We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1) McCune Mansion, Salt Lake City
Alfred and Elizabeth McCune built their bungalow in the Avenues of Salt Lake City in 1901. They spared no expense (the cost back then was over $500,000). The McCunes imported building materials from all over the world: bathroom tile from Venice, rare mahogany from South America, roof tiles from Holland and a huge mirror from Germany.
2) Fielding Garr Ranch House
Located on Antelope Island, this house carries two special distinctions: It’s the oldest continually inhabited home in the state (from 1848 to 1981) and it’s also the oldest home still on its original foundation.
3) Dr. Priddy Meeks Cabin, Parowan
Dr. Meeks was the first physician in Southern Utah; he built this cabin in 1865.
4) Jesse N. Smith Home, Parowan
Jesse N. Smith was a Mormon pioneer who arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. He was sent to Parowan in 1851. He married soon after. And again after that...and again...for a total of five wives. He had 44 children — the first was born when he was still a teenager; the last was born when he was 69 years old!
5) Kearns Mansion, Salt Lake City
Thomas Kearns, who got rich from silver mining, built this historic home in 1902. It was thoroughly renovated in 1996 and now serves as the Utah Governor’s Mansion.
6) Oscar Swett Ranch, Ashley National Forest
Located near Flaming Gorge and Red Canyon, the Oscar Swett Ranch started as a small claim in 1909 and grew to encompass three other pioneer homesteads. The house and cabins are in nearly-original condition today.
7) Josie Morris Cabin, Dinosaur National Monument
Josie Bassett Morris was a rare bird back in the early 1900s. She was a 40-year-old four-time divorcee who decided to build her own homestead. She built this little cabin and lived in it, without plumbing or electricity, until just prior to her death in 1963...at age 90. Josie was a bootlegger during Prohibition and an accused cattle thief (her trial, which commenced when she was 68-years-old, resulted in a hung jury). Josie Morris was a strong, independent woman long before the feminist movement!
8) Jens Nielson House, Bluff
Jens needed somewhere to put his second wife Kirsten (and their six kids), so he built her this charming little home in Bluff. The sandstone block home has had several additions over the years, including extra bedrooms and bath and a front porch.
9) John Boyden House, Coalville
John Boyden built his home in Coalville in 1866, and it was smaller then. He began to add on to the home in 1888. Boyden served three terms as the Mayor of Coalville.
10) Brigham Young’s Winter Home, St. George
Every Salt Lake resident should have a second home in St. George, to retreat to when the weather gets cold. Even Brigham Young knew this, so he constructed his “winter home” in 1873.
11) Butch Cassidy’s Childhood Home, near Circleville
This humble little abode housed young Robert Lee Parker from 1879-1884; long before he became a notorious criminal.
12) The Beehive House, Salt Lake City
Brigham Young’s first official home; he constructed it in 1854. His first wife, Mary Ann, lived on the property in a smaller home; his second wife, Lucy Ann Decker, occupied Beehive House with her nine children.
13) Lion House, Salt Lake City
Brigham Young built The Lion House in 1856, to accommodate his growing family. This home was connected to the Beehive House by Brigham Young’s private suite, which must have made it convenient for visiting wives from either home!
14) Niels Borreson Home, Spring City
Built in 1864, this home features limestone walls that are two feet thick! Niels was born in Denmark and converted to the Mormon Church and immigrated to the Salt Lake Valley shortly after. He took two additional wives and served some time at the Utah Territorial Penitentiary for “cohabitation.”
15) William and Margaret Osborne Home, Spring City
This red brick home was built in 1894. You can stay in this home now; it’s a bed and breakfast.
16) James and Sara Houston Home, Panguitch
This is one of several red brick historic homes in Panguitch. It was built in 1906 and features stained glass windows. The Houstons built a smaller home in the backyard, which they lived in while the larger home was completed.
17) James G. Willie Home, Mendon
James G. Willie was one of Mendon’s early settlers. He built this home in 1865.
18) William Knudsen Cabin, Brigham City
This little cabin, built for Wilhelm and Laura Amelia Knudsen in 1855, was one of the first homes built in the area. It was moved to Pioneer Park in 1929 so it could be preserved.
19) The Bryner House, Price
Albert and Mariah Bryner completed their home in 1892. Shortly afterward, Albert was called on an LDS mission to Germany, leaving Mariah home to fend for herself. She took up sewing to make ends meet.
Have you visited any of these historic homes? What others would you add to this list?