A Look Into Our Collection: Sheet Music

The following post comes to us from Kyle Taylor, one of our museum interns. All of the images are from our large and varied collection of sheet music ranging from the late 1800’s through the 1930’s.

Music is an art form that can convey a message or tell a story. This story is written using an established set of musical notes, symbols and lyrics. Much like an essay, it is written for an audience, the physical form of this story is called sheet music.

Originally sheet music was laboriously written on a piece of papyrus, any copies that were made were hand written. This caused the sheet music to be very costly and time consuming. In the late 15th century the first printing press was invented which made the production process of sheet music much easier, and more affordable. Instead of going to the opera to listen to music, people were playing music themselves. As time progressed, sheet music production became easier and more popular.

The 1920’s was a time for musical evolution. In the years leading up to the start of the great depression there was great financial prosperity. There were many composers who were very popular during this period. One composer whom you may be familiar with is Irving Berlin. Sheet music was a very popular item to buy. Prior to the 1920’s sheet music was printed on very large paper and had very little artistic value to the cover. To make sheet music more appealing to the consumer, bright and colorful pictures depicting parties or people laughing were printed on the cover of the sheet music. This art gave the music a “storybook” feel to it and would catch the consumer’s eye and gave them the idea that “this is music I would like to have”.

Much like a commercial does today, crooners and street performers would perform this music and make it a more popular item to purchase. Radios were also growing in popularity during this time. The ability to transmit music into every home helped tell the story the sheet music was telling.

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Make the Historic Hunter House Part of Your Story

Frontier Homestead State Park is pleased to announce that rental opportunities for the Hunter House and the Hunter House back grounds are now available. Built in 1866, the Hunter House is the oldest standing home in Cedar City and the back grounds have been landscaped and enhanced to provide the perfect space for private events.

Renting the back grounds of the Hunter House allows complete access to our Summer Kitchen. Amenities include a propane grill, refrigerator, cooking and prep areas, wood cook stove, small earth oven and a dutch oven cooking area with a charcoal grill and plenty of space for dutch ovens. The large deck space and gazebo are also included in the rental fee.

The outdoor kitchen in use during Christmas at the Homestead.

“Imagine your wedding reception, reunion, banquet or business meeting in the beautiful and historic setting of the Hunter House grounds at Frontier Homestead State Park” says Summer Lyftogt, Frontier Homestead’s rental coordinator, “Historic,  unique, and affordable indoor and outdoor spaces are available for rental.” The Joseph S. Hunter house is significant as an example of Utah vernacular architecture and sets the house and grounds apart as a unique venue for your special event.

Fresh baked treats from our new outdoor kitchen.

According to museum curator Ryan Paul, “The Hunter House and Summer Kitchen areas help visitors develop an appreciation for the efforts of those individuals who sought to protect, preserve, and thrive in a new and sometimes hostile environment. In our modern world, many of these ideas are looked upon as nostalgic. These spaces seek to unwind these basic illusions and reveal details about those who came before. Moving beyond the traditional museum exhibit the Hunter House and summer kitchen areas provide an interactive, engaging experience and a one of a kind place to hold an event.”

Early conceptual drawing by Katie Beckstead

Based on conceptual drawings by Katie Beckstead, the Hunter House and the accompanying grounds have been completed through the generous support of many partners including the Hunter family descendents, the Frontier Homestead Museum Foundation, the Utah Division of Arts and Museums, Cedar City Rap Tax, the Thomas Amos Lunt families, and Utah State Parks.

Gathered in the gazebo.

The Hunter House main floor is perfect for small meetings while the back grounds can accommodate groups up to seventy-five. Tables, chairs, and the summer kitchen area are all available. For more information about scheduling and rental pricing call Summer at 435-586-9290, or visit our website  www.fronterhomestead.org

LANDSCAPES FOR THE PEOPLE: THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF GEORGE GRANT

On September 7, at 6:30 p.m. scholars Ren and Helen Davis will present “Landscapes for the People”. This presentation details the extraordinary work of George Grant, a master of photography who documented our nation’s natural treasures.

A Pennsylvania native, Grant was introduced to the parks during the summer of 1922 and resolved to make parks and photography his life. Seven years later, he received his dream job and spent the next quarter century visiting the four corners of the country to produce images in more than one hundred national parks, monuments, historic sites, battlefields, and other locations. He was there to visually document the dramatic expansion of the National Park Service during the New Deal, including the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Grant’s images are the work of a master craftsman. His practiced eye for composition and exposure and his patience to capture subjects in their finest light are comparable to those of his more widely known contemporaries. Nearly fifty years after his death, it is fitting that George Grant’s photography be introduced to a new generation of Americans.

George Alexander Grant is a little known elder in the field of American landscape photography. Just as they did the work of his contemporaries Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, and Eliot Porter, millions of people viewed Grant’s photographs; unlike those contemporaries, few knew Grant’s name. “Landscapes for the People” shares his story through his remarkable images and a compelling biography profiling patience, perseverance, dedication, and an unsurpassed love of the natural and historic places that Americans chose to preserve.

This program has received funding from Utah Humanities (UH) and is free to the public.  UH improves communities through active engagement in the humanities.

Military Appreciation Day 2017

1943 poster by Bernard Perlin and David Stone Martin

In an effort to honor and recognize the significant contributions of our military members, Utah State Parks announces Military Appreciation Day Saturday, August 12. Day-use entrance fees into all Utah state parks will be waived for active service members and veterans and their families. All 42 state parks will offer special activities or displays as way to pay tribute and say thank you.

Come celebrate our courageous military personnel with your family, friends and community at Frontier Homestead on Saturday August 12, 2017. We will provide 4 different varieties of all you can eat pancakes with toppings. There will also be coloring activities for the kids and a letter writing station to create letters for our troops in partnership with Operation Gratitude. Visitors will also have access to all our hands-on historical activity stations. Admission to the park is $5.00 per family or free for active service members and veterans and their families as well as Friends of the Frontier Homestead members. The activities will run from 10am to 2 p.m.   

At our Military Appreciation Day there is sure to be something to make you think, smile, or laugh so come join us. Spend some time learning about your family by playing with your family. For more information about Frontier Homestead or Military Appreciation Day call us at 435-586-9290, visit our Facebook page Frontier Homestead State Park, or our website  www.fronterhomestead.org Frontier Homestead is located at 635 North Main in Cedar City. For additional information about Military Appreciation Day events at other Utah State Parks, click here.

Frontier Homestead: Mission and Values

For the past year, the staff at Frontier Homestead, in cooperation with the Frontier Homestead Museum Foundation and other local partners has been working on new mission and vision statements. We are happy to report that we have wrapped up the process and are ready to present them to our patrons, friends, and supporters.  The full mission and vision statements are below, but as a teaser here is the new Park mission statement: To connect people to traditions, knowledge and ideas. Supporting statements flesh out just what this entails. Ultimately, we want Frontier Homestead to be a place where history becomes your story.

Frontier Homestead State Park Museum- Mission Statement

To connect people to traditions, knowledge and ideas.

We fulfill our mission by:

  1. Creating engaging, educational and experiential programming.
  2. Actively collecting the physical and oral cultural histories of Southwest Utah.
  3. Safeguarding our collections and maintaining Park facilities.
  4. Responsible fundraising.
  5. Collaborating with individuals, institutions, community partners and the Museum Foundation.
  6. Celebrating frontier lifeways through community outreach, special events and programs.
  7. Providing quality service to our community and all our visitors.
  8. Working with the Museum Foundation to establish an endowment of $10 million, the income from which will support the operational costs of growing and preserving the Museum’s collection and the management of all Museum activities and programs.
  9. Embracing and incorporating values as articulated by the History Relevance Campaign (www.historyrelevance.com).

Frontier Homestead State Park Museum -Vision Statement

As the new town square, Frontier Homestead State Park is the setting where all are invited to come to share experiences, learn, and connect with each other. The Park will realize its vision by adherence to the following values:

  • Stewardship: We will strategically plan for long-term sustainability of the resources entrusted to us.  We will secure adequate funding and infrastructure to preserve, exhibit and interpret the Museum’s extensive collections, and maintain sufficient resources to readily host community events, celebrations and public programming.  We believe safeguarding our past is the foundation by which future generations will thrive.
  • Relevance: We will be an integral member of our community, creating dynamic and inspiring exhibits and programs that are important to the lives of our audiences. We will continue to benefit future generations as a vibrant, inclusive institution that is fully involved in the life of Iron County and southern Utah. Our work to increase awareness and appreciation of history lays the groundwork for a strong, resilient community.
  • Professionalism: We will be leaders in superior customer service and industry practices. Staff and volunteers will continue to expand their experience and training in order to provide quality assistance to all our patrons.
  • Fiscal Responsibility: We will conduct the business of the park within our financial means, and seek to enhance and diversify our economic base where possible. We hold that cultural heritage is a demonstrated economic asset and essential component of a vibrant financial market.
  • Communication: We will utilize the latest technology to more effectively and efficiently advance the activities of the Museum. We will fully integrate our website and social media platforms to foster a strong digital presence.  Staff will actively engage visitors onsite and online.
  • Diversity: We will engage people of all ages, ethnicity, religion, economic circumstance, and education to provide a broader relevance to our museum. History enables citizens to discover their own place in the stories of their families, society, and country. By bringing history into discussions about contemporary issues, we foster a better understanding of multiple perspectives on the challenges facing our communities.
  • Management/Administration: We will strive to expand our staff in order to realize the full potential of our mission and vision, thereby meeting ever-increasing public utilization of the Park. We employ history to provide leaders with inspiration and guide posts for meeting the complex challenges in a rapidly changing world.
  • Park Facilities & Grounds: We will dedicate sufficient resources to the development and care of the structures and lands entrusted to us. We recognize that the park infrastructure is the basis for effective resource stewardship and the vehicle for our public service activities.

Featured Artist: Blaine Demille

Colorado Mines Hotel Still Life
Oil

Aside from our regularly exhibited artifact collection, Frontier Homestead State Park Museum has a rotating special exhibit gallery that is used by artists and artisans of many disciplines to showcase, highlight, and sell their work. Through May 31 we are pleased to feature the work of visual artist Clayton Blaine Demille. Exhibited works feature an extensive collection of paintings highlighting desert scenes, portraits, and various still lifes.

For over three decades, Demille has been producing personalized fine art commissions in portraits, murals, and decorative painting. His early training was grounded in traditional figure and portrait studies under the late Al Gittins at the University of Utah art department. Later, in Denver, Colorado he tutored with European painter P.A. Kontny.

The Grandfathers
Charcoal

Demille designs and creates custom wall murals, sky ceiling, and painted furniture pieces for homes and business settings. In these diverse works, Demille endeavors to bring to the painted wall a touch of old world magic – an imaginative space which transforms any architectural setting.

Demille has exhibited in Colorado, Northern California, Florida, and throughout Utah. Frontier Homestead is open Monday-Saturday, from 9am to 5pm. Don’t let the opportunity to see this amazing artistic collection pass you by. Remember, the exhibit closes June May 31.

Demille painting a mural for the Violin School of America in Salt Lake City, UT.

The completed mural can still be seen at 200 South 300 East in Salt Lake City, UT

The Hunter House

Joseph Sneddon Hunter

Joseph Sneddon Hunter was born November 20, 1844 in Scotland to Joseph Hunter and Elizabeth Davidson. The family had joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1840 and in 1849 all seven immigrated to the United States. After pausing in Missouri where Elizabeth and two children died, Joseph Hunter and his sons set out for Utah, arriving in Salt Lake in the early fall of 1852. The Hunters were then called to help colonize Cedar City and arrived there in October.

Joseph Sneddon Hunter subsequently made his living in farming and livestock. In 1865 he married Elizabeth Catherine Pinnock, by whom he had ten children. Their house was built in three stages, between 1866 and 1891 with an addition in 1924. Hunter was active in church and civic affairs. He filled missions in the Southern States and in Washington County, held Church offices and gave the Church generous financial support. He believed strongly in the value of education which he supported financially and as a trustee. Joseph died in this house July 26, 1904.

Hunter House at the Homestead

The first section of the Hunter house, built in 1866, is a 1 – 1 ½ story brick example of the Central Hall vernacular type. Vernacular architecture is based on localized needs, uses local construction materials, and often reflects local traditions. The east facade displays the distinctive wall dormers which characterize much of Utah’s mid-19th century architecture. The 1866 section has gable-end chimneys and exhibits common brick bonding and relieving arched windows. Decorative features include a plain entablature, gable-end cornice returns, gable and dormer finials, and elliptical fan lights in the dormers. The mixing of Greek and Gothic Revival stylistic elements is commonly encountered on vernacular houses of this type.

Hunter House by Al Rounds

In 1891 the house received several additions in the “Victorian” stylistic tradition. A rear “T” extension was placed on the west side of the house. Unfortunately, this section proved too unstable to move. An elaborate porch was placed on the east façade of the main house at this time. This porch exhibits Eastlake design qualities in its intricately turned posts, scroll brackets, and spindled frieze. The richly articulated cutout designs between the posts are a particularly distinctive Eastlake feature.

Moving the Hunter House

In 2005 the Hunter House was relocated from its original address at 1st East and Center Street to Frontier Homestead State Park Museum.  The move and subsequent restoration of the historic 1866 portion is a testament to the communities desire to preserve and protect their heritage for all to experience and enjoy.

Meet our new Foundation Chair: Mike Scott

The Frontier Homestead Museum Foundation recently elected a new chair, Mike Scott. Maureen Carlson, one of our interpretive staff, recently sat down with him.

Mike Scott

Q – Tell me a little bit about yourself.

A – Well, let’s see, I am an engineer by trade. I had a company in Southern California, sold it, [then] moved to initially Parowan to help to raise and train horses. In California, my partner and I showed Clydesdales; we started with one and ended up with ten. I was looking for something to do, then I was invited to come to Utah and I’ve been here ever since, and that would’ve been in about 2002. So I’ve been in either Parowan or Cedar City since 2002.

Q – How have you liked it here?

A – I love it! We’re both retired and we’ve had discussions about ‘if we wanted to live anyplace in the nation, where would you go?’ and I said, ‘I love it here. We have four seasons.’ As a Southern California boy, I still oggle at the snow! And my partner, she’s from Minnesota and she’s going ‘Oh god, it’s snowing again…’ and I’m going ‘No, no! This is so cool!’

Q – What brought you here?

A – In Parowan here, initially it was Percherons, and maybe you remember the place, Mountain View Ranch? (Yes.) That’s who I worked for. That came about because Grant Cox used to show in Southern California and we were fellow competitors at horse shows. So then the opportunity came and he said, ‘Why don’t you come to Utah and work my horses?’ We disbanded our operation. It was a 24/7 job, you do not get a break at all. There’s only so many years of that you can take.

Q – What is it that is special to you about the Frontier Homestead?

A – Well I initially started as a volunteer and I came and saw that some of the harnesses on the horses were incorrect. So I asked if I could fix it. Then they steered me down to the wagon barn where there was extra leather, and I came up here and put some stuff together correctly as to how it should be. I just kind of paid attention to, you know, that’s the way we did it with horses and said, well if we’re showing it that way, then I gotta make it right, show it right.

Footings for the new storage building.

Q – What are you goals for the Foundation during your tenure?

A – Obviously number one is to finish the new building that’s been started out back near the Hunter House. The real plus about that is that it will enable us to obtain a couple more collections that people want to donate that we have no room for. There will probably be even three new collections that we’ll be able to house in that building. And also, it will give us the opportunity to move some of the carriages that are in the museum now out there for special events when we want to use the main building here in the museum, and that’s an intent in the future, is to be able to move things out so that we could have a big gala event here inside the museum. That’s one of the main intents of the building, additional collections and storage.

Q – How does the Foundation work with the park?

A – The Foundation actually has a Board of Trustees which I’m the chairman of and they are community members and some legislative members: Senator Vickers from Utah Legislature, Councilman Rowley from Cedar City, and we’re now looking to get an appointment from the Iron County Commission,(Councilman Mike Bleak has agreed to fill this position) plus interested volunteers. We just get together and come up with ideas for fundraisers or local support and once we raise money, decide how we’re going to spend it. And we kind of have a “hit list” of one, two, three, four of things we want to do and it’s well, what could we do immediately, what’s going to take a few years, what kind of money are we talking about, those kinds of things.

Q – How can people get more involved with the park?

A – We have a volunteer network and it’s basically just contacting the park. There’s a number of people that come into do volunteer work throughout the week, whether it be the lady weavers just kind of showing and they’re able to use the facility, and some fellows come in and help with restoration projects and/or other little special projects – carpentry kind of things and/or whatever. Just contact the museum, there’s a little form to fill out and become a volunteer helper.

Q – Is it spread mainly by word of mouth by people who work here or have volunteered here before?

A – Yeah, and Friends of the Museum group publishes a quarterly newsletter and seek volunteers through that. And then again through the printed press that we’re fortunate to be able to get from either the Spectrum or Iron County Today; we can get little blurbs in once in awhile in some of the articles that say, you know, if you’d like to come and help. And then the other word of mouth is, and I also coordinate Eagle Scout projects for here and we’ve had a number of them.

The Hay Derrick, an eagle scout project.

Q – I heard that the Hay Derrick out front here was an Eagle Scout project?

A – Correct. We talked about building one and the Eagle Scout that was actually in charge of it actually found one in Enoch and the land owner was gracious enough to donate it to us. So his group disassembled it and brought it to the park and put it back together, so he didn’t have to build one and the fellow that donated it got a little recognition. And you know, the front of the museum has changed significantly over the years, if you can remember, that it was just kind of grass and bushes and you never really knew that the building was here [because] it was kind of hidden. And now we have these large implements out front to draw attention to it.

Christmas at the Homestead

Q – What is your fondest memory of Frontier Homestead State Park?

A – Probably when we do Christmas at the Homestead that week in December. Every evening where we [have] singers, carolers, a couple of vendors, but it’s, you know, the hot chocolate and all the rest of the little goodies, little bonfires going everywhere, and it’s just kind of neat all around. It’s really a family event. It’s set up in such a way that you could come every night because there’s different singers, different musical groups.

 

Music at the Frontier Folk Festival

Q – Is that similar with the Folk Festival too, bringing in local artists?

A – They can come from Salt Lake or Las Vegas, some of the artists. The Folk Festival this year is basically local talent and music talent and artists pretty much local, maybe 75% local. And it’s not store goods, it’s handmade stuff and that was one of our requirements for our artists, that when they submit, we have to see pictures of them actually in their studios or their workplaces making whatever it is that they sell to show. There’s a tremendous amount of talent in this area.

If you are interested in joining the Frontier Homestead Foundation Friends group, you can learn more by clicking here.  Membership includes free admission to the park, including special events, discounts in the gift shop, and much more.

Sheep to Shawl

Soft as a pillow.

Frontier Homestead State Park invites you to our first big event of 2017. Join us Saturday, March 18 for a trip back in time as we explore wool, from Sheep to Shawl. Frontier Homestead State park in partnership with the Sagebrush Fiber Artisans will allow participants to journey through the step-by-step process of taking wool from the sheep’s back to yours. Join us from 10:00-2:00 to have fun with the whole family.

Sheep will be attending as well to give visitors the opportunity to touch and feel before and after their annual haircut. Shearing demonstrations will be given hourly starting and 10:30am and run until 1:30pm.

Spot before her haircut.

 

 

Spot during her haircut.

Dyeing wool

Demonstrations include shearing, washing, carding, spinning and dyeing wool. Knitting and weaving will be available to participate in. Come enjoy the activities and visit with our talented craftspeople. Cost is $2.00 per person or $5.00 per family. Friend’s Group members are free with membership card.

 

Spinners at the walking wheel

This living history experience is hosted at the Frontier Homestead State Park Museum located at 635 North Main Street in Cedar City. Call 435-586-9290 for more information.

The Legacies of Iron County: Agriculture – The Hay Derrick

Agriculture, symbolized by the hay derrick, became the foundation of the local community. When early mining operations ceased, Iron County residents turned to sheep and cattle to provide needed trade goods. Today, the region still has a vibrant and expanding agricultural lifestyle.

An Iron County haying crew.

Hay for livestock in a horse-driven society was as important as gasoline or electricity is today. The oldest technology for stacking hay in Iron County was the hay derrick that allowed farmers to build haystacks in their fields.

 

 

A hay derrick in action.

Hay derricks, usually homemade devices, consisted of a central pole rigged so that it could rotate on its base. By means of pulleys, rope, and a one-horse hookup, the loading fork could be raised and rotated over the haystack. When tripped, the hay would drop onto the stack. Men on top of the stack would arrange the hay so that it would shed water, thus the hay would cure rather than rot. Occasionally rattlesnakes might be hiding in the hay and provide a surprise for those on top of the hay pile. Stacks were built one section at a time. When one section was finished, the derrick was hitched to a horse and dragged to the next section.

Frontier Homestead’s hay derrick.

The derrick in front of Frontier Homestead was donated to by local rancher Bud Bauer and relocated from his farm to the museum as an Eagle Scout project in May 2013.