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.

Book Review: Plain But Wholesome – Foodways of the Mormon Pioneers

Here at Frontier Homestead, we thought we would, from time to time, share with you what we are reading. This month our review comes from one of our interpreters, Amy Howe. We encourage you to share with us your favorite reads as the year progresses.

When faced with the question of what the pioneers ate most people immediately jump to sego lily bulbs and short rations of flour. In his book Plain but Wholesome Brock Cheney shows that, as with so many other things, it was the exceptional dietary experiences that are remembered rather than the typical.

Cheney looks at the traditions of food and food processes of the Mormon pioneers from the settling of Salt Lake City to 1869, when the transcontinental railroad reached Utah. He opens with an account of a party of Forty-niners passing through Salt Lake on July 24, 1849. They were astonished at the tables loaded with food and said they did not believe a greater variety could have been produced in that city. Even a year earlier at a harvest feast just thirteen months after arriving in the valley the menu included bread, beef, butter, cheese, cakes, pastry, sweet corn, melons and a variety of vegetables.

Pioneer treats

The book’s chapters deal with various aspects of food production, preservation, and preparation. Titles include: “Four Ounces of Flour: Food on the Trail”, “Berries, Bulbs, and Beasts: Wild Gathered Food,” and “Wetting the Whistle: Beverages Hot and Cold.” Throughout he shows how food was shaped by local availability, national origin, and religious sensibilities.

One interesting aspect is the inclusion of recipes. Some of these were handed down orally in families while others are taken from books of “receipts” published around the time looked at. When looking for the next family dinner item, consider Zwiebelcuchen, or traditional German onion cobbler.

The earth oven – one form of pioneer cookery.

These pioneer food traditions live on in some surprising ways. Hunting and fishing are the most obvious examples, but many families also head to the hills to carefully watched elderberry and chokecherry patches. The various community celebrations from Peach Days in the south to Onion Days in the north grew in part out of the pioneer’s harvest gatherings.

Plain but Wholesome offers an interesting and readable look at one aspect of a time in our history that is often overlooked. While there were difficult times when sego lilies and pigweed greens were the only food available, after a few years in a place food was of a surprising abundance and variety. The book can be enjoyed by local historians and food enthusiasts alike and makes a great gift, especially if you have friends who will reward you with food.

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.

Frontier Folk Festival: Call for Artists

Stillhouse Road performs at last the Frontier Folk Festival

Frontier Homestead State Park Museum and The Frontier Homestead Museum Foundation are pleased to announce the second annual Frontier Folk Festival in Cedar City, Utah, June 16-17, 11 am – 8 pm each day. Original art and live music combine to celebrate the diverse heritage of southern Utah.  The Frontier Folk Festival promises to be filled with remarkable talent.

“We’ve been talking about this idea for years,” says Todd Prince, Park Manager.  “Last year we introduced the festival, not knowing what the response would be.  Overall, it was a good event. This year we hope to expand on our success, and offer an exceptional experience to the community and all our patrons.”

One of the many vendors at last years event

Applications are now being accepted.  All interested artists and food vendors must submit an electronic  application, available at Artist application .

Thanks to the generous support of the Cedar City/Brian Head Tourism & Convention Bureau (Scenic Southern Utah), marketing and advertising will be extended to market areas in Las Vegas and the Wasatch Front, increasing the Folk Festival’s reach to a broad audience.

The Frontier Homestead Museum Foundation is looking forward to a diverse, quality show, and wish to thank its exhibiting artists and musicians in advance for helping to bring the arts in all of their forms to the residents of Iron County and beyond.

Questions can be directed to Festival Coordinator Todd Prince at (435) 586-9290, or via email atfrontierhomestead@utah.gov.

The Legacies of Iron County: Mining – The Ore Shovel

Mining, represented by the ore shovel, is the industry that began it all, proving to be the initial motive for settlement. In 1923, the mines began producing ore by the tons and elevated Iron County to one of the richest counties in the Utah for nearly 50 years.

Shovels at work in the mines.

Shovels at work in the mines.

In the 1930s, iron mining expanded in Iron County and massive shovels were needed to excavate the needed ore. According to company delivery records, two Bucyrus-Erie 120-B shovels were delivered to the Utah Construction Company in Cedar City in September of 1936 for use in the iron mines. At the time, the wage for a shovel operator was $0.48 per hour.

Shovel at work.

Shovel at work.

The electric 120-B shovel had a six cubic yard dipper capacity, big enough to scoop up six tons of dirt and rock, enough to fill a hole the size of a large pick-up truck with extended cab and bed. AC power was supplied to the shovel via a trailing 23,000 volt electric cable which drove a 275-horsepower motor-generator set. When moving the shovel from pit to pit, bulldozers were employed to prevent the huge tracks from slipping down the hill.

SHE-22 at work.

SHE-22 at work.

About 330 of the 120-Bs were sold around the world over a period lasting almost three decades. SHE (shovel excavator) 22 was used continuously until the 1970’s.  SHE-22 had previously been located west of town where it sat for many years.  In 2012, in partnership with Utah State Parks, Cedar City, Iron County, Gilbert Development, Inc., and Construction Steel, Inc., the shovel was relocated to Frontier Homestead State Park.

The Legacies of Iron County: Railroads and Tourism – The Caboose

Railroads, signified by the caboose, proved pivotal for this community. Freight trains were able to haul more raw materials than ever before, increasing profits for the mining companies. Rail traffic also brought thousands of tourists to the area each year to explore our scenic wonders. Hollywood came to Utah, travelling by train, into Cedar City. The railroad literally brought the world into our backyard.

The Caboose in it's original location, before being donating to the museum.

The Caboose in it’s original location, before being donated to the museum.

The caboose provided the train crew with shelter and working space while they threw switches and inspected for problems such as shifting loads, overheated axle bearings, and dragging equipment. The conductor used the caboose for filling out various forms and reports. On longer trips, the caboose provided living quarters.

Caboose 4618 was manufactured by Pacific Car and Foundry in 1978 and delivered to Southern Pacific.  In its heyday, Southern Pacific operated nearly 14,000 miles of track covering various routes stretching from Tennessee to California.

The body of Caboose 4618 was painted in mineral red with the bay window ends and the end walls in daylight orange, both traditional Southern Pacific colors. Cabooses in the SP system were designated C-XX-X. The “C” stood for caboose, the “XX” denoted the axle load in tons, and the final “X” represented the class, type, or design. Caboose 4618 is a C-50-7. Power for the caboose was provided by a small electrical generator mounted on the lead truck.

Moving the Caboose to Frontier Homestead.

Moving the Caboose to Frontier Homestead.

This caboose was purchased from a California rail yard in 2005 by George Lutterman. In April 2013 it was donated to Frontier Homestead State Park and moved in partnership with Iron County, Union Pacific, Construction Steel, Inc., and Gilbert Development, Inc.

 

The restored Caboose in front of Frontier Homestead

The restored Caboose in front of Frontier Homestead