The Lion House found in Salt Lake City, Utah is a Latter-Day Saints (LDS) historic site within Temple Square. This LDS landmark, built in 1856 by Truman O. Angell, was designed as second home for Brigham Young, the 2nd prophet of the LDS religion. As such, the historic Lion House is full of beautiful architecture mirroring the LDS Temple and guarded by a stone lion for which it is named.
Brigham Young had a very large family and so had a very large house to accommodate them all. The Utah Lion House held twelve of Brigham Young’s wives as well as his children by them. To “promote reform in eating, housekeeping, and habits of dress” of his wives and daughters, Brigham Young went on to develop the Retrenchment Society in 1969 which was held in the Lion House. This society later became known as the Young Women’s Association of the LDS religion.
The Lion House stayed in the Young family for many years after Brigham Young’s death in 1877. Eventually, it was sold to the LDS church. The Lion House then became the economic center for the Latter-Day Saint University which is the precursor to the LDS Business College.
Lion House Pantry
Boasting a floor plan of over 20 bedrooms, the Lion House is a LDS historic site that is occasionally open to the public for tours while the lower level was converted into the Lion House Pantry. This cafeteria style restaurant is renowned for their famous Lion House dinner rolls and luscious honey butter. These fluffy rolls have become a staple of the Lion House restaurant and coveted by all who’ve tasted their delectability. All the Lion House recipes served in the restaurant have been passed down through generations of men and women until they’ve reached the delicious consistency they are in today. Unlike other areas of the home that are accessible only by tour or special event, the Pantry is open to the general public, Monday thru Saturday 11:00am to 8:00pm.
The downtown LDS restaurant is not only a place for delicious rolls but a gathering place as well. Hosting events at the here is a long tradition not only reserved for the members of the LDS religion. Holding Bar Mitzvahs, weddings, and countless other events, the Lion House has always been a welcome place of gathering. Available for events are a variety of room which can hold large or small parties including the Outdoor Garden, Parlor, Pioneer Room, Garden Room, the 1875 Room, Social room, Banquet Room, Gable Room, Buffet Room, and the entire top floor. While known for its location in LDS history and physically in Temple Square, the Lion House is not confined to its building. Available for offsite catering in conjunction with the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, it shares recipes and culture within the downtown Salt Lake City area.
Due to the age of the Lion House and status as an LDS historic site at Temple Square, the architecture and LDS History aren’t the only things to look for while visiting. The Lion House ghosts are a peculiar part of the house’s history. In fact, many of the staff can attest to the kind nature of the ghosts lurking in the home’s quarters. Believed to be the ghosts of past occupants of the home, some believe the ghosts don’t haunt, but instead welcome visitors. The LDS history within the building asserts characteristics of kindness and empathy that have been taught in the home for so long. So, it stands to reason that the “ghosts” want to share those traits with others.
Engar, A. Utah History Encyclopedia (n.d.). Beehive & Lion Houses. Retrieved June 04, 2017, from http://historytogo.utah.gov/places/historical_places/beehiveandlionhouses.html
Lion House Pantry – Salt Lake City Restaurant. (n.d.). Retrieved June 04, 2017, from http://www.templesquare.com/dining/lion-house-pantry/
On & Off-site Salt Lake City Catering Services. (n.d.). Retrieved June 04, 2017, from http://www.templesquare.com/host-an-event/catering/
Retrenchment Society. (n.d.). Retrieved June 04, 2017, from https://history.lds.org/event/retrenchment-society-organized?lang=eng
Stephenson, K. The Salt Lake Tribune. (n.d.). At 150, Lion House still as busy as a beehive. Retrieved June 04, 2017, from http://archive.sltrib.com/story.php?ref=%2Futah%2Fci_3854560