Category Archives: Mt. Pleasant

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

DATE 12/18/2004 7:15 AM

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. or call 801-533-5760.

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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

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

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

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

DATE 10/27/2004 7:15 AM

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

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

DATE 10/08/2004 1:44 PM

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.

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.

  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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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