Sunday, October 10, 2010

The First House Built in Utah

The attached picture was taken and used by the Tribune for publicity in advertising the Pioneer Ball given at the ODEON, November 17, 1919.

Mrs. Elizabeth Pugsley Hayward, President of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, is sitting in large rustic arm chair; Mrs. Olive Pixton Eardley, President of the Daughters of the Mormon Battalion, is sitting in the antique home made rocking chair, and Mrs. Lily C. Wolstenholme, President of the Daughters of the Handcart Pioneers is standing by the adobe fireplace found in the interior of the first house built in Utah, which now stands on the Temple Block. This is perhaps, the only picture ever taken of the interior of the pioneer dwelling with its crude and antique furniture, ranging from the homemade carpet to the pioneer clock on the wall; and the dried apples and sage hanging from the ceiling.

The ladies in the picture wore dresses of Pioneer days; Mrs. Hayward's represents a street costume of he early '50s; Mrs. Wolstenholme's a ball dress of about the same period, and Mrs. Eardley wore a wine-colored satin which was brought from England and had the distinction of being over 75 years old.

The old log house was built in September 1847 by Osmyn Deuel, and was located just North of the East portal of the Old Fort (now Pioneer Park).

In March 1849, Albert Carrington bought it and removed it to the corner of First North and West Temple Streets, and five Carrington children were born there. When his daughter, Frances married Zebulon Jacobs, Mr. Carrington gave it to them, and they first made it home about the year 1871, being several years after their marriage. When the family had no further use for it, Mr. Jacobs gave it to the Church and in July 1912, it was removed to the Museum in the Vermont Building. Later it was removed to the rear of the Bureau of Information, (Temple Block), where it now stands. (The Vermont Building was replaced by the Crossroads Mall [which has now been demolished for the City Creek Development].)

This is the street view of the cabin. It is a bit hard to see, between the Family History Library to the left and the Church History Museum to the right.

Note by Norinne Husbands, September 13, 1990: Jennifer Lund, who works at the museum, told me that in 1976 the log cabin was put in storage, then later taken completely apart and put back together as the cabin had been originally built. The Jacobs family did not use the fireplace and had removed it, but it was placed back in when it was rebuilt and placed between the LDS Church Museum and the Genealogical Library on West Temple directly across from Temple Square. The three ladies in the picture were responsible in large part for the first renovation when it was given to the church.

There is a nice description of the cabin and its history here.


  1. Thanks for all of these posts, and all of the wonderful information you take time to share! You are the best!