Photo: M. Elliott 1959


It is easy to see why the Red Canyon Range Camp Chapel gained nationwide attention. Just look at this magnificent building. The chapel was 87 feet long and 36 feet wide in the main section; all resting on a hand poured concrete foundation. It had beautiful Georgian columns, telephone poles wrapped with wire and mortared over. The windows were stained glass, plain glass covered with cellophane and shellacked. The wooden wainscot interior was made of Nike booster shipping crates. The unseen frame of the building was welded railroad track. The soldiers quarried the beautiful red rock exterior from a nearby hillside. The extensive front steps were also made of the quarried stone, each piece hand-cut to fit. The chapel bells were rocket nozzles cut from launched boosters. All of this done during the worst winter in recent memory.

The first stone had been laid December 16, 1957. The first official services were held Easter Sunday, April 16, 1958. This unbelievable project in the middle-of-nowhere was completed in four months using only volunteer labor and $461 donated for the shingles. Furniture, pews (not all the same size), fixtures, etc. for the chapel were surplus from other chapels. An absolutely amazing feat, the realized dream of Lt. Col. John McCarthy, Camp Commander.