feet to the tallest spire. Among the many European descendants who lent their individual skills to make the tabernacle unique was James Colling Sr. He borrowed from the designs of the hulls of sailing ships he built in England for the intricate woodwork of the distinctive ceiling.
It cost $50,000 to build, and much of the work was completed by townspeople who could have been all consumed with building their own homes and infrastructure for the town, which has grown to about 550 people living about 15 miles north of the Utah border.
"So obviously it was a matter of great importance to them," said Crawford. "The workmanship, it's just second to none."
Even though the Mormon religion was still young -- the tabernacle's 1889 dedication came only 59 years after the first printing of The Book of Mormon -- he said those that built it "expressed their testimony in their work."