This was one of the first Mansions in Sugar House, built by Brigham Young in 1863 on a 800 Acre Farm located in what is now called the Forest Dale Historic District and is roughly bounded by 700 East, Interstate 80, Commonwealth Ave. and 900 East.
The Farmhouse was relocated to This is the Place Heritage Park in 1976 and it was restored to as close as possible to how it was in the mid-1960s as a working dairy and experimental farm.
Brigham Young never lived in this uniquely styled stucco farmhouse, but used it as a “show place” for visiting dignitaries and guests. He and his family held musical performances, square dances, and dinner parties in the home’s second-story ballroom that was designed in the tradition of New England inns. The farm also served as an agricultural experiment station where crops such as alfalfa, sugar beets, mulberry seedlings, and silkworms could be tested for their viability in the unfamiliar Utah climate and soil. It was primarily a dairy farm.
The expansive kitchen accommodated cooks for thirty workman and family members. Breakfast was a large meal, and Dinner (noon meal) was the biggest meal of the day. Supper (evening meal) was very light.
A unique aspect of this home that set it apart from others of the day was the cool artesian water that was piped into a large tank in the cellar from a nearby well. The cellar served as kind of a refrigerator or “cool room” for meat, milk, butter, cheese, eggs and other highly perishable products.
This helps to remind me how grateful I am for the modern kitchens we enjoy today with food preservation, modern cooking and running hot and cold water at our fingertips, not to mention the many other high end kitchen amenities that are available to us today.
The dinning room hasn’t changed nearly as much as the kitchen has over the last one hundred and fifty years.
The bedrooms were very nice other than the lack of bathrooms. I’m very glad that we don’t have to rely on a bedpan under the bed…..
It was very interesting to see how they made their own clothing.
For perspective we also toured the John Gardner Cabin built in 1864 to see how the average family lived in the 1860s.
John Gardner and his wife Harriet Dyer built this one-room 13 by 22 foot cabin in Pleasant Grove, Utah.
In 1883, John took a second wife, Annie Nichols. They had ten children, seven boys and three girls. A lean-to of rock and adobe was added to accommodate the children of the second marriage, as was the loft, which is accessible only by an outside ladder.
This cabin represents the humble, economic status of many new immigrants who could bring very few furnishings and personal belongings with them to Utah.
We all enjoyed the tour very much and we will be coming back next year to tour some of the other historical buildings at This is the Place Heritage Park.