Deuel Cabin


Come with us this month for a look at an important place near Temple Square.

Deuel Cabin

Just across the street from Temple Square is a cabin that is just a little bigger than many children’s bedrooms. When pioneers built this cabin in 1847, six people lived inside it. Because the Deuel family built the cabin, it is called the Deuel cabin.

Joey and Alissa F., ages 11 and 9, came to visit the Deuel cabin on a special day that included a pioneer celebration. They got to see how pioneers would have lived when they first arrived in Salt Lake City.

Even though pioneer children worked hard, they also had time to play. After sawing wood, Joey took some time to play a ring-toss game.

Even on a sunny day, it can be a little dark inside the cabin. The Deuel family and other pioneers did not have electricity or lightbulbs. They needed to do most of their work during the day. If they did anything in the evening, they had to do it by candlelight.

When the pioneers arrived in Salt Lake City, they had to work hard to build shelter. Sometimes while the men and boys sawed through wood, girls kept the wood from moving by sitting on the sawhorse.

Pioneer children didn’t have the same kinds of toys we have now. Most of their toys were made out of wood.

Even though pioneer girls dressed differently than Alissa does now, they are similar in some ways too. Pioneer children had to do chores, just like you. Girls helped their mothers do things like hang laundry to dry, sew clothing, and cook meals.

Now the Deuel cabin is located between the Family History Library and the Church History Museum, but when it was built, Temple Square didn’t exist yet. The cabin was located in an adobe fort a few blocks away from where Temple Square is now. A few years later, ox teams pulled it to another location a few blocks away.

Not long after, the cabin was dismantled and rebuilt inside of a museum. In 1919, the cabin was moved to Temple Square. It stood there until 1984, when it was moved to its current location.

The Deuel cabin is more than 160 years old. A lot has happened since that time, including:

  • The construction of more than 130 temples across the world.

  • The growth of Church membership from around 34,000 to more than 13.5 million members.

  • The translation of Church materials into more than 160 languages.

  • The invention of the lightbulb, telephone, automobile, airplane, television, and computer.

Photographs by Steve Bunderson