Historical Highlight: Mapleton Old Towne Square

South Utah County is a mecca for historical sites, and Mapleton’s Old Towne Square is one such place.

The historical site is located at the corner of Maple and Main Street at the south end of Mapleton Park, and is filled with a bevy of historical buildings for residents to go to experience a blast from the past.

Mapleton and neighboring Springville were founded by early settlers in 1850, drawing many in for its livestock, logging, and farming capabilities. According to Mapleton City’s website, the first permanent settlers arrived around 1870 and helped establish what was then named, Union Bench portion of Springville. 

Residents, however, began to grow frustrated with the Springville City Council in the 1890s as they perceived a lack of concern from the city about their issues. Those issues included roads, ditches, canals, and water rights, according to the Utah History Encyclopedia.

That frustration came to a head when Aaron Johnson Jr. of Springville, along with 110 other Mapleton adults, petitioned the county for the right to organize a town. The county granted the petition on Sept. 3, 1901, officially establishing Mapleton as a separate town.

Mapleton continued to grow until it officially became a city in 1948. The city has continued to grow to this day as the 2020 U.S. Census reports Mapleton with a population of 11,365. This is a huge jump from 7,979 population in 2010.

While Mapleton has moved past its early roots, the historic town square still stands as a memory of younger days. 

The square features six established structures that make up the historical site, including, the Mapleton Heritage Museum, Levi Kendall Cabin, Relief Society Hall, Blacksmith Shop, Unity Statue, and the Barn that is coming in the near future.

Many of the structures date back to the late 1800s, while others — such as the Blacksmith Shop and the Unity Statue — are recent additions from the past few years.

The Mapleton Heritage Museum sits within the Roswell Darius Bird home and contains pioneer artifacts, photographs, and other items of interest from early Mapleton settlers. The home was constructed in 1892.

The Levi Kendall Cabin is one of the first homes in Mapleton, having been constructed in 1880, standing as a snapshot of what life was like during that time.

The women of Mapleton built the Relief Society Hall in 1888 thanks to their own earned money that helped build, finance, and maintain the structure. It contains artifacts and photographs that help pay homage to the women of that era.

While the hall dates back to the late 1880s, it originally sat elsewhere in the city. Experts took the original structure apart brick by brick and reassembled it in the historic town square while also renovating it. 

The Blacksmith Shop was built in 2020 but utilized materials from residents’ old barns – many of which dated back to the 1800s. This shope stands as a memoir of Mapleton’s agricultural history.

The bronze Unity Statue, which sculptor Tyson Snow built in 2021, sits at the center of the historic Town Square. The stature carries a plaque that honors a story of a husband and wife experiencing trials of early Mapleton.

The most recent addition to the Mapleton Old Towne Square is the barn, which opened during the summer of 2022. The barn was added as the final structure to the square, with the purpose of hosting events throughout the year.

Those interested in visiting the area can book a tour by emailing parksandrec@mapleton.org. Visitors can also head over to the park to see the structures from the outside without an official tour. 

Josh Martinez
Josh Martinez
Josh Martinez is a graduate of Southern Utah University and Arizona State University where he studied communication and journalism. He has written for numerous publications in both Arizona and Utah on a bevy of topics including sports, city government and education. Martinez is a 2009 graduate of Springville High School and lives in Springville with his high school sweetheart and two kids

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