Tools, Trades, and Industry

Many of the early pioneer settlers of Hyrum were skilled in various trades since they had left their businesses, farms, and almost everything they had that was required to make a livelihood, to migrate west upon their conversion to Mormonism. Since there were no hardware stores where they could buy tools and machinery and the railroad was not yet complete, the trade skills of these pioneers were essential so they could build houses and make tools and implements.

Skilled blacksmiths were invaluable to the westward migration of Mormon pioneers, and blacksmith shops were immediately established upon settlement to shoe horses, set wagon tires, and make tools and other implements. The United Order started on of the first blacksmith shops in Hyrum shortly after 1870, where Peter Christiansen worked. Two other shops operated in the late 1800s, one by “Blacksmith” Hanson and the other by Mr. Johnson.

Several brickyards were established so the settlers could make adobe bricks for the construction of their houses and eventually churches. Rock structures were also erected so two lime kilns were constructed in order to make mortar to hold both the rocks and adobe bricks.

In 1863, Ole Rose and William C. Nielsen built the first power saw mill in Paradise Hollow (now covered by the waters of Hyrum Dam).By 1876, Wells McBride and Swen Swensen converted it into a flour mill called Empire Mills. Since water in Paradise Hollow readily operated the machinery, the area also hosted an electric light plant, a cheese factory, and a feed mill in the late 1800s.