The Bowery: A Pioneer Essential        

After work, it's time to party

The Bowery was the place to have a ball.

If there was one thing the Mormon pioneers did a great deal, it was congregate. Their cooperative organization demanded it, as did their social interests and spiritual desires. One of the first orders of business, at camps along the trail and in the Salt Lake Valley, was to build a place large enough for the people to get together.

It was under a bowery at Council Bluffs, Iowa, that Brigham Young called volunteers to enlist in the United States Army's Mexican-American conflict. More than 500 men enlisted, leaving the remainder of the groups shorthanded, but providing some beneficial financial resources. The same bowery where the Mormon Battalion was called served as the dance hall for a farewell

Mormon Battalion Ball.

The day after their arrival in the valley the members of the Mormon Battalion contributed to the community by erecting a bowery, 40 x 28 feet, where the Saints could hold their religious meetings the following Sabbath.

The bowery they built was much like the ones they were accustomed to back east, simply a pole framework covered with leafy boughs for shade, hence the name bowery.

The Bowery in Old Desert is constructed in the same way. Its shade provides a pleasant resting stop in Old Deserte, and it must have been a welcome respite from the heat for the pioneers as well.

The Saints later built a larger bowery on Temple Square to accommodate the larger numbers of people as they arrived, and it was in use until a larger more permanent structure could be built.

In St George, a bowery was built just South West of the St. George Tabernacle and was in heavy use until the  Tabernacle was finished.

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16 Aug 2011