A Day in Paris--Not France, but Idaho

6:57:00 PM Unknown 8 Comments

My parents live in an area of sparsely populated towns.  Lot's of small ranching communities, the biggest one a whopping population of 2000. All these towns were settled in the 1800's by those seeking a simple way of life. It's not an easy life to be a rancher, but those who stay do so because they love it. My cousin waxed poetic as he told me how he makes money or rather doesn't make so much money, but loves the wide open spaces, land, his animals and the feeling of self reliance. 
The other thing these towns all have in common is they were largely settled by Mormons. These hard working people set out to beautify their towns and as such almost every town in surrounding 100 miles has tabernacle that was used as a gathering place for worship and for social events. 
The Paris tabernacle was built with stones hauled from 18 miles away by oxen. Drawing on the skill of the many European immigrants settling the area, the interior is patterned after the hull of a ship. Notice the woodwork and ceiling especially. Dedicated in 1889, it continues to serve as a church for the LDS church.
During the summer the tabernacle is open for free tours.  There is also a really good antique store just a block from the Tabernacle. You wouldn't expect to find it in such a small town, but the large store has a nice variety of antiques and I myself bought a piece of depression glassware. The owners are local and a delight to chat with. Stop in, if you ever find yourself in the Bear Lake area of Idaho.


  1. Oh the church is beautiful. I have always longed to visit small towns in this country. Are Mormom churches, especially this one, open for visitors?

    1. As for your question about churches being open the answer is a qualified yes. We have churches (open to the public for general worship and totally boring inside), then there are temples which are open to the public only the month before they are dedicated then they are closed to the general public. Only members are allowed inside once dedicated due to the holy nature they hold for us. Marriages and other ordinances are performed inside. If you are ever in a place where a new temple is built, find out when the open house is and go. Free tours are given and an explanation of what we do inside if offered. Finally, there are historic buildings/churches like the one featured in my post. They are open for tours, but usually still function as a church on Sunday or special occasions.

  2. The church looks so beautiful and you have really captured the pictures, both inside and outside, very nicely. I can understand why people will prefer open space and country life over well-paid but crammed-in-office jobs.

  3. sorry forgot to answer -- the twin sister in my blog is rose :-)

  4. I have seen pictures of this church before and it is amazing. Haven't ever been there though!

  5. So nice to read also about your origins or the US. The church is quite different of those found in Europe, but it looks equally interesting.

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