Orem’s historic hut moved to a temporary location until it finds its home in the New Heritage Park | News, Sports, Jobs

Courtesy of the city of Orem

An Orem hut, built around 1885-1886, transported to a temporary location on Tuesday, December 28, 2021. It will find its new home in the new heritage park.

Amid freezing temperatures and light flurries of snow, a 135-year-old small cabin in northern Orem was lifted from its foundations and moved to a temporary home on Tuesday.

Orem executives say the cabin will be covered and protected at a municipal facility over the next two years as the city prepares the new heritage park at the southwest corner of 400 West and 400 South.

“There has been a lot of interest in the future of this cabin,” said Steven Downs, Deputy City Manager. “We don’t have all the details yet, but we are talking to professionals about the cabin restoration process. We hope it accurately reflects what the cabin looked like in the 1880s. ”

Although small by today’s standards, it was built with love and filled with hope for the future by Carl Isaac Hanson.

Carl Hanson was born on November 30, 1858 in Sweden. He came to Utah to “be with the Saints” in 1883. On May 2, 1886, he married Mary Swenson Hanson in the Logan LDS Temple.

Courtesy of the city of Orem

An Orem cab mounted on a flatbed truck by Valgardson and Sons on Tuesday, December 28, 2021.

According to Stan Hanson, a great-grandson, the family history indicates that Carl and Mary were an arranged marriage.

Carl died in 1922 at the age of 63. He had suffered from an illness for about six months before his death.

According to Carl’s obituary, he was a blacksmith by trade and sat on city council. His twin brother Neils Hanson also lived in the area. Stan said his great-grandfather opened a smithy next to the cabin.

Carl and Mary had six children – three sons and three daughters. According to Mary’s obituary, she was born January 10, 1871 in Stockholm and brought her parents to Utah as a child. They lived in Pleasant Grove for a short time before moving to Orem. Mary is buried in Pleasant Grove Cemetery.

Contractors from Carter Construction, a group working on land for future development at 1435 N. State Street, had an unexpected surprise when they began to examine an old house on the property.

Courtesy of the city of Orem

Renderings for the new heritage park.

“We had heard that there was supposedly a cabin in the house,” said entrepreneur Bill Fairbanks. “We started to tear down the house and cut down the walls. We peeled layer by layer.

Sure enough, inside the walls of the mid-20th century house was the Hanson Cabin, built circa 1885-86.

The pioneer hut in the middle of the house still sat on its rocky foundation, according to Fairbanks. What was once a two-room cabin was now the living room and kitchen of the 20th century house.

Because this was an active construction site, the cabin had to be documented and demolished or moved to another location. The desire was to preserve it.

“Finding a log home hidden inside what looks like a newer house does happen every now and then in Utah. But the fact that they’re not going to demolish the cabin and want to preserve it is admirable, ”said Cory Jensen, architectural historian and national registry coordinator at the Utah Office of Historic Preservation.

Courtesy of Bill Fairbanks

Modern windows adorn an 1880s cabin found within the walls of a 20th-century house.

“We hope they will use an architect and contractor who meet historic preservation standards to restore the building,” Jensen said. “It’s called a hallway house, which is a two-room plan – one room smaller than the other. The plan is actually a medieval form of England that made its way to the United States. Mormon converts then brought the house type to Utah where it became the most popular type in the state for much of the 19th century. Due to the lack of trees, log homes were not as common in Utah as brick or adobe stone.

The new heritage park, where the cabin is expected to remain, has been the subject of discussion for over a year. It will also be the new home of a 10 million gallon underground water tank for the city. The park will be more for quiet enjoyment than a playground. It will encompass approximately three hectares.

“As we cleaned and chipped the walls, we realized this wasn’t an old cabin,” Fairbanks said. “The logs were hand hewn and squared with plaster in between. It seems Carl tried to keep Mary comfortable.

In a typical cabin, the logs would have been placed with mud or other substances between them to keep the occupants warm.

Fairbanks also noted that the cabin windows were not the original ones. They had been removed and replaced with modern thermal paned windows.

There are actually two important stories attached to this house. The builder of the cabin, Carl Isaac Hanson and his family, and the family of Harry Shimada who settled there after WWII.

Shimada and his family were farmers in California, according to Fairbanks. They were Americans of Japanese descent and when World War II broke out they were sent to an internment camp in Wyoming.

After the war, the family returned to California – only to find that their farm had been sold.

“They had nothing but the clothes on their backs,” Fairbanks said. “They came to Utah and worked with the Stratton family.”

The Strattons owned orchards and gardens in Orem. One of their grandchildren, Keven Stratton, currently represents District 68 in the state legislature.

The Shimada family had a popular fruit stand and store, known for its candy and sticky rice, on the west side of State Street across from the house.

“It is our hope to preserve this piece of history. The cabin is representative of the major families who settled in this area, ”said Downs. “These families sacrificed themselves in ways that we do not fully understand so that we can live in the community and enjoy the freedoms we have.”

The move was carried out by Valgardson and Sons, Inc., a trade group known for moving homes and other buildings from one location to another.


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