TX-15946 Tolar Tabernacle


Tabernacles such as this one once served an important function in communities throughout Texas and the southern United States. Prior to the advent of air conditioning, a place to comfortably hold outdoor gatherings was essential during hot summer days. Tabernacles served not just as the locations for revivals and other religious meetings, but were also used for weddings, reunions, homecomings, fairs, picnics and other community events. Although simple in construction, the tabernacle was much more durable than its forerunner, the brush arbor, which required periodic rebuilding or repair.

The Tolar Tabernacle was constructed circa 1897, and churches within the community contributed to the cost of the construction. While the community as a whole built and owned the tabernacle, trustees selected from local church congregations were chosen to manage the tabernacle association. In 1904, Emma D. and J.P. Broughton sold the property on which the tabernacle stood to the association for the sum of $75.00. The open air structure consists of a rafter system supported by timber posts and sawed lumber cross members. A hip roof of corrugated metal in ribbed panels shelters the site.

Although use of the Tolar Tabernacle has declined through the years, it is still used as the location for community fish fries, and the annual Tolar School Homecoming has been held at the site since 1954.

Recorded Texas Historic Landmark -- 2009
Marker is Property of the State of Texas

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