What Did Pine Valley Contribute to the Tabernacle Organ?
The pipe organ in the Tabernacle on Temple Square is famous the world over as it has been the backdrop for the Tabernacle Choir for over a century.
It was built in the 1860’s and became part of performances and church meetings for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints over the years. What you may not have known is the wood for some of the pipes came from Pine Valley in Southern Utah. Here’s a quote from a history of Pine Valley.
"In 1866 the great Tabernacle Organ was being built in Salt Lake City and some clear, clean lumber was needed for the pipes. To Robert Gardner was assigned the duty of furnishing this particular lumber. He and his son, William, began searching the forest for a tree that would serve the purpose. Finally one was found at the mouth of what is called Middle Fork, in Pine Valley. The tree was cut down, sawed into lumber and hauled by ox team to Salt Lake, a distance of approximately 300 miles. The stump of that tree is now being preserved as a landmark of this early pioneer achievement. The story of this accomplishment has become a tradition among the Gardner family and the residents of Pine Valley."
It’s amazing to me that the only tree they could find that would work was in the bottom part of the state in a little town in the mountains. I think sometimes the early settlers were set on making things as hard as possible. It's cool that Southern Utah donated a tree to bring music to the rest of the world.