Quest for historic listing opens up colorful history of Relief Society grain Saving Program

Quest for Historic Listing

When Amy Jorgensen, executive director of the Granary Arts Center, decided to try to get the Ephraim Relief Society Granary added to the National Register of Historic Places, she had no idea the rich stories that would emerge as part of the nomination process.

Now home to Granary Arts and adjacent to the historic Ephraim Co-op, the building evokes a sense of history, but staff knew only a few details before they began the project.

“When beginning the historic nomination process it was important for me to have the voices of women telling their own story,” Jorgensen said.

“Putting a building on the registry is more than honoring historical architecture. It’s about unearthing and sharing the narrative of the people involved. This was the work of women who built and worked in this space, and who made a significant impact on their community.”

Jorgensen found Shalae Larsen, lead landscape architect at IO LandArch, a Salt Lake City landscape design firm, to spearhead the nomination effort.

Larsen laughs as she recalls her first call with Jorgensen, “I told Amy I had roots in Ephraim since C.C.A. Christensen (a famous 19th Century Mormon artist who lived in Ephraim) is my third great-grandfather. Amy told me that they had, in fact, heard of him. His cabin is on the property.”