EDEN, Utah (ABC4) — A historic Utah cannery that was purchased and moved — brick by brick — to save it from demolishment, is scheduled to open in its new location this month. While the bricks and wood will be the same, the purpose of the building will likely be vastly different.
The West Point Cannery was built in 1925 and served for a couple of decades as a tomato canning facility. However, after the 1950s, it went unused until 2015 when it was placed on demolition row.
The owner of Sunnyfield Farm, a family-owned farm that was homesteaded in 1868, purchased the cannery to save it from being destroyed. They worked for several years to properly take it down without damaging the original bricks and wood, saving approximately 80,000 bricks for the reconstruction of the building, according to a press release.
While demolishing the building would have cost $20,000, Sunnyfield representatives said they invested 10 times that price to disassemble the building.
The cannery’s deconstructed walls, floors and ceiling waited in storage until 2022 when it was transported to Eden, Utah, to be rebuilt near the farm. The cannery will be the newest addition to Sunnyfield’s Blacksmith Village, joining the farm, butcher and blacksmith shop.
Sunnyfield representatives said they “couldn’t let this beautiful building go to waste knowing that there was something we could do to preserve a piece of Utah’s history.” They said they felt the cannery would fit in well in Blacksmith Village.
While preserving the historical building was the top priority, builders did make some adjustments to keep it up to modern-day building codes.
They used cinderblocks to build the walls and placed the original brick on either side of the blocks to keep the original look. They also substituted some of the structural wooden beams with steel beams.
The cannery, while precisely preserved in its appearance, has the potential to take on an entirely different purpose in this next phase. There are eight segments within the large 7,500-square-foot building which will be leased as commercial space.
Any local business is welcome to apply to lease the space, whether connected to canning tomatoes or not, which could convert the once factory-like structure into something that resembles more of a market. The building is set to open later this month.