In 1869 the railroad came to Utah. In order to assist the Saints to become self-sufficient and not have to rely on "Gentile" markets that the railroad brought in, LDS Church leaders formed the Zion’s Cooperative Mercantile Institution (ZCMI). Under this system, the parent company in Salt Lake City would order all merchandise and send it to the more than 100 area-owned Cooperative Mercantile Associations in the Utah Territory. These stores took in farm produce, hand-crafted items, products of home industry, and all manner of goods to be sold or exchanged for needed materials by the local pioneers. Metal ZCMI coins sometimes called "tin money" were also occasionally used.

​A unique Greek- Revival style two story building was erected to house Ephraim’s Mercantile Institution in 1872, reflecting the great love the pioneers had for this concept. While most of them lived in small adobe houses, citizens of Ephraim lovingly constructed this imposing buildi
In 1869 the railroad came to Utah. In order to assist the Saints to become self-sufficient and not have to rely on "Gentile" markets that the railroad brought in, LDS Church leaders formed the Zion’s Cooperative Mercantile Institution (ZCMI). Under this system, the parent company in Salt Lake City would order all merchandise and send it to the more than 100 area-owned Cooperative Mercantile Associations in the Utah Territory. These stores took in farm produce, hand-crafted items, products of home industry, and all manner of goods to be sold or exchanged for needed materials by the local pioneers. Metal ZCMI coins sometimes called "tin money" were also occasionally used.

​With merchandise from the parent ZCMI company in Salt Lake City, many items became available for the first time, including store-bought shoes and lace. A post office also shared the first floor. In the early years, an outside open staircase led upstairs to "Society Hall." 
Painted on the front, and reproduced authentically today, were the words "Holiness to the Lord" arched over the All-Seeing Eye of Jehovah. A Beehive was also painted to symbolize the theme of "industry" adopted by the Utah Territory.

​With merchandise from the parent ZCMI company in Salt Lake City, many items became available for the first time, including store-bought shoes and lace.
Today the Co-Op continues that tradition utilizing homemade crafts& artwork from local crafters and artisans.