Saturday, May 25, 2013

Spring City. My Heritage.

"You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you,
but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach,
because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you."
~Frederick Buechner

Today, Mom, Stephen, my cousin Cebre, and I ventured down to Spring City, Utah. Never heard of it? The geographical center of the State of Utah, Spring City is the town that my grandmother's ancestors founded and settled.

On the trip down, Mom read to us, from her family history archives, stories of our ancestors. Hearing about these people, *my* people, and seeing where they lived always excites me to do more family history and genealogy work.

A duplex, which looks like a triplex since there is a door on in the middle of the second floor.

Every year the town, which is on the National Historic Register (the whole town), puts on Heritage Days, when homeowners can open up their home to a tour. The entire town of Spring City is on the National Historic Register for two reasons: 1) the town documents the techniques of typical Mormon town planning in Utah and 2) the sheer number of intact original pioneer day homes, religious buildings, and commercial establishments of the time which are all remarkably well preserved. The architecture of these buildings were influenced by the familiar homes of those who settled the area, so there is a contingent of eastern and southern United States influence, as well as a very large of Danish influence (my peeps). Also as time went on, late 1800s, early 1900s styles of architecture from Salt Lake City and Provo were emulated as they continued to build the town up after initial settlement.

Cebre and Mom in front of the old Allred School House

The town was first settled and built in 1852. The name Spring City, though originally "Allred Settlement," was chosen due to the natural fresh water springs found in the town, one of which can be seen on Main Street. The water is delicious and refreshing on a hot day.

This was not the first time I've been to Spring City. I've been several times in the last ten years with my Mom to Heritage Days. In fact, though I've visited numerous times in the past, the very first time was when I was maybe six or seven years old. Grandma and Grandpa Tubbs took Tracy, Lindsay, and me on a road trip to Utah from Las Vegas, where my brother and I were staying with our cousins for the summer. I'm not sure how we got so lucky, except we were fairly well behaved girls who could, all three, fit in the backseat comfortably of Grandpa and Grandma's blue Toyota Cressida. I remember feeling sad that Shepherd couldn't go with us and had to stay and work in the warehouse with "the boys." Still do. I'm not sure if he's ever been. I'll have to take him next time he comes.

I remember all the new sights and sounds I discovered on that trip. Spotting license plates from different states along the way, I recall, was one of my favorite parts of the road trip. Always a list girl and always please to check things off those lists. Also, Grandma got pulled over for speeding in the left lane. Somehow, she talked her way out of the ticket, explaining that she had a new car, which made her feel like she was hardly driving (not noticing that she was going 85mph in what was probably a 65mph zone at that time), and was from California, so she didn't know that continuous driving in the left lane was against the law. Apparently in Utah, unless you're passing, you should stay out of the left lane. (I don't think anyone obeys this law now, though I wish they did so they'd get out of my way and I could speed on by.) Grandma sure had spunk and, in a sense, flirted her way out of that ticket. I completely remember her smile and tone of voice when she was talking to the officer. I'd like to think that I'll pick up some of that from her in my life.

In 2010, Forbes magazine apparently identified Spring City as "one of the prettiest towns in America." That is, according to Wikipedia. I'd say that I second that vote.

Judge Jacob Johnson Home, which has been fully restored and is beautiful both inside and out.

I love that you can see the face of this bee among the forget-me-nots.

These poppies were huge and truly stunning.
The Old Public School which is in the process of renovation.

We ate lunch just outside the Old Public School building, which is in the midst of being renovated. It's a huge project and I think they are continually trying to raise enough money to fully complete renovation. I'm looking forward to the day when I can walk through the completed building. This year, we were able to go through the main level. They have a long way to go, but it will be spectacular.

Mom and Stephen enjoying the gardens of the Jacob Johnson Home.

Cebre and I in the garden of the Jacob Johnson Home. Can you see the size of those poppies?!?

Beautiful bleeding hearts.
Walking around and seeing the houses, the farms, the yards, the flowers was wonderful, but the best part was being with Cebre, Mom, and Stephen and thinking about my ancestors. This was their town. They settled it.

The three girls take a rest together on a bench just outside one of the homes.
When I was here with Grandma and Grandpa, we came for a family reunion for all the descendants of Grandma's great-grandparents. I know I met a lot of "cousins" that day and I spent the day this time wishing I knew those cousins better, wishing that Grandma were still around to talk to and tell us her stories and to come with us to Spring City and point out all the houses. We drove past a couple, including the family portrait house and Aunt Iva's, where I came on that first trip to Spring City. Aunt Iva is Grandma's aunt (her mother's sister) and all I remember is that we sat in her living room and talked and she offered me a Coca-Cola in a glass bottle. But I remember how much love she had to share. It just emanated from her.

On our way home, we drove to the Provo Cemetery to leave flowers on the graves of (great-)Uncle Bert, Great-Grandpa Frederick, and Great-Grandma Maud Eliza. The cemetery was sprinkled with flowers.

All in all, it was a great way to spend Heritage Day and Memorial Day, remembering my heritage. If you're curious about your heritage, check it out at on FamilySearch!


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