All posts by Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area

Library Receives Early Christmas Gift from Arts Council – Press Release 12/18/04

DATE 12/18/2004 7:15 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Library Receives Early Christmas Gift from Arts Council

The Folk Arts Program of the Utah Arts Council and the Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council are giving Mt. Pleasant a special gift this holiday season.They have donated 46 cassette recordings by folklorist Jens Lund to the Mt. Pleasant library. Lund interviewed a number of local artists and historians about the traditions and lifestyle of Sanpete County residents as part of a project to document and present local culture.

The project, “Utah’s Sanpete Valley: The Heart of the Mormon West,” produced a driving tour of Sanpete County. The tapes are 90-minute “history lessons” of the Sanpete County region, complete with stories and anecdotes told by people residing in the area. The tour allows people to listen as they explore and pass through the region in their vehicles. The package also included a written guide with maps, photos, illustrations and text featuring local residents and attractions .

The collection of cassette recordings donated to the library include interviews with local residents Victor Rasmussen, Helen Dyreng, Senator Leonard Blackham, Mack and Ora Morley and Virginia Nielson, to name just a few. There are also recordings of performances by Dee Blackburn, Aden “V” Johnson, Joe Frishknecht, Hilmar Peterson, Nyra Nielson and others. Transcriptions of many of the tape-recorded interviews are also being donated.

“These recordings will provide a unique resource for those researching local history for years to come,” says Carol Edison, folks arts coordinator for the Utah Arts Council. “The Utah Arts Council and the Sanpete Heritage Council are delighted for them to be housed in Mt. Pleasant’s fine library. We encourage anyone interested in learning more about Sanpete Valley and its people to listen to the tapes and learn from some of the people who’ve helped create that history.” The tapes are also available for purchase at tourist centers and museums throughout the area, including the Fairview Museum, Mt. Pleasant City and Ephraim Co-op. The 90-minute program is available on two tapes or compact discs.

For more information about the Folk Arts Program of the Utah Arts Council and it’s programs to document and present traditional Utah arts and culture, visit www.http://arts.utah.gov/folkarts or call 801-533-5760.

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For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

Snowmobiler’s Delight in Sanpete County Offerings – Press Release 11/30/04

DATE 11/30/2004 6:29 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Snowmobiler’s Delight in Sanpete County Offerings

When the weather outside is frightful, snowmobiler’s know that one thing will soon be delightful: the trails in Sanpete County.The region boasts some of the best trails for snowmobiling in the entire country, and the combination of fresh snow and access to fabulous routes keep people coming back year after year, local sporting enthusiasts say.

Snowmobiling enthusiasts should be sure to visit the county this season and check out the Arapeen trail system. The routes, found primarily in the Manti LaSal national forest, have been carefully marked and mapped to ensure that riders find their way around the 370 miles that make up the trail system. The trail system was recently redesigned and includes bridges, culverts and water bars.

Another draw is Fairview Canyon. The paved canyon road leads to a trail head that provides access to more than 60 miles of trails to the north at Skyline Drive and some 30 miles to the south to Joe’s Valley.

Snowmobiling has long been a huge benefit for Sanpete County, contributing by means of snowmobiler’s eating in local restaurants, staying in our hotels and bed and breakfasts and visiting our stores and shops.

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For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

Holiday Celebrations Scheduled in Sanpete County – Press Release 11/29/04

DATE 11/29/2004 6:29 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Holiday Celebrations Scheduled in Sanpete County

It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Sanpete County, with numerous holiday activities planned from now until the week before Christmas.We want people traveling down the Heritage Highway U.S. 89 to stop off in the cities and towns along the highway for an old-fashioned Christmas, says Monte Bona, a member of the Mt. Pleasant city council.Events are listed by date, time city and location. They are:

Thursday, Dec. 2

  • 4 to 9 p.m., Manti Holiday Home Show, to benefit the construction of a community swimming pool. Seven homes on display. Tickets are $5 in advance or $6 at the door and are available at the Manti City office or through participating businesses.
  • 7 p.m., performance by the singing group, Bar J Wranglers, at Snow College s Activity Center. Tickets are $9 in advance or $10 at the door. Family tickets (for up to six people) are $40. For information call 283-7253.
  • 8 p.m., performance of It s a Wonderful Life at the Ephraim Middle School. Admission is $2.
  • 5 to 9 p.m., Gunnison Home Tour sponsored by the Gunnison High School Drill Team. Nine homes are on display. Tickets are available at Valley Furniture or Rasmussen s Ace Hardware.

Friday, Dec. 3

  • 6 p.m., Ephraim City’s Parade of Lights down Main Street. Entertainment will be held prior to the parade starting at 4:30 p.m. at the City Building.
  • 5 to 9 p.m., Gunnison Home Tour sponsored by the Gunnison High School Drill Team. Nine homes are on display. Tickets are available at Valley Furniture or Rasmussen s Ace Hardware.

Saturday, Dec. 4

  • 2 to 8 p.m., Sanpete Valley Hospital s annual Holiday Home Show in the Fairview/Milburn area. Tickets are $5 and available at Beck s Home Furniture and the Sanpete Valley Hospital.

Thursday, Dec. 7.

  • 7:30 p.m., Christmas choral concert, Eccles Performing Arts Center, Snow College, presented by the Snow College Music Department. Tickets are $1 and proceeds benefit the Shop-With-A-Cop program.

Wednesday, Dec. 8

  • 7:30 p.m., LD Singers Christmas Concert, Ephraim LDS Institute. Free admission.

Thursday, Dec. 9

  • 7:30 p.m., performance by the Utah Symphony at Snow College’s Eccles Center for the Performing Arts. Snow College musical groups will perform prior to the symphony starting at 6:30 p.m. Building tours will also be held.

Friday, Dec. 9

  • 6:30 p.m., City of Mayfield Christmas Party, Mayfield LDS Ward. Santa Claus will visit and there will be entertainment by the Mop Heads. A pot luck dinner is planned. For information, call Dorothy Robertson, 528-3629 or Teri Robertson, 528-3663.
  • 7:30 p.m., LD Singers Christmas Concert, Ephraim LDS Institute. Free admission.

Saturday Dec. 11 and Sunday Dec. 12

  • 7:30 p.m. Snow College and the City of Ephraim present the annual performance of Handel s Messiah at the Eccles Performing Arts Center.

Wednesday, Dec. 15

  • 7 p.m. Ephraim Middle School holds Yule Candles, an annual candlelight ceremony, at the Snow College Eccles Performing Arts Center.

Thursday, Dec. 16

  • 7 p.m. Children’s chorus performance at the Snow College Eccles Performing Arts Center. Free admission.

Friday, Dec. 18

  • 2 p.m. annual Christmas draw in downtown Mt. Pleasant at the recreation center. Santa Claus will be in attendance. Tickets for the draw are free with every $5 purchase from participating local vendors. For information, call 462-2502.
  • 6 p.m., Fairview City’s Lights Parade. Santa Claus will visit and refreshments will be served after the parade at the City Hall. Call 427-3858 for information.

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For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502
 

Mt. Pleasant Violin Maker Forming Ties with China – Press Release 11/19/04

DATE 11/19/2004 10:11 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Mt. Pleasant Violin Maker Forming Ties with China

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council about the people, places and preservation efforts along U.S. Highway 89, the Heritage Highway. Paul Hart is used to teaching himself new skills. As a teenager, he learned to make cellos and violins on his own, and now runs a violin-making school and studio in Mt. Pleasant.So the fact that he has once again become his own teacher is not a surprise. But his chosen subject is: Mandarin. Hart has been trying to learn the language ever since he traveled to China a year ago to teach violin making.

He quickly became enamored by the country, its landscape, people, and history, and is now is hoping to learn more about it by studying its language. He plans to return to China to again next month for another teaching session.

“I’m looking forward to it, I really enjoyed my last trip and would love to actually live there for a little while and teach,” Hart says during an interview from The Tree’s Breath Violin Making School in Mt. Pleasant.

Hart was asked to go to China by his former student, Jay Ifshin, who owns violin-making companies in Berkeley, California, and Guangzhou, China. “I went over as a consultant. They don’t have a long tradition of violin making in China, so I was helping them with style and details. Their goal is to produce the highest-quality violins in China.”

Hart, who has been teaching violin making for decades, said the experience was very different from teaching in the United States. Here he teaches to students who pay tuition to learn the craft, and it takes about four years to become a violin maker. In China, he was teaching people who are employees of a company.

“They are paid to make violins. I don’t know if that is the reason, but they learn a lot faster. I tell them what to do, show them how to do it, and they get it done,” Hart says. Many of the tools used in the craft are different in China, as are some of the techniques. But his Chinese pupils are open and receptive to new ideas and concepts, he says.

Hart was able to spend about a week traveling in China during his last visit. “I took about 500 pictures, it was just amazing.” Guangzhou is located about 100 miles from Hong Kong, and he traveled with a tour group of native residents to Beijing and other cities.

“I saw quite a bit of the country. It was very interesting traveling with Chinese citizens to see parts of China that they had never before seen,” he says.

Hart hopes to do more sightseeing during his return visit. He’d also like to form more ties to the country. “Some of my other former students are interested in starting a violin-making school over there. I don’t know if it will happen or not, we’ll see.”

For now, Hart is looking forward to his trip and continues to teach and build violins in Mt. Pleasant. He opened his school about six years ago in a 100-year-old building on the city’s Main Street.

Before moving to Sanpete County, which he chose for its rustic, rural lifestyle, Hart had been teaching his craft and living in Salt Lake City since 1969. He has also spent time in Mexico teaching and making violins at a special art school.

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For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

Sustainable Agriculture Focus of Upcoming Conference – Press Release 11/7/2004

DATE 11/07/2004 7:15 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Sustainable Agriculture Focus of Upcoming Conference

The Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council is teaming with the Utah State University’s extension services to help farmers learn more about sustainable agriculture.The two are organizing a February conference that will feature John Ikerd, a prominent national expert in the field. The first-ever event will be held in Brigham City and is aimed reaching farmers in Sanpete County, along U.S. Highway 89 and across Utah.”We are looking at all sort of ways that we can help farmers, both locally and across the state,” says Gary Anderson, a USU extension agent and former mayor of Ephraim. “We are exploring new practices and looking back to the past to find ways to help increase income for farmers.”

This includes more profitable methods for farmers to take their products from farm gate to plate, community support such as promoting and improving farmers’ markets, and new products and commodities.

The February session will include a keynote presentation by John Ikerd, a professor emeritus of agricultural economics at the University of Missouri-Columbia. John Ikerd is also the state coordinator of extension programs in sustainable agriculture, and helped implement a national professional development program for farmers and agricultural workers. He also researches educational programs and the effects of sustainable agriculture on farm families and rural communities.

Ikerd, who was raised on a small dairy farm in Missouri, has spent 30 years in various professional positions at four major land grant universities. He advocates that to be sustainable, agriculture must be ecologically sound, economically viable and socially responsible. At the conference, he will discuss how agriculture that uses up or degrades it natural resource base, or pollutes the environment, will eventually lose its ability to produce and therefore is not sustainable.

For his part, Anderson has been involved in numerous endeavors related to promoting and starting businesses in communities along U.S. Highway 89, the Heritage Highway, including helping craft makers and business owners market their products. He also was extensively involved in a feasibility study pertaining to business activity along the historical route.

For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

Drive-In Is Longtime Hometown Favorite – Press Release 10/27/2004

DATE 10/27/2004 7:15 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Drive-In Is Longtime Hometown Favorite

It is been an icon in Mt. Pleasant for more than five decades. For many, its name is synonymous with fun, good times and comfort food. We’re talking, of course, about Rodgers Dairy Freeze.It has proudly stood on Main Street and U.S. Highway 89 for 50 years, selling ice cream, hamburgers, French fries, onion rings, and even salads and pasta to locals and visitors alike.

Over the years, it has seen many owners, most recently Rodger and Jenni Johansen, but its mainstay has remained the same: good times, good food and a helping hometown goodness on the side.

The Dairy Freeze is a little lesson in local history itself. The L.U. Mumford family, who built the Dairy Freeze, served a prominent resident from Moroni who was the bishop of the local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ward, so the story goes. He ordered a sweet combination of ingredients that included pineapple, strawberry, chocolate so often that it became known as the Bishop Shake.

It is still on the menu, along with about a dozen other combinations and flavors. The Johansen say they keep people coming back by changing the menu often, trying out new things and giving their customers a chance to have their say. They also try to make their business part of the community, even offering free shakes to anyone willing to donate historical photos of Mt. Pleasant or Sanpete County.

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For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

FOR SALE: ONE HISTORICAL UTAH TOWN, $1 PER PERSON” – Press Release 10/23/2004

 

DATE 10/23/2004 7:00 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

FOR SALE: ONE HISTORICAL UTAH TOWN, $1 PER PERSON”

Kelly Taylor is practically giving away a historical Utah town.For $1 per member, families can purchase 1.1 acres of land to build a home or cabin. The only requirements are buyers must be descendants of one of the town’s original settlers and agree to document their entire family history.

“If there are 10,000 people in a family line, fine, each family member can each pay their $1 when they want to, there are no upfront requirements,” says Taylor. “But they have to trace their ancestry for us, starting with the youngest newborn baby and going back to the original pioneer who lived in the town. Right now, we are working with one family who has traced their roots back to a settler who was a polygamist, and there are 1,000 descendants from him.”

Taylor and his 90-year-old father, Vance, own 88 acres of land in Wayne County that was once known as the town of Giles or the Old Blue Valley. They bought the land, located in southeastern Utah near the Fremont River and east of Capitol Reef Park, in 1971 but never developed it. A few years ago, they considered selling it for use as a feedlot.

“The minute we offered it, it started wearing on my mind. I kept asking myself “is this the best use for this old historical town, turning it into a cow pasture?”” Taylor says.

He and his father decided a better idea was to give the town back to the original inhabitants, so to speak. “So we started talking with the county about restoring it, and they bought into the idea right away,” Taylor says.

The town of Giles was created in1880, set up by Mormon settlers to produce cotton, sorghum and silkworms. “It was intended to grow things that couldn’t be grown anywhere else in the state except maybe in Dixie,” Taylor says. The town was named after its first bishop and county commissioner, Henry Giles, who died not long after its settlement.

Between about 1880 and 1910, more than 90 different families lived in the town. “It was the biggest town in Wayne County, next to Loa,” Taylor says. “During that time, about 1,200 acres of land was cultivated and farmed, using a lengthy and intricate ditch system that diverted water from up the Fremont River.” But the area was plagued by flooding, and in 1910, there was such a severe flood that all of the residents had to flee.

“They walked away with nothing. Some of them had been there 30 years. Many of them couldn’t even get their team of horses or anything from their homes, the flood took every bit of it and rolled it down into the Grand Canyon,” Taylor says.

According to local history, the town’s bishop at the time stood on the highest hill and proclaimed that what people saw and experienced that day would never be believed, Taylor says. “Entire homes, whole orchards and herds of livestock were floating by, going down the river. It was just devastating. Everyone was released from their mission and told to find new lives and new places.”

All that is now left of the town is the outline of rock foundations where homes once stood, along with some chimneys and the fragments of a church. “But all of the adobe bricks that the houses were made out of have long since decayed, it’s just a pile of rubble at the foot of the wall” Taylor says.

He has been gathering personal histories and old photographs of the town, which he plans to publish on a web site. “I’m interviewing different people every week. I sit down with them, pick their brain and put on a tape and let them talk.” He even has a photo of the old church with about 40 people standing out in front of it. “This area is just rich in Mormon history,” he says. He also holds reunions at the town’s site twice a year, on Memorial Day and Labor Day.

In preparation for selling plots of land to descendants for $1 per person, Taylor has divided the town into its original 1.1 acre sections. “It isn’t about money to us. We want people to build on the lot, but with materials that authentic to the era, and collect old farm pieces — anything that will make it look like it did back then. I hope that families come here and plant a whole variety of plants and trees and gardens, varieties that the settlers were sent here to grow,” Taylor says. He is also hoping to locate and move old buildings and cabins from other areas of the state into the town.

“No way am I putting anything in there made of new lumber. We want people to put forth a real effort and help us restore the area to the way it once was.”

If you have questions or information for Kelly Taylor, he may be reached at his St. George home at (435) 656-0252.

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For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

Preserving “Main Streets” a Priority in Cities Along U.S. Highway 89 – Press Release 10/08/2004

DATE 10/08/2004 1:44 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Preserving “Main Streets” a Priority in Cities Along U.S. Highway 89

  The cities and towns along U.S. Highway 89 are continuing their efforts to restore their historical Main Streets, with many of the cities making Main Street preservation projects a priority. As well, many of the local governments are making such projects part of their master plans, emphasizing that historical preservation is a key to economic success.Indeed, traveling along U.S. Highway 89 is like stepping back in time. Many of the buildings along the route have been lovingly preserved, restored and renovated. Most of the preservation efforts have been spearheaded by local citizens’ groups and supported by grants from private and state and federal government agencies, in coordination with the Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council.Here are highlights of some of the many important Main Street projects that have been completed or initiated in the region:FAIRVIEW
Fairview Museum of History and Art. The building was constructed as a school in 1900 of quarry-sandstone. It burned down in 1916 and was rebuilt in 1917. However, the roof design was significantly changed during the reconstruction. The Fairview Museum Corporation restored the building to its former glory. There was a complete structural reconstruction and profile-design restoration of the roof in 1999, which brought it back to its original appearance. The interior has also been refurbished as galleries.

Main Street: The Citizens’ Advisory Committee, coordinated by Mary Goodwin, worked to make improvements along the historical Main Street. This included renovated existing historic buildings, improving the downtown park, getting new businesses to locate downtown and planting trees and flowers.

MT. PLEASANT
Carnegie Library: Sanpete County is home to three of Utah s remaining 17 Carnegie Libraries, including Mt. Pleasant s library that was built in 1917 and designed by the Salt Lake City architecture firm of Ware & Treganza. The library anchors Mt. Pleasant s Main Street and the numerous the buildings that have already been restored as part on the city s ongoing effort to preserve its historical Main Street. Recently, Mt. Pleasant City was designated as a Preserve America community by First Lady Laura Bush. Historic Railroad Depot and Caboose: An 1890’s Denver Rio Grand Depot was restored and moved to the Heritage Village on U.S. Highway 89 in Mt. Pleasant. It serves as an information center for the Utah Heritage Highway Alliance and is also the cornerstone of the Heritage Village. The Utah Heritage Foundation recognized the restoration with an award last year. The depot is also an antique and heritage products store. There is also a historical caboose that doubles as a restaurant on the site. The caboose was donated by the Hogle Family through the Garfield Western Railway Company. Illusion Academy: This high tech center that houses a computer illustration business. It is located in Mt. Pleasant City’s old industrial arts building that was once part of Sanpete County’s high school. Owner Dean Kleven, a computer illustrator who has worked for Disney and Dream Works, creates designs that are used in children s books. He also produces high-tech digital imaging and three-dimensional graphics, such as the kind used to produce movies such as Toy Story. The building also double as a community classroom where free courses are offered on computer illustration, web design and the Internet.

SPRING CITY
  Historical Old School: The old school on Centre Street has proudly stood in downtown Spring City for more than 100 years. It graces the city council s letterhead and is prominently displayed on the city s logo. Built in 1899, it once housed both elementary and secondary students. It has not been used as a teaching institution since the 1950s. Most recently, it has served mainly as a storage facility for the school district and has deteriorated over the years. The two-and-a-half storey structure is now being restored and rehabilitated by the Friends of Historic Spring City with support from the National Parks Service’s Save America’s Treasures program.

FOUNTAIN GREEN Theatre & DUP Building: The 100-year-old theatre and dance hall was restored for use as a community center, where local artisans and craft makers can display their talents and wares. The structure is really two buildings: one side was used as a theater, the other, as a dance hall and later a cultural hall by the LDS church. The project was supported by the Fountain Green Heritage Committee, the Eccles Foundation, and local volunteers. Local volunteers also helped restore the Daughters of the Utah Pioneer Building. A former Bishop s warehouse, the structure was built in 1906. The building is now used by the DUP for its meetings and as a museum.

EPHRAIM
The Noyes Building, Snow College: The Noyes Building was built between 1899 and 1908 as the Sanpete Stake Academy, one of several academies built by the LDS church. The building houses classrooms, labs and offices and administrative offices for Snow College. The exterior of the building consists of handmade brick and local oolite limestone. The building s restoration included framing the historical formal entrance stairway by a new stone platform that continues around the base of the building to create a basement consisting of the first-floor classrooms.

Ephraim Co-op: A large stone structure, the Ephraim co-op was built in the late 1870s as a cooperative store and is now home to a well-known handicraft store and museum. These two structures are good examples of the kinds of buildings Ephraim hopes to improve and protect through its new master plan. The city recently approved a new plan that calls for maintaining historically important buildings along Main Street and in other sections of town.

MANTI
City Hall: Manti’s city hall is one of the oldest city halls remaining in Utah. It was built in the late 1870s. The building features Italianate details such as a low-pitched hipped roof and decorative bracketed eves. It is the only surviving example of this style of architecture in the county. It had been neglected and deteriorated over the years, but was restored by the Manti Historic Preservation Commission and Manti Destiny Committee with support from the Utah Division of State History. The building is being used as a visitor s centre, museum and reception hall. Carnegie Library: One of only 17 remaining Carnegie Libraries in Utah, the Manti Library was designed by Watkins and Birch, a Provo-based architectural firm that also designed several other library buildings.

Historic Manti House Inn: Run by Jennifer and Jason Nicholes, the renovated inn was built in the late 1800s and originally to provide housing for people working on the Manti LDS temple. building sat vacant for several years until it was turned into a bed and breakfast in 1985. Since that time, it has been a popular attraction for visitors to the Manti pageant in the summer, as well as to newlyweds and couples celebrating anniversaries. It also has two banquet halls that are popular places for wedding luncheons.

GUNNISON
Star Theater: The community group Save our Star is moving ahead with plans to buy the historical theatre located on Gunnison’s Main Street and restore it to its former glory. The theatre, which is listed on the National Registrar of Historic Places, is believed to be one of the last Beaux Arts-style theaters in the Western United States. Built in 1912 as the “Casino Theater,” it was one of several similar theatres built in the state around that time. Other structures include Ogden’s Egyptian Theater and the Capitol Theater in Salt Lake. The name was changed to the Star Theater in 1936. Restoring the theater is the first step in restoring heritage sections of Gunnison s Main Street.

MORONI
Moroni Opera House: The historical Moroni Opera house has been under restoration on and off since 1991. It is now complete, thanks to the efforts of a volunteer-run Moroni Heritage Development Commission with support from the George S. And Dolores Dore Eccles Foundation, National Heritage Foundation, Utah State Historical Society, and Community Impact Board. The building has an interesting history. It was built in 1891 after the town’s residents realized that people had talents and no place to perform them. In the 1930’s, it was converted into a feed processing plant for the turkey industry. A mill was later built on the site. The city eventually made restoring the opera house its Centennial Project and a volunteer group began applying for grants to help fund the effort. The opera house is used for dinner theaters, children’s theatrical performances, dance performances and community events.
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For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

Historical “Star” May Soon Shine Again – Press Release 10/01/2004

DATE 10/01/2004 2:17 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Historical “Star” May Soon Shine Again.

The historical Star Theater may soon be shining bright once again along Gunnison’s Main Street.The community group Save our Star is moving ahead with plans to buy the theatre and restore it to its former glory. Recently, the group, which is headed by Lori Nay, a member of the Gunnison City Council and Gunnison Arts Council, signed a sale agreement to purchase the theater. The group has until January to finalize the deal.

The theatre, which is listed on the National Registrar of Historic Places, is believed to be one of the last Beaux Arts-style theaters in the Western United States. Built in 1912 as the “Casino Theater,” it was one of several similar theatres built in the state around that time. Other structures include Ogden’s Egyptian Theater and the Capitol Theater in Salt Lake. The name was changed to the Star Theater in 1936.

At one time, stone angels, flowers, urns and other ornamental details graced the theater and its name Theatre. But over time, as the building started to fall into disrepair, most of those details deteriorated.

As well, a modern entrance was added to the building. But the theater still includes its original dressing rooms and orchestra pit.

Nay and others have been trying to acquire and restore the theater for years, but they encountered problems raising enough money in time to purchase the building when it was last up for sale in 1987. The current owner, who also runs a theater in Payson, recently decided to retire and put the theater on the market again.

Save our Star will be banding together once again to try and raise money to complete the deal and will be looking to the community and state for assistance.

The group hopes to eventually run the theater as a movie theater and special-events facility. They say it has the potential to be showpiece both for the city and county, and hope to attract film festivals, music concerts and other events.

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For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

Celebration to Honor the Apple of Everyone’s Eye – Press Release 9/21/2004

DATE 09/21/2004 9:16 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Celebration to Honor the Apple of Everyone’s Eye

One of the world’s all-time favorite fruits will have its day once again in Mt. Pleasant during the annual Celebration of the Apple Oct. 23 from noon to 6 p.m. at Native Wines, 72 S. 500 West.

The annual event was started by Native Wines owners Bob Sorenson and Winnie Wood to honor one of their favorite wine ingredients: the apple. Native Wines is renowned for making unfiltered wine from local fruits picked from wild trees and shrubs in the mountains and valleys of central Utah. The fall celebration has become another tradition for Native Wines, which also spearheaded the annual Rhubarb Festival held each May.

This year’s Celebration of the Apple will include more than 50 kinds of heirloom apples for sampling, along with dozens of different homemade pies, apple cider, apple butter and apple wine. Special events that day include the “The Splitting O the Apple” at noon, which kicks off the festival, and a World’s Best Apple Pie contest at 3 p.m., judged by a panel of “experts.”

There will also be a “Ugliest Witch in the West” contest, with cash prizes awarded for both children and adults. Sign up for the contest at the Country Squire at 74 West Main Street or at Native Wines. Other activities that day include wine and cheese tasting, offerings from the Loose Caboose, live Irish folk music, and a 6 p.m. pig roast.

The festival is also supported by the Mt. Pleasant Main Street Committee, Sanpete Travel and Heritage Council, Far West Bank and Wells Fargo Bank. For more information, contact Native Wines at (435) 462-9261.

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For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

Wind Walker Guest Ranch to Host First Annual Bluegrass Festival – Press Release 8/31/2004

DATE 08/31/2004 10:01 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Wind Walker Guest Ranch to Host First Annual Bluegrass Festival

The Wind Walker Guest Ranch in Spring City, in conjunction with Palisade Pals, a non-profit agency that services disabled, disadvantaged and delinquent children, is hosting a first annual Bluegrass festival Sept. 10 & 11.

The festival will be held at the Wind Walker Guest Ranch and feature musical performances, food, vendors, and other activities.

Sept. 10, the band Blue Sage, a Western folk trio featuring Mike and Shauna Iverson and Rob Ricks, will perform at 7 p.m. The group mixes vocals, banjo, fiddle, guitar, harmonica and bass violin and is known for its bringing a unique perspective to the songs of the American West. The trio focuses on their old-time, bluegrass, and folk roots.

On Sept. 11, Lost Highway will perform at 7 p.m. The members of Lost Highway are united in their love and respect for traditional bluegrass and their commitment to ensembleship. They are known for their unforgettable trio harmonies, instrumental prowess and relaxed, friendly stage manner.

Lost Highway is built around the lead singing and rhythm guitar of Ken Orrick. His rich, soulful voice and his fine original songs, written in the best traditional style, define the Lost Highway sound. He is also a top-notch banjo player and hails from Smithville, Tennessee. The group also features Eric Uglum on vocals, mandolin and guitar, Dick Brown on banjo, Paul Shelasky on fiddle and Marshall Andrews on bass.

The festival will also feature performances by other local bands including Around the Bend, Faultline and Shades of Gray.

Lodging is available at the ranch for one or both nights of the festival. Camping is also available on the ranch property. As well, tickets are available for just the musical performances. For detailed information, contact Loretta Johnson at Wind Walker, (435) 462-0282.

The ranch, which is open year round, is located on 994 acres of land at the 6000 foot level of Manti-Lasal National Forest s hills. Its activities include fishing, mind and body relaxation, horse back riding, hay rides and hikes, arts, sports, games, dancing, swimming, singing, and cowboy poetry and sing a longs. The ranch also runs a number of special programs for children as part of its Wind Walker Children s Foundation that include incorporating play and activities with learning and therapy.# # #

For more information Contact:

Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

Mt. Pleasant Named “Preserve America” Community – Press Release 8/30/2004

DATE 08/30/2004 10:01 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Mt. Pleasant Named “Preserve America” Community

Mt. Pleasant City has been designated as a Preserve America community by First Lady Laura Bush. It is believed to be the first Utah city to earn the honor.Bush is the honorary chair of Preserve America, a White House initiative that encourages and supports community efforts to preserve cultural and natural heritage. A letter from Bush was sent to Mt. Pleasant’s elected officials and citizens this month, congratulating the city on its new designation. In the letter, Bush said that Mt. Pleasant’s preservation efforts and enjoyment of its historical and cultural resources is an important part of the country’s heritage. “You honor our nation’s past and inspire and educate for the future,” the letter states. “As your community shares its story with residents and visitors, you set a great example for others.”

Monte Bona, a member of the Mt. Pleasant City Council, says “We are very happy to be designated as a Preserve American community. This designation reflects a community-wide effort over a long period of time to restore historical buildings and to honor our Mormon Pioneer heritage.” Bona adds that Mt. Pleasant has been a Main Street Community since 1994, which part of the National Main Street Program. The federal initiative involves the government working with communities across the nation to revitalize their historical or traditional commercial areas and save historical commercial architecture.

Preserve America was started in January. The program recognizes and designates communities that protect and celebrate their heritage, use their historic assets for economic development and community revitalization, and encourage people to experience and appreciate local historic resources through education and heritage tourism programs.

The initiative’s goals include a greater shared knowledge about the nation’s past, strengthened regional identities and local pride, increased participation in preserving the country’s cultural and natural heritage assets, and support for the economic vitality of our communities.

Benefits of designation include White House recognition, a Preserve America Community road sign, a listing in a Web-based Preserve America Community directory; inclusion in national and regional press releases; official notification of designation to State tourism offices and visitor bureaus; and enhanced community visibility and pride.

# # #

For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

TBSI Announces 2004/2005 Workshop Schedule – Press Release 8/24/2004

DATE 08/24/2004 9:45 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

TBSI Announces 2004/2005 Workshop Schedule

The Traditional Building Skills Institute (TBSI) at Snow College, which aims to further the art of traditional building skills and educate people on how to use such skills in preserving historical buildings and in new construction, holds hands-on workshops throughout the year. TBSI has just finalized its workshop schedule for the rest of 2004 and first part of 2005. All of the three-day programs involve instruction and hands-on experience using widely recognized craftsmen.The workshops are designed for architects, builders, contractors, trades people, students, educators and homeowners. Students often travel to work on restoration projects throughout Utah, the United States and even in other countries. For more information on any of the workshops listed here, phone TBSI at (435) 283-7572 or fax the institute at: (435) 283-6913.

Sept. 16-18, Log Cabin Restoration Participants will visit cabins that have been previously restored and those in need of restoration work. They will be provided with a basis for assessing log cabin structures, including foundations. Students will learn about: the historical background of structures; causes of building deterioration; traditional log construction including log notching, low hewing and dovetail cutting; log repair and replacement; floor construction and building assessment. This course will take place in Ephraim.

Integral to this training is tool handling, safety issues, preservation planning and conservation of historically significant features of all buildings. Cabin owners, contractors and others interested in log work will benefit from this program. Cabin owners should bring photographs of their cabin for discussion and assistance in solutions for current problems.

Sept. 23-25, Adobe Restoration The workshop provides classroom and on-site instruction in adobe building techniques and historic adobe restoration. Participants have a hands-on opportunity to work on a typical 1875 southwestern Utah pioneer home. Topics to be discussed include Earth architecture and types of construction around the world; contemporary use of adobe; molds for adobe bricks; mixing proportions and additives; drying, curing and handling of adobe; deterioration of adobe and wall construction techniques.

Participants will take a tour of both historical and modern adobe structures in Virgin, La Verkin, and Silver Reef.

Sept. 30- Oct. 2, Timber Framing This hands-on workshop will cover the history, philosophy, and traditional practices for the designing, manufacturing and construction of timber frame projects. Participants will design, then layout timbers from plans and fabricate timbers using standard joinery and pegs.

Topics to be covered include history and understanding of timber framing; tools and equipment; timber framed design process; characteristics and strength of wood, including loads and forces; layout and cutting timbers; joinery: mortise and tenon; and assembly and raising.

October 7-9, Decorative Plaster This workshop teaches students how to repair, conserve and preserve historic plaster walls and ceilings. Students learn about traditional materials, mixes and plaster application techniques. They also learn to create and install decorative moldings and medallions.

The course will cover tools and plaster mixes; techniques of flat plaster; wood, metal and gypsum lath ornamental plaster; medallions and crown moldings and plastering problems.

Nov. 4-6, Stained Glass The workshop covers leading, foiling, glue chipping and stained glass repair. Students learn documentation, tool usage, glass removal, cleaning, re-leading and protection. Open to all levels of experience, participants fabricate their own stained glass window. Participants are encouraged to bring stained glass repair projects to class for consultation.

This workshop will cover the history of stained glass; cleaning, edge gluing, foiling, and repair; good and bad repairs; photography; tools, glue chipping; stained glass fabrication and bracing, putty, cleaning and protecting glass.

Nov. 11-13, Wood Furniture Making, Part 1 Participants learn traditional joinery techniques by using chisels and saws to construct a small pioneer storage chest. Students learn the use, care and sharpening of hand planes. This workshop is a prerequisite to Furniture Making II.

Topics for discussion include traditional joinery practices; smoothing with hand planes; hand cut dovetail joinery; turning a hand plane; sharpening a hand plane and a chisel; squaring a board by hand and setting a hinge. Students will visit Peel Furniture Works in Mt. Pleasant.

Jan. 13-15, 2005, Blacksmithing The object of this three-day workshop is to teach traditional skills of artistic blacksmithing. The workshop includes the philosophy of historic ironwork and hands-on reproduction of forged hardware such as hooks, hinges, pliers and chisels.

The course will cover blacksmith shop and equipment; forging techniques; hammering, drawing out and bending; tools and heat treating; hand forge a center punch or chisel; various hands-on blacksmithing projects; hand forged pliers; forge welding and iron for blacksmithing.

Jan. 20-22, 2005, Woodcarving This workshop emphasizes the skills necessary for professional architectural woodcarving, including efficient timesaving techniques, control and use of carving chisels, accurate understanding of structure, design, and layout. Each student works on an acanthus leaf or letter carving to gain a better understanding of carving principles. Students learn proper methods for sharpening chisels. This workshop is open to all levels of carvers. Those who have taken the workshop before can move on to other projects.

Topics covered will include carving safety; individual carving instruction; tool care and sharpening; carving design and layout; lettering and woods for carving.

Jan. 27-29, 2005, Wood Windows This course is a hands-on workshop for the traditional building skill of wood window fabrication, repair, and restoration. It includes the history of wood windows, restoration and preservation techniques. The course also teaches traditional practices in fabrication of wood windows. Each student constructs a small wood window.

The workshop will cover window terminology; old wood window removal and repair; paint and paint removal; hardware and maintenance; preparation for paint and glazing and small window shop project.

Jan. 31- Feb. 2, 2005, Faux Painting Students will learn to execute paint finishes to transform their surroundings. Emphasis is placed on wall treatments using paint to achieve sophisticated effects with texture, pattern and color mixing principles. Students learn to simulate expensive materials, such as marble and stone. In a hands-on environment, students also learn old world painting techniques including fresco and sgraffito and European-dry-wash techniques.

Topics and experiences to be covered include color mixing principles; European dry wash technique; antiquing and adding ornament to walls; techniques of marble and stone finishes; Fresco art and gold leaf application.

Feb. 3-5, 2005, Wood Furniture Making Part II There is a certain nostalgia and charm when hand crafting a furniture project. It speaks of a time when craftsmen had few tools but an abundance of skills. This second part of this course emphasizes traditional hand tool techniques and provides a wood crafting experience that makes one more confident with hand tools, something indispensable in day-to-day woodworking.

Handcrafted projects students will create include an heirloom tool chest; desktop table w/ drawer; wall-mounted tool cabinet w/door and drawers or a cabinetmakers chair. This course will also incorporate many hand-cut joineries such as dovetails, mortise and tendon, dados and rabbits, moldings and miters.

March 10-12, 2005, Historic Masonry This workshop provides a comprehensive study of the conservation and restoration of historic masonry by providing classroom instruction and hands-on experiences. The hands-on project is a late 1800 s historic masonry house.

Students will be involved in evaluating aging masonry structures, identifying the causes of masonry deterioration, and selecting appropriate solutions for the problem. They will also learn proper cleaning and paint stripping techniques, how to repair cracked masonry, treatment for deteriorating stone, stone patching, the role of mortar in historic masonry structure, and basic historic mortar analysis. They will also learn techniques for matching color, texture, hardness and tooling of historic mortar, as well as study mixing procedures using lime and hydraulic lime mortars. Students will also learn how to apply penetrating and breathable water repellents, how to construct a small lime burning kiln, how repair historic masonry with prepared mortar.

April 7-9, 2005, Stone Carving and Restoration At this hands-on workshop, master stone carvers provide expert instructions as participants discover traditional techniques of stone carving. Students learn restorative skills including: repairing, pointing, patching, and stone splitting by working on a historic, stone house.

Participants will learn about techniques of stone splitting, pinning and patching and will tour the quarry site in Manti. They will also work on a stone restoration project, assess a project site and do hands-on restorative and stone carving work.

April 14-16, Millwork This traditional course covers the practices of millwork replication and repair. Hands-on experience includes repairing existing millwork by learning fabrication, installation, and replacement of missing or damaged sections on historic buildings.

Students will see a slide presentation on the restoration of Utah Governor’s Mansion. They will also learn about millwork replication, Dutchman repair, decayed wood restoration, moisture in wood presentation, and fabrication.

For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

Kanab Ready to Ride Annual Western Legends Roundup Starts This Week – Press Release 8/23/2004

DATE 08/23/2004 9:40 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Kanab Ready to Ride Annual Western Legends Roundup Starts This Week

Once again, Kanab is gearing up for the annual Western Legends Roundup Aug. 24-29. Kanab is known as Little Hollywood because hundreds of western feature films and television episodes were shot in the small town. Because of that history, the city likes to celebrate and honor some of the people who made pictures here and recognize the contributions that they made to the area each year.

This year’s celebration will include five days of authentic western legends culture, including a Western film festival, cowboy poetry, Western arts and crafts vendors, Native American square dancers, exhibitions, demonstrations, mountain men camps, wagon making, Navajo weavers, a quilt show, a wild horse western parade, wagon building, folklore displays, fiddle contests, food and more.

There will also be an impressive roster of cowboy poets, musicians and storytellers who will share their talents and interpretations of the “Old West.” Performers include renowned performers Ian Tyson, R.W. Hampton and Red Steagall.

This year’s event will also include a Wagon Train Trek Aug. 25-27 where participants will spend two days on a wagon train trek. The journey begins Wednesday with a get-together in Alton, Utah that includes dinner and getting-acquainted time. Thursday morning, participants will begin a 42-mile, wagon or walking journey south into Johnson Canyon, sleeping outdoors Wednesday and Thursday nights. The adventure can also include tickets to the Friday and Saturday shows at the round-up. For more information on the trek, contact Carolyn Grygla at 435-644-2285 or e-mail at grygla1@kanab.netphone  .

The festivities get underway Aug. 24th with a Cressent Moon Theatre Show. On Aug. 25th, there will be a Bryce Canyon Cowboy Tour, Ranch Rodeo, and Dutch Oven Dinner.

The opening ceremony dinner and headliner show will be Aug. 26 at Kanab High School. The event includes a Dutch Oven Dinner, cowboy music, cowboy poetry, and presentations. The cost is $20. At 9:30 p.m., there will be an open jam session of musicians and poets at Denny s Wigwam Cookout area.

Aug. 27 & 28 there will vendors, displays, the Cowboy Poetry Rodeo and the Western Film Festival and evening show. The Cowboy Poetry Rodeo will be held at the Old Barn Theater in downtown Kanab Aug. 27 starting at 7 a.m. and feature some of North America’s top cowboy and cowgirl poets who will compete for some $5,000 in prize money.

The Western Legends film festival will also begin Aug. 27 and feature locally-made Western films, tours of film locations in and around Kanab, lectures, discussions, celebrity panel discussions and showings of several Western movies, including Flicka and Wagon Train.

Other highlights include:

  • — Aug. 24, Bar G Wrangler Show, Crescent Moon Theatre, 8 p.m.
  • — Aug. 25, Demonstrations in cattle branding, show shoeing, history of sheep wagon and a tour of Bryce Canyon.
  • — Aug. 26, 10 a.m., Western Folklore Workshops at 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. including: cowboy poetry writing and presentation, Western photography, hand quilting, clay pottery making and decorating, Western swing dancing, Old West Apparel Making, Western history of Kane County and Dutch Oven Cooking. For a complete workshop schedule, visit http://www.westernlegendsroundup.com/westernfolklore.html.
  • — Aug. 27, 10 a.m., Western Stage Shows at various locations, and a silent auction.
  • — Aug. 28, cowboy poetry, Western stage shows, a parade, an art show, and numerous working displays including Indian rug weaving, wild mustang displays and mountain men demonstrations. At 5 p.m., there will be a Headliner Wild Mustang Show featuring young poets and performances by the Paria River Band and others. At 8 p.m., Ian Tyson, who has been a Western musician for four decades, will perform and the Cowboy Poetry winners will be announced.
  • — Aug. 29, 9 a.m. church tent revival at the Old Middle School.

A complete schedule of events and additional information is available online at http://www.westernlegendsroundup.com/events.htm. As well, people may phone the Kane County Travel Council at 1-800-733-5263 or email kane@westernlegendsroundup.com 

For more information Contact:

Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

Where is Utah’s oldest bar? Answer can be found at the “Tip Top” – Press Release 8/16/2004

DATE 08/16/2004 7:17 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Where is Utah’s oldest bar? Answer can be found at the “Tip Top”

Here is a little-known fact about U.S. Highway 89: in addition to the many historical buildings, homes and events, the scenic route is also “home” to Utah’s oldest continuously operating bar.The Tip Top Club, located right on the Heritage Highway in Centerfield, opened its doors in 1947 selling beer, ice cream, soda pop and sandwiches. It soon became a popular destination for people far and near in search of refreshment and some friendly socializing.

It has been a community establishment ever since, a not-so-easy feat in Utah. Over the years, there have been numerous changes to the state’s liquor control laws and many bars and private clubs have gone out of business.

But the Tip Top Club persevered. “The ice cream and soda pop went away, but it stayed a little beer bar and tavern and it has managed to remain open,” says owner Chuck Allred.

Some 57 years later, little has changed. The brick structure still looks much like it did back in the 1940s and 1950s, thanks to Allred’s careful restoration and preservation efforts. The only major modifications to the building have been indoor plumbing and wooden awnings. Inside, the bar is the same one that patrons sat at when the Tip Top first opened and the walk-in cooler dates back to the 1950s.

And it is still a local “hot spot.” “The community has really supported the place and kept it open through the years and all of the changes to Utah’s laws,” Allred says. “I think it is because it has always been there, the local people are used to it and they have worked to help keep it going.”

Allred and his wife, Debbie, bought the bar (and a home in Mayfield) after he fulfilled a life-long dream and “retired” in Utah. His father, Everett, was the oldest son of 10 children born to Centerfield residents Frank and Myrtle Allred. “I have been coming here for as long as I can remember,” Allred says.

“My mother had been after me for years to buy the Tip Top, and I always intended to retire here. When we came here for a family reunion in 2002, the club was for sale. I just happened to be looking for a house to buy, so I made arrangements to buy the Tip Top and my house. It was something I probably should have done years ago.”

Allred enlisted in the US Navy in 1962 and was stationed in California before serving three tours in Vietnam, where he was awarded numerous medals. After his honorable discharge in 1966 – and after only a week’s vacation – he went to work for the Pacific Telephone Company in Woodland, California. He later joined the California Highway Patrol and also worked as a private insurance investigator, establishing three with investigators and support staff offices.

After moving back to Centerfield and buying the Tip Top, Allred, backed by the town council, applied for and received private club status, which allows him to serve a larger variety of drinks. He has also added new entertainment features such as karioke every Friday night.

He admits that running a private club is a far cry from his earlier jobs, and it doesn’t lend itself well to retirement. “We are there six to seven days a week, I don’t think I can even call myself “semi-retired,”” he says with a laugh.

“But I like people and meeting new people, and everyone is very supportive of the place. We have members who come from as far away at Mt. Pleasant, Orem, Provo and Green River just because they like the atmosphere. That says a lot.”

For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

SANPETE GEARING UP FOR ‘OLD-FASHIONED’ COUNTY FAIR – Press Release 8/8/2004

DATE 08/08/2004 7:15 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

SANPETE GEARING UP FOR ‘OLD-FASHIONED’ COUNTY FAIR

The annual Sanpete County Fair will be held in Manti Aug. 14-28.

The fair provides local residents and out-of-towners alike with the opportunity to take a step back in time and experience life the way it once was in rural Utah. The old-fashioned celebration features some of the many county fair traditions started decades ago. It also preserves the culture and heritage of Sanpete County and celebrates the area s unique rural history.

Highlights of this year s fair include horse and cattle shows, royalty contests, rodeos, pet shows, barbershop quartets and a cowboy poetry concert. The King Cowboy, Richard Nielson, a longtime member of the Sanpete Cattlemen s Association, will preside over the annual event.

Festivities get underway Saturday, Aug. 14, with the Miss Sanpete County scholarship pageant at 7 p.m. in the Manti High School auditorium at 7 p.m. Cost is $6. The junior princesses have already been selected. They are: Hayley Rasmussen, 9, second attendant; Bailey Olsen, 11, first attendant; and princess Brianne Alder, 11.

Thursday, Aug. 19 there will be a 4-H fashion show at the Manti City Building auditorium at 6 p.m.

Monday, Aug. 23 there will be a Junior Buckle Rodeo for youth ages 6-17 at 6 p.m. at the Manti fairground s K arena. At 7 p.m., there will be a cowboy poetry contest at Manti High School featuring some of the best cowboy poets and singers in the nation. Cost is $4.

On Tuesday, Aug. 24, there will be a 7 p.m. barber shop quartet concert in the Manti High School auditorium. The event features the Utah Valley Chapter of the Skyline Chorus of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America. Admission is $3.

The fair s Exhibition Building will be open Wednesday, Aug. 25 from 4 to 7 p.m. featuring produce, baked goods, flowers, crafts and other displays. The midway carnival also opens on Wednesday at 6 p.m. At 7 p.m., there will be a Farm Bureau Talent Find at 7 p.m. at the Ephraim Middle School.

The Exhibition Building will open at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 26 and every other day of the fair. Small animal judging will also begin that day at 10 a.m. At 1 p.m. the market lamb fitting and showmanship will be held. A local talent show will be held in the exhibition building from 4 to 6 p.m.

One of the highlights of the fair, the annual Demolition Derby, will be held at 7 p.m. Reserved seating tickets go on sale at the Sanpete County Exhibition office on Aug. 7 at 10 a.m. Tickets are $10 each and there is a limit of 10 tickets per person. General admission tickets are available the day of the derby for $7.

Fair events on Friday, Aug. 27, begin with bucket, calf fitting and showmanship at 9 a.m. and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., there will be an antique tractor and equipment show featuring old farm equipment.

The Pet Show, which is celebrating its 27th year, will begin at 11 a.m. and feature pets of all shapes and sizes. A Dutch oven cook-off will be held from 1 to 5 p.m.

The Big Air Extreme Motorcycle Show will begin at 3, 4, and 5 p.m. The show features professional freestyle riders performing stunts 40 to 60 feet in the air.

>From 4 to 7:30 p.m. there will be a local talent show, followed by a 5 p.m. lamb, swine and beef sale. At 6 p.m., Cruise Night featuring antique and show cars will begin on Main Street in Manti.

>From 7 to 8 p.m. there will be entertainment featuring Lu Don and Sound QWEST followed by the Broken Heart Rodeo family night at 8 p.m. Cost for an entire family is just $25. The cost of rodeo tickets for single ticket purchase and for subsequent performances is $7 for grand stand seating, $6 for adults general admission, $4 for children and $3.50 for seniors.

Events on Saturday, Aug. 28 include a 7 a.m. fun run at the Manti High School track, followed by the annual EMT breakfast at 8 a.m. and a rooster crowing contest at the small animal barn.

At 9 a.m. the 4-H goat show will begin. At 10 a.m., there will be a car show in front of exhibition building and the BLM Wild Horse Adoption North East of the rodeo grounds.

Other fair events beginning at 10 a.m. include mud volleyball, the local talent show and the antique tractor and farm equipment show.

At noon, there will be beef producers dinner in front of the Exhibition Building.

>From 12:30 to 1 p.m. a clown show class featuring Willie the Clown will be held. At 1 p.m. the best draft horse teams in the U.S. will be featured in an old-fashioned horse pulling match. The teams are much like those used a century ago to do farm work and weigh from 3,000 to 5,200 pounds.

At 2 p.m. there will be a mud scramble for cash and prizes for children ages 3 to 10 and at 3 p.m. a pie eating contest will be held in the Exhibition Building. At 4 p.m. car show awards will be presented.

The annual Mammoth Parade will be held on Main Street at 5 p.m. featuring floats and musical performances. Evening events include performances by Lu Don and Sound QWEST, followed by the Broken Heart Rodeo at 8 p.m.

Prior to the fair, there will be an Open Horse Show held at the Manti fair grounds. More than 30 categories. The competition will feature halter classes and showmanship classes for youth. Performance classes will include the lead line, walk trot, Western Pleasure and horsemanship divisions. There will also be trailer races, egg races, boot races, barrels poles and an obstacle course.

For more information Contact:

Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

Restoration of Historical School Continues in Spring City – Press Release 7/23/2004

DATE 07/23/2004 2:03 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Restoration of Historical School Continues in Spring City

An effort to save a beloved old schoolhouse is continuing in Spring City. The Friends of Historic Spring City have recently increased their activity supporting the restoration and rehabilitation of the 100-year-old Victorian structure, raising and spending more than $100,000 on renovations this year.

“Community support has been crucial for our efforts to save this building,” says Gary Parnell, who is helping lead the initiative “People have opened their homes to strangers, donated their valuable, but unused items to rummage sales, and rolled up their sleeves to help with clean-up projects and fund raising activities.”

The school has stood proudly in downtown Spring City for more than 100 years. It is featured on city council letterhead and is prominently displayed on the city’s logo. “The old school is considered to be a superb example of public school architecture in Utah,” Parnell says. “It also has come to symbolize the cultural heritage of our town. Many of the people who grew up here attended school in the old building and have unique stories to tell about their experiences within its walls. Others who have come more recently to our town see the building as one of the historical and artistic qualities that drew them to make their homes here.”

The school, located on Centre Street, has not been used as a teaching institution since the 1950s. Built in 1899, it has eight classrooms, four on each level, as well as a large attic space, complete with windows. At one time, it housed all the grades, and was even used as a middle school and high school. A “new” elementary school was built next to the Historical Old School in 1920 and uses for the old school began to diminish. Eventually, the old schoolhouse became a make-shift storage facility for the school district.

The Friends of Historic Spring City started raising money to save the building. Two years ago, an art show and sale was held in the old school and the school was added to the annual Heritage Day Home Tour on Memorial Day weekend. The combined art sale and tour brought in more than $13,000 last year and $17,000 this year, according to Parnell. A community rummage sale raised an additional $8,000 this year, and a generous donation from an alumnus of the school added $10,000 to the total. “These amounts were combined with money raised previously, and a total of more than $60,000 was spent on a contract to build a seismic structure between the second level ceiling and the third level floor of the school. When this amount is matched with a grant from the National Parks Service (Save America’s Treasures) the total expenditure for this year’s renovations will be over $100,000,” Parnell says.

Already, the school has received a new furnace, curb and sidewalks and electrical wiring. The next phase of the restoration is likely to include, further seismic stabilization, plumbing and electrical systems for the upper floors, stairway repair and finish work to the walls, ceilings and floors, Parnell says.

In the near future, the Friends group hopes to continue the Heritage Day activities, solicit further funding from friends and alumni of the school, and approach local foundations that have been supportive in the past. They are also exploring the possibility of publishing postcards and prints and of making a documentary film featuring former students and their memories related to the building.

Among the uses for the school that have been considered is a proposal to open an artist-in-residence retreat, with art classes offered to the public.

For additional information on the Old Historical School restoration, call the Spring City offices at (435) 462-2244.

# # #

For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

Student’s Video Project Honors Local Veterans will be shown at July 4th Celebration – Press Release 6/24/2004

DATE 06/24/2004 6:51 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Student’s Video Project Honors Local Veterans Will be shown
at July 4th Celebration

Holidays such as Veterans Day and the Fourth of July will be more meaningful from now on to Mt. Pleasant resident Emilee Blackham.The 18-year-old has spent the last few months working on a video documentary featuring local veterans, asking them their feelings about patriotism and interviewing them about their experiences.

“I had no idea how many wonderful, interesting people we have living here,” Blackham says. “They all have so much love for their country and have such incredible stories to tell. Listening to what they have to say has made me want to be a better person, to be more patriotic.”

The video will be premiered July 4 during a Freedom Rally at North Sanpete High School. The 7 p.m. event is intended to bolster local patriotic pride and participation.

Blackham started making the video as a service project after being crowned Miss Mt. Pleasant in April. “I wanted to do something people would remember,” she says. Working with Central Utah Filmmaking, she interviewed more than a dozen veterans and families of veterans for the 15-minute video. Any proceeds from sales will go toward the restoration of the Veterans Memorial in downtown Mt. Pleasant.

Blackham, who will head to Snow College in the fall, says the best thing about the project was getting to meet veterans and their families. “As soon as they started talking, they would remember things, and then they would just keep talking and talking. It was a wonderful experience.”

One interview was particularly meaningful. A veteran talked about how wonderful it was so see people being more patriotic nowadays. “But he said that not too long ago, things were very different. He said that when the flag went past in a parade or something, only about one-third of the people would stand up or put their hands over their hearts. That made me more aware that we need to be patriotic all of the time, not just when there is a war.”

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For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

Kids Raise Funds For Veterans Memorial – Press Release 6/18/2004

DATE 06/18/2004 11:48 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Kids Raise Funds For Veterans Memorial

A community effort to restore the Veterans Memorial in Mt. Pleasant got a sweet boost recently from local elementary school students.Fifth graders from Sheron Larsen and Gary Ovesen’s classes at Mt. Pleasant Elementary, guided by student teacher Michael Wright, raised $1,200 by setting up a candy store in their school. All of the proceeds from sales went to the restoration of the monument, which is located on the corner of Main Street and U.S. Highway 89.

The memorial, which honors local veterans who served in the Black hawk War, Spanish American War, World War I and World War II, th Korean War and the Vietnam War, has been in a state of disrepair for years.

While doing his student teaching in Mt. Pleasant, Wright noticed that the names of the veterans were missing from the memorial and decided to make it his community service project. “He came in and told the students that the names were falling off and said “we should do something to put them back on.” The kids were all for helping out,” Larsen says.

The fifth grade social studies curriculum is based on U.S. history. Students have been studying American wars and veterans visited their classes as guest speakers, Larsen says. “There has also been a lot of talk about the war that is ongoing. The students are very into loyalty ‘both to the flag and to their country’ so this was something they were very interested in doing.”

The teachers took the initiative to the city council, which has had an ongoing effort to restore the memorial, and received an enthusiastic go-ahead. The fifth graders wrote letters to local merchants asking for donations of candy. They also solicited help from Wal-Mart and the company agreed to match the student-raised funds. Far West Bank also heard about the initiative and sent $200 in support.

“Everyone was very helpful, all of the students and teachers in the school supported our candy store,” Larsen says. “Our goal was to raise $1,200 and we made it! The kids are very proud of themselves.” The students were recently recognized by Mt. Pleasant’s mayor and city council.

The restoration project is being overseen by a citizen’s group, as well as the city council, Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council, the Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance and local members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

The preservation effort includes restoring the names of veterans currently listed, adding more names and searching for names that were lost due to deterioration or were removed over the years. There are also plans to add the names of local residents who served in the war in Iraq.

In addition to the students’ gift, the restoration project recently received a $500 anonymous donation and the city and county are applying for grants to help finance the rest of the $50,000 project. The county and city are supporting the project because it’s an important historical site and because it is a way to acknowledge the important role veterans played in the development of the region. The Mt. Pleasant newspaper, The Pyramid, has also been providing assistance by running enlarged photos of names on the monument in hopes of tracking down family members. Community members have also been asked to come forward with names of people they may know who are missing from the monument.

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For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

New Historical Museum Opens, First Exhibit Honors Veterans – Press Release 5/28/2004

DATE 05/28/2004 8:45 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

New Historical Museum Opens, First Exhibit Honors Veterans

A new attraction has opened along Utah’s heritage highway route, Miss Mary’s Historical Museum in Salina.

The museum, located in a historical former Presbyterian church at 204 S. 100 East, is on the State of Utah Register of Historical Places. The first exhibit, which opens May 29, honors the veterans of World War I and World War II. The exhibit will include displays, photographs, memorabilia and more.

The museum, which also is available as a special-events facility, has become a repository for the living history of Salina and Sevier County. Built as a church in 1884, it was constructed with stone brought from the quarry northeast of Salina. Its exhibits will depict the early settlement of Salina and its cultural history, including the influence of the mining industry.

The museum is named for Mary McCallum, a Presbyterian minister who came to Salina in 1920 as a missionary. The highly devoted and innovative teacher started the first Kindergarten in Salina. Her curriculum included arts and crafts, music and bible study. She was also known for her kindness towards misplaced Japanese Americans who settled west of Salina after the end of the war in 1941.

For information on the museum, contact Marilyn Cook, (435) 529-7738; Faye Burns, (435) 529-3968; or ReNonne Robins, (435) 529-7702.

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For more information Contact:

Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

‘Heritage’ Culinary Arts School to Open Along U.S. Highway 89 – Press Release 5/23/2004

DATE 05/23/2004 9:35 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

‘Heritage’ Culinary Arts School to Open Along U.S. Highway 89

Heritage dining and higher education will be coming together at the Horseshoe Mountain restaurant and motel in Mt. Pleasant.

The new owners, who took over the establishment earlier this month, are turning it into a school for students to develop skills in culinary arts and hotel and tourism management. “The motel and restaurant will be living laboratories for our students,” said Lance Madsen, who will direct the program.

The “Horseshoe Mountain” name is staying for now and the menu at the restaurant, which is located on historical U.S. Highway 89, will have a heritage bend. We will be including Dutch-oven and other authentic cooking styles in our instruction, methods that were typical when that area of the state was colonized, Madsen said. “We will also offer a variety of heritage meals.”

Students will gain experience in cooking, catering and hosting banquets and weddings, as well as in motel management. “They will learn all of the different aspects of running a hospitality business,” Madsen says.

In addition to hands-on training and instruction, students will also take part in internship programs where they will gain additional work experience with local businesses.

A dormitory-type residence is planned nearby to house students who will enroll in the 18-month program. The first class of about 16 students is scheduled to start in June. “We hope to have about 84 students in the program eventually,” Madsen says. Students will be of high school age and older. “It is another option for students who are looking for an alternative to the traditional high school setting,” he says, adding the program will provide students with assistance with finishing high school credits and testing if necessary.

Madsen envisions the Horseshoe Mountain restaurant and motel school being part of a larger training and education effort — the Legacy Career Development Center.

He sees the center offering programs in timber craft, which will include constructing log cabins; cosmetology; tourism; and other training and trades programs. He and his partners plan to work with the state education system to make the programs accredited and transferable.

“The components will be developed in phases and facilitate the others,” Madsen says, adding they are still in the process of pursuing licenses and other necessary approvals.

“Our philosophy is that we help students get training and skills so that they can find successful, well-paying jobs,” Madsen says. For more information, call 1-800-462-9330.

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For more information Contact:

Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

Rhubarb Festival set for May 22 – Press Release 5/3/2004

DATE 05/03/2004 8:19 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Rhubarb Festival set for May 22

Utah’s only celebration dedicated to honoring the rhubarb will take place in Mt. Pleasant Saturday, May 22.The Annual Rhubarb Festival, sponsored by Native Wines and Peel Furniture Works, will be held from noon to 7 p.m. at the winery, 72 South 500 West. The event literally honors the rhubarb, a common garden plant used in making food products ranging from pies, bread and wine to jams, jellies and ice cream sauce.

The daylong festival will include cheese and wine tasting plus a variety of foods and drinks made from rhubarb. There will be contests for rhubarb eating and rhubarb pie baking and awards for the best food products in a variety of categories, judged by a panel of “food experts.”

The celebration also will include an ugly truck parade, soap box derby, ugly truck contest, vendors, sidewalk sales, live music and street dancing are all part of the day long activities. The “Rhubarb Queen” and “Defender of the Rhubarb” will also be crowned.

The festival, which was started several years ago by Native Wines owners Winnie Wood and Bob Sorenson, attracts crowds of visitors to the region each year. Native Wines uses locally grown and gathered fruit from heirloom trees, gardens and the countryside in its products.

For more information, phone Native Wines at (435) 462-9261.

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For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

Conference Will Focus on Scandinavian Influence in West – Press Release 4/23/2004

DATE 04/23/2004 2:21 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Conference Will Focus on Scandinavian Influence in West

A conference dedicated to highlighting the cultural and historical influences of Scandinavian settlers will be held at Snow College May 27 & 28.“With the success of the Scandinavian Heritage Festival held in Ephraim each Memorial Day Weekend, the purpose of the conference is to give participants an understanding of the Scandinavian influence in the development of the West,” says Snow College Professor Kim Cragun, who is organizing the event, which is sponsored in part by the Utah Humanities Council.

Ephraim s Snow College was founded in 1888 by the Scandinavian pioneers that settled in the Sanpete Valley, which makes Snow College the perfect place to host a conference on Scandinavian Heritage, he adds.

The second-annual conference features keynote presentations by Lynn Poulson, a Professor of Family Studies at Snow College; Brad Taggart, an Instructor of Art at Snow College; and noted lecturer and author Paul Turner. There will also be concurrent workshops and a musical presentation of “Saints on the Sea.” The conference will be held in the historic Noyes Building’s Founders Hall at Snow College.

Poulson will speak at 9:15 a.m. Thursday on early Scandinavian families and families today. Taggart, a professor of art, will talk at 1:30 p.m. about renowned Danish-born painter C.C.A. Christensen, who converted to Mormonism and settled in Sanpete County. Christensen was best known for his paintings of pioneers and his Mormon Panorama, a monumental narrative that tells the history of the LDS Church. He was also a promoter of Scandinavian culture and taught Danish as well as drawing at Sanpete Stake Academy (later Snow College) in Ephraim.

Turner will give the keynote presentation on Friday at 11 a.m. on “Outlaws Along U.S. Highway 89.”

Conference registration begins at 8 a.m. Thursday. The cost is $20 in advance and $25 the day of the event. Cost includes a continental breakfast on Thursday. For more information contact Kim Cragun at (435) 283-4747 or Kim.Cragun@Snow.Edu.

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For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

Scandinavian Festival a Celebration of History, Heritage – Press Release 4/22/2004

DATE 04/22/2004 2:21 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Scandinavian Festival a Celebration of History, Heritage

History, heritage, fun and food will be the main attractions at the annual Scandinavian Heritage Festival and Conference May 27-29 in Ephraim. The popular event attracts thousands of people to Sanpete County every year, many of whom travel along U.S. Highway 89, the Heritage Highway.The festival is an opportunity for people to learn about the influence of Scandinavians in Utah, says June Crane, an Ephraim resident and descendant of a Danish pioneer. Sanpete County s culture has been greatly influenced by settlers who arrived first in the Salt Lake Valley from the Scandinavian countries and then were assigned to colonize central Utah. Many were farmers, carpenters, stone masons, cabinetmakers and furniture builders. The architecture of their farm buildings, cabins and houses were influenced by construction techniques and building forms from back home, a uniqueness that is still present today.

The festival is also an opportunity to experience art and culture and authentic cuisine, Crane says. Highlights include a Scandinavian history conference at Snow College (see related story), booths, displays, food vendors, a 5K run, softball tournament, and activities such as rock climbing and pony rides.

Display booths will line College Avenue (100 North) between 100 and 300 East starting at 2 p.m. on Friday, May 28 through 6 p.m. Saturday. There will be “Old World Craft Booths,” which are educational exhibits of crafts dating back to Ephraim’s Scandinavian ancestors. This includes blacksmithing, woodcarving, pottery making, rug weaving, bobbin lace making and more. There will be demonstrations of Old World crafts from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

There will also be contemporary craft booths featuring items such as rustic birdhouses, crocheted items, quilts, fabric bags, artwork, jewelry, T-shirts, yo-yo balloons, aromatherapy products, candles and wood yard art. “Many of the Old World Craft and craft booth people tell me that this is their favorite festival,” says Crane, who has helped line up the booths for years. “They love coming to Ephraim, and they enjoy the friendly atmosphere of this community.”

Other highlights include a bread baking contest, with entries accepted from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Ephraim Senior Citizen’s Center. Participants can enter in one or all of the four categories: white, wheat, sourdough/French or variety/specialty. There will also be a children’s troll parade, clown shows and a Scandinavian Storytelling Festival, which will feature talks on stories of Hans Christian Andersen and other storytellers. The storytelling begins Saturday at noon.

There will also be numerous opportunities to sample heritage cooking, including the “Little Denmark Supper” on Friday night, the traditional smorgasbord buffet on Saturday and the Food Fair in front of the Science Building on Snow Campus on Friday and Saturday that will feature traditional Western foods with a Scandinavian flair.

Scandinavian Festival and Conference – Schedule of Events

Thursday, May 27

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Scandinavian Heritage Conference Founders Hall, Snow College

Friday, May 28

Entertainment Throughout the Day, Snow College Lawn

9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Scandinavian Heritage Conference Founders Hall, Snow College

12 p.m. Craft Booths and Food Booths, Snow College

2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Bread Baking Contest Senior Citizens Center

5 p.m. Little Denmark Supper Greenwood Center – Snow College

Saturday, May 29

Entertainment all day, Main Street, Snow College Lawn

7 a.m. 5-K Registration, Ephraim Co-op

8 a.m. 5-K Run, Ephraim Co-op Lions Club Scandinavian Breakfast, Snow College

9 a.m. Old World, Craft and Food Booths Open, Snow College Art Displays, Central Utah Art Center

10 a.m. Quilt Expo, Ephraim Co-op Upper Floor

11 a.m. Scandinavian Parade Ephraim City Library fundraiser, City Library

11:30 a.m. Dedication of new Ephraim City Building

12 p.m. Noyes Building Tours, Steps of Noyes Building – Snow College Ugly Troll Contest, Snow College Family History Center, open 12- 4 p.m. Smorgasbord Lunch, Greenwood Center Storytelling Festival, Greenwood Center Willie the Clown, Snow College Lawn

1 p.m. Historical Bus Tours, 1st North and 1st East (every hour until 3 p.m.) Horseshoe Tournament, Snow College Sports Complex (300 North)

5 p.m. Sage Brush Square Dancers

Monday, May 31

Memorial Day Service, Ephraim City Cemetery

For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

Soap Box Derby Returns to Mt. Pleasant – Press Release 4/19/2004

DATE 04/19/2004 3:12 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Soap Box Derby Returns to Mt. Pleasant

Mt. Pleasant’s Main Street will take on the look of yesteryear come May, when the city hosts the Third Annual “Soap Box Derby” races. The event was designed to bring the once-popular races back to the streets of Mt. Pleasant. It has grown in popularity in the last couple of years, with some 20 cars expected to compete in this year’s races, which will be held May 22. They are sponsored by the Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council and local resident John McClelland.

“Anything goes,” says McClelland, who also oversaw last year’s festivities. “And we get anything and everything too, from a two-by-10-foot board with wheel barrel wheels, to streamlined, competitive cars. We leave it open so that the kid who just has a set of lawnmower wheels can come and have fun too. There is something for everyone.”

The races get underway following an Ugly Truck Parade at noon down Main Street that will include soap box derby cars. Both the parade and races are part of the city’s annual Rhubarb Festival.

A 16-foot ramp will be built at one end of the street for the Soap Box derby, with a finish line at the opposite end. A police radar will display times and speeds. McClelland plans to run qualifying heats to determine which cars will compete against each other. Winners of each heat will move to the next round, with the final winner receiving a grand prize. “We want to have the “fast cars” racing the fast cars so that it is fair and enjoyable,” he says.

But, he adds, the fastest, slickest-looking cars don’t always win. “Last year, the winner brought a car that his friend had raced in 1964. He ended up beating all of the new, streamlined cars.”

Soap Box Derby races used to be a popular event in Sanpete County, with a lot of local residents taking part as children. The races first became popular in the 1930s.

It is believed they officially started when a Dayton, Ohio, Daily News Photographer encountered three boys racing homemade, engine-less cars down an inclined brick street. He reportedly came up with the idea to hold a coasting race and award a prize to the winner. The first official race was held in 1933, with more than 300 kids showing up with homemade cars built of orange crates, sheet tin, wagon and baby-buggy wheels and almost everything of “junk value.”

As to be expected, Soap Box derby races have grown in popularity and sophistication over the years, with contests now full of regulations and restrictions. But Sanpete County’s races remain true to the original “anything goes” soap box derby philosophy. Cars can be made of any material, including plastic, wood, metal. They should be about six to seven feet long and about three feet wide. Drivers should range in age from about eight to 16 years.

For additional information, contact McClelland at (435) 462-3808.

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For more information Contact:

Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

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