On the surface Rexburg may not seem like a town bursting with historical significance. However, if you were to dig a little deeper you might be surprised at what you find. Here’s a short list we compiled of some of the most historical sites in Rexburg.
The Rexburg Tabernacle Historical Site
Built in 1911, the Rexburg Tabernacle is one of the most well-known historical sites in Rexburg. The tabernacle has served as a meetinghouse for local community members for years. Purchased in 1980 by the city, the Tabernacle is unique for its architectural design as an Italianate church building.
Most of the earlier structures were destroyed after the Teton Dam Flood in 1976. Fortunately, the community banded together and raised the money to repair the tabernacle and return it to its former glory.
The tabernacle now houses several events for its orchestra who have several performances throughout the year. That includes the famous Halloween concert. It was once a regular event in the past but now after seven years of not happening it’s back by popular demand.
This gem has become a popular landmark within the community of Rexburg and will be around for years to come.
The Legacy Flight Museum
The Legacy Flight Museum was established in 2006 and showcases some very remarkable aircraft. It truly is home to one of the most historical sites in Rexburg.
Founded by John Bagley, the Legacy Flight Museum is home to dozens of different aircraft. One of these includes the SNB-5 Beechcraft, which flew in WWII and the Vietnam War operating from 1944 to 1968. They also have the North American T-6 Texan, which first flew in 1938 and served as a training plane in preparing pilots to fly in WWII. These and many more exciting planes provide a great experience for all to enjoy.
Located in Rexburg, the Legacy Flight Museum is open for tours by appointment only for $8 or less for those attending. For more information check out their website or Facebook page.
Jacob Spori Building Historical Site
There’s no doubt that this building is one of the most historic sites in Rexburg. Built in 1903, the Jacob Spori building served as the center of campus. The building received its name from the first principal of the academy, Jacob Spori. He was principal back when the campus was originally known as the Bannock Stake Academy. Spori served as the principal of the academy from 1888 to 1891. Eventually, the institution found itself on the brink of financial ruin. At which point, Spori retired and gave up his salary to help balance the debt owed.
From then the institution had several transitions as it went from the Bannock Stake Academy to the Fremont Stake Academy, to Ricks College, and finally, to the four-year university we know today as Brigham Young University-Idaho.
Not only does this building stand as a symbol of the history of this town and school, but it also stands as a symbol of hope and recovery. The Jacob Spori Building burned down in November of 2000 but was later rebuilt in 2003. It now stands today as the beautiful edifice we know and love.
To learn more about the Jacob Spori Building or of the history of Brigham Young University-Idaho check out the links in this section.
The Romance Theater
The Romance Theater serves as an event center for the community and as an old-style movie theater to this day.
Known by many different names after originally opening its doors nearly 100 years ago, the Romance Theater has had a roller coaster of a lifetime. Originally known as The Rex, it later changed its name to The Columbia in the 1930s. Then in 1940 it became the Romance Theater.
According to city of Rexburg as well as a book that was written by Lowell J. and Mardi Parkinson, the history of the Romance Theater is very mysterious, to say the least.
Believed to have originally opened its doors four years earlier in 1913, The Rex hosted many vaudeville acts. One such act included the performance by a famous actress, Mona Delayn, and her partner. In the act, Delayn would hold a card behind her with a bullet hole already in it. Her partner would then shoot at her effectively giving Delayn the title of “bulletproof”. However, Delayn was tragically shot and killed accidentally during one of their performances. But this isn’t the only tragedy the theater has seen.
The theater was damaged in 1976 by the flooding of the Teton Dam. It reopened a year later changing its name to The Westwood. The community later repurchased it in 2005 and changed the name back to the Romance Theater. Today it houses a myriad of events for the community to enjoy.
To learn more about the theater check out these additional articles.