Rockport Co-Op

AKA: Co-Op, General Store
Originally Built: 1885
Original Location: Rockport, Utah
Current Location: Main Street, Pioneer Village

Co-operative organizations, or co-ops, were an alternative for buying and selling goods in small communities. In the western territories of the United States in the 19th century, co-ops were commonly found in farming communities.

The Rockport Co-Op was organized by farmers in the Wanship area in 1885 and it remained in business until the 1930s. A couple of decades after the co-op closed, the town of Rockport was planned to become the site of the new Rockport Reservoir.

Before the dam was built, decisions were being made about which buildings to save. The reclamation project’s engineer and attorney chose to offer the Rockport Schoolhouse to the Sons Of Utah Pioneers for their new Pioneer Village collection in Salt Lake City. The S.U.P. then took the chance to save this co-op building, along with the school. The co-op building was only about 60 years old at the time and it seems that it hadn’t been deemed worthy of saving by anyone else. So both buildings were moved to Pioneer Village around late 1954.

Rockport Co-Op and Schoolhouse in Pioneer Village, Salt Lake City in January 1955. Photo: Sugar House Bulletin

“The interior will take on the appearance of a genuine general store, common in these parts at the turn of the century. Ancient and yellowed journals, ledgers and books – the business end of such concerns – will be properly placed and the goods and items bought by customers of yester year will be stocked on the shelves.”

-Sugar House Bulletin, 28 Jan 1955
The Barber Shop and Rockport Co-Op at Pioneer Village in Salt Lake City. Photo: Pioneer Magazine, Vol. 55 No. 1

The co-op building moved to Lagoon with the rest of the village in the mid-1970s and was placed between the China Shop and the Cobbler Shop. A few buildings down from the Rockport Co-Op was Alma Warr’s General Store. Both housed similar displays, causing some confusion in the information provided about each exhibit. Alma Warr’s store originated in Kamas and a new building was constructed for it at Lagoon,ยน while the Rockport Co-Op building is an original.

Like many Pioneer Village buildings, the co-op has received a few cosmetic upgrades over the years including new paint and some small changes on the facade (as can be seen in the photos on this page). In 1995, the layout of the store was altered to allow guests to walk deeper into the store and get a better look at the authentic fixtures and dry goods.

Rockport Co-Op exterior in 2019. Photo: B. Miskin

1. The building constructed in the mid-1970s for Alma Warr’s store at Lagoon has since been converted to an Arby’s restaurant.


Meeting house, 90, restored for S.U.P. museum. Sugar House Bulletin, 28 Jan 1955.

Pioneer Village guidebook, 1988.

Arave, Lynn. Get Out Of Town By Sundown? Hey: There’s Too Much To See!. Deseret News, 23 July 1995.

Pittman, Lynn. History Of Cooperatives In The United States: An Overview. University Of Wisconsin-Madison Center For Cooperatives, revised Dec 2018.

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