Haunted Homestead: A Look Back

In celebration of our upcoming Haunted Homestead event, we thought we would share some of the photos from years past:

The Model T isn't for everyone.

The Model T isn't for everyone.

Spider Dog

Spider Dog

Sleep Tight

Sleep Tight

Enjoying the Fire

Enjoying the Fire

Just a reminder of our Haunted Homestead schedule:

October 12: More than Ghost Stories 7pm

October 13 and 14:  Haunted Homestead 6-8pm

October 16: Cemetery Tour 6:30pm

More more information check out our calendar or visit us on Facebook

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Haunted Homestead 2017

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October is here and that means you need to be ready for all the ghosts, goblins, and things that go bump in the night. Make Frontier Homestead part of your story with a collection of fun and thrilling events providing a perfect lead in to All Hallows Eve.

Are ghosts real? Do spirits walk among us? Most everyone has had some type of experience they can’t explain.   If you’re a believer, or just curious, join us Thursday October 12 as we present More Than Ghost Stories: Paranormal Investigations in Southern Utah.

Join local paranormal investigators as they recount their ghost hunting adventures over the past year and share their findings with the public.  The team has conducted investigations at numerous locations in an attempt to separate folk lore and stories from genuine paranormal activities. Evidence from the investigations will be presented and discussed, allowing you to come to your own conclusions – is it real, or just your imagination? The program begins at 7:00 p.m. and is free to the public.

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On October 13 and 14, Haunted Homestead returns. Running from 6-8pm each night, this family friendly event will get you and yours into the Halloween spirit. Not only will we be providing some unique Halloween themed games, we also will have spooky crafts, ghost stories told by local storytellers, and other haunting surprises. Come explore the Homestead and see our spooky decorations. Be sure to enter the “Haunter” House, if you dare. Admission is $5.00 per family or $1.50 per person. Friends members get in free.

On Monday the 16th join our very popular cemetery tour.  This year our tour will be begin at 6:30 pm in the museum parking lot. Come learn about some of the more interesting headstones and stories about the graveyard. You may even hear about the rabid coyote. Please dress for the weather and bring a flashlight. Admission is free to this event.

At our Homestead Halloween events there is sure to be something to make you think, shake, or laugh so come join us. For more information call us at 435-586-9290, visit our facebook page www.facebook.com/fronteirhomestead, or our website www.fronterhomestead.org

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President Harding Visits Cedar City

President Harding's train entering Cedar City. June 27, 1923. Photo by R.D. Adams

President Harding's train entering Cedar City. June 27, 1923. Photo by R.D. Adams

The first passenger train rolled into Cedar City on June 27, 1923. The citizens of Cedar City happily anticipated the new train, but it was one passenger in particular who fueled their excitement. President Warren G. Harding was traveling through Southern Utah as part of his "Voyage of Understanding" tour. He was the first sitting United States president to visit Cedar City, and with him came an unforgettable day.

Harding’s visit to Cedar City had been announced in newspapers since the beginning of June, and immediately the townsfolk started making preparations. An “energetic” council was assembled to execute the celebration, and organizations such as the Women’s Republican Club went to work soliciting gifts to honor the President and First Lady. Some citizens even asked the City Council to direct workers to clear weeds from ditch banks on all streets, because they didn’t want President Harding “...to think that Cedar citizens are too idle to keep their town free from unsightly weeds”. Preparations lasted for several weeks, and the night before the anticipated day it was reported that car after car entered Cedar eager to see the chief executive.

President Harding's Dining Car and Staff - Photo by R.D. Adams

President Harding's Dining Car and Staff - Photo by R.D. Adams

The Presidential Motorcade

The Presidential Motorcade

It was a time in America when, regardless of political party or ideology, the presidential office received the highest deference. Thus, on the morning of Harding’s arrival, a crowd of over 6,000 gathered to welcome him and his party. A caravan of more than thirteen cars, packed with the President and important state and local dignitaries, paraded down Main Street. The local Presidential committee and 36 Native Americans greeted the entourage when they arrived at the depot. The Commander-in-Chief greeted committee member and Native American alike, but paid particular attention to the children in attendance. Later, he was heard commenting that “the appearance of so many lovely children was an inspiration to him”. The party continued through the city and other communities towards Zion’s National Park. They rode horses there for several hours, before returning to Cedar to an even larger crowd.

Every member of the visiting presidential party was awestruck by the beauty and grandeur of Zion National Park. Howard H. Hayes, the manager of Yellowstone National Park, was reported as saying that “...the thing that seemed to impress the president and members of his party most, of all the sights they beheld while on their trip west, was Zion National Park”.

President Harding visits Zion National Park

President Harding visits Zion National Park

To commemorate the President's visit, sections of the rail track were pulled up and given as souvenirs. This section is on display at Frontier Homestead State Park.

To commemorate the President's visit, sections of the rail track were pulled up and given as souvenirs. This section is on display at Frontier Homestead State Park.

Before bidding farewell to Cedar City, President Harding delivered a twenty minute speech from the rear of his private car. He complimented the people of Southern Utah on their pioneer heritage, industrial attitudes, and the beauty of their surroundings. He claimed that “when (he) tells of this trip to (his) successors all future Presidents will come to visit this country of wonders”. 

Cedar City: A Look Back - President Harding's Visit

During his "Voyage of Understanding" tour in the summer of 1923, President Warren G. Harding arrived in Cedar City before visiting Zion National Park. This photo shows the President and First Lady as they were greeted by a young Paiute girl before being escorted to the El Escalante Hotel (shown in the second photo.) At the hotel, they were met by approximately 6,000 people from Cedar City and the surrounding area. Next week we will more fully tell the story of the President's visit.

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A Look Into Our Collection: Sheet Music

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The following post comes to us from Kyle Taylor, one of our museum interns. All of the images are from our large and varied collection of sheet music ranging from the late 1800’s through the 1930’s.

Music is an art form that can convey a message or tell a story. This story is written using an established set of musical notes, symbols and lyrics. Much like an essay, it is written for an audience, the physical form of this story is called sheet music.

Originally sheet music was laboriously written on a piece of papyrus, any copies that were made were hand written. This caused the sheet music to be very costly and time consuming. In the late 15th century the first printing press was invented which made the production process of sheet music much easier, and more affordable. Instead of going to the opera to listen to music, people were playing music themselves. As time progressed, sheet music production became easier and more popular.

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The 1920’s was a time for musical evolution. In the years leading up to the start of the great depression there was great financial prosperity. There were many composers who were very popular during this period. One composer whom you may be familiar with is Irving Berlin. Sheet music was a very popular item to buy. Prior to the 1920’s sheet music was printed on very large paper and had very little artistic value to the cover. To make sheet music more appealing to the consumer, bright and colorful pictures depicting parties or people laughing were printed on the cover of the sheet music. This art gave the music a “storybook” feel to it and would catch the consumer’s eye and gave them the idea that “this is music I would like to have”.

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Much like a commercial does today, crooners and street performers would perform this music and make it a more popular item to purchase. Radios were also growing in popularity during this time. The ability to transmit music into every home helped tell the story the sheet music was telling.

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Make the Historic Hunter House Part of YOUR Story

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Frontier Homestead State Park is pleased to announce that rental opportunities for the Hunter House and the Hunter House back grounds are now available. Built in 1866, the Hunter House is the oldest standing home in Cedar City and the back grounds have been landscaped and enhanced to provide the perfect space for private events.

Renting the back grounds of the Hunter House allows complete access to our Summer Kitchen. Amenities include a propane grill, refrigerator, cooking and prep areas, wood cook stove, small earth oven and a dutch oven cooking area with a charcoal grill and plenty of space for dutch ovens. The large deck space and gazebo are also included in the rental fee.

“Imagine your wedding reception, reunion, banquet or business meeting in the beautiful and historic setting of the Hunter House grounds at Frontier Homestead State Park” says Summer Lyftogt, Frontier Homestead’s rental coordinator, “Historic,  unique, and affordable indoor and outdoor spaces are available for rental.” The Joseph S. Hunter house is significant as an example of Utah vernacular architecture and sets the house and grounds apart as a unique venue for your special event.

The Summer Kitchen is not just for summer, as seen here during Christmas at the Homestead

The Summer Kitchen is not just for summer, as seen here during Christmas at the Homestead

Gathering in the gazebo

Gathering in the gazebo

According to museum curator Ryan Paul, “The Hunter House and Summer Kitchen areas help visitors develop an appreciation for the efforts of those individuals who sought to protect, preserve, and thrive in a new and sometimes hostile environment. In our modern world, many of these ideas are looked upon as nostalgic. These spaces seek to unwind these basic illusions and reveal details about those who came before. Moving beyond the traditional museum exhibit the Hunter House and summer kitchen areas provide an interactive, engaging experience and a one of a kind place to hold an event.”

Based on conceptual drawings by Katie Beckstead, Hunter House and the accompanying grounds have been completed through the generous support of many partners including the Hunter family descendents, the Frontier Homestead Museum Foundation, the Utah Division of Arts and Museums, Cedar City Rap Tax, the Thomas Amos Lunt families, and Utah State Parks.

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The Hunter House main floor is perfect for small meetings while the back grounds can accommodate groups up to seventy-five. Tables, chairs, and the summer kitchen area are all available. For more information about scheduling and rental pricing call Summer at 435-586-9290, or visit our website www.fronterhomestead.org

Landscapes for the People- The Photography of George Grant

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On September 7, at 6:30 p.m. scholars Ren and Helen Davis will present “Landscapes for the People”. This presentation details the extraordinary work of George Grant, a master of photography who documented our nation’s natural treasures.

A Pennsylvania native, Grant was introduced to the parks during the summer of 1922 and resolved to make parks and photography his life. Seven years later, he received his dream job and spent the next quarter century visiting the four corners of the country to produce images in more than one hundred national parks, monuments, historic sites, battlefields, and other locations. He was there to visually document the dramatic expansion of the National Park Service during the New Deal, including the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Grant’s images are the work of a master craftsman. His practiced eye for composition and exposure and his patience to capture subjects in their finest light are comparable to those of his more widely known contemporaries. Nearly fifty years after his death, it is fitting that George Grant’s photography be introduced to a new generation of Americans.

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George Alexander Grant is a little known elder in the field of American landscape photography. Just as they did the work of his contemporaries Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, and Eliot Porter, millions of people viewed Grant’s photographs; unlike those contemporaries, few knew Grant’s name. “Landscapes for the People” shares his story through his remarkable images and a compelling biography profiling patience, perseverance, dedication, and an unsurpassed love of the natural and historic places that Americans chose to preserve.

This program has received funding from Utah Humanities (UH) and is free to the public.  UH improves communities through active engagement in the humanities.

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Military Appreciation Day- 2017

In an effort to honor and recognize the significant contributions of our military members, Utah State Parks announces Military Appreciation Day Saturday, August 12. Day-use entrance fees into all Utah state parks will be waived for active service members and veterans and their families. All 42 state parks will offer special activities or displays as way to pay tribute and say thank you. 

Come celebrate our courageous military personnel with your family, friends and community at Frontier Homestead on Saturday August 12, 2017. We will provide 4 different varieties of all you can eat pancakes with toppings. There will also be coloring activities for the kids and a letter writing station to create letters for our troops in partnership with Operation Gratitude. Visitors will also have access to all our hands-on historical activity stations. Admission to the park is $5.00 per family or free for active service members and veterans and their families as well as Friends of the Frontier Homestead members. The activities will run from 10am to 2 p.m.   

At our Military Appreciation Day there is sure to be something to make you think, smile, or laugh so come join us. Spend some time learning about your family by playing with your family. For more information about Frontier Homestead or Military Appreciation Day call us at 435-586-9290, visit our facebook page Frontier Homestead State Park, or our websitewww.fronterhomestead.org Frontier Homestead is located at 635 North Main in Cedar City.

Carl Croft: 1925-2017

Three year old Carl at the Grand Canyon

Three year old Carl at the Grand Canyon

Frontier Homestead recently lost a long-time friend and supporter, Carl Croft. Carl was instrumental  in the creation of our Utah Parks Company exhibit and spent many hours providing advice, direction, and telling us great stories. When Carl was three years old he spent two summers with his family at the Grand Canyon while his father George supervised the construction of the power, pumping, and housing facilities. In 1947 Carl began working as the Assistant Maintenance  supervisor for the Utah Parks Company and became the Supervisor of Maintenance in 1966, a position he held until his retirement in 1985.

We will miss Carl and his stories. We thought we would like to share one of our favorites. This was taken from an oral history interview he recorded with us in 2004.

In the early days, the number of employees averaged around 700 people for the entire Utah parks system. That also included a necessary rest stop in Kanab. The busses when they first started were not fast enough and the roads were not good enough to go from Zion to the North Rim without a rest and lunch stop. So they put a little lunch building at Kanab. That facility later turned out to house the UPC laundry operation.

The Kanab laundry, circa 1930

The Kanab laundry, circa 1930

In the beginning, the railroad had central laundries for their hotel dining rooms and their dining cars. For the Utah Parks Company, our early laundry facility was in Ogden, Utah. Union Pacific had set it up so we could use that as the laundry for all our linens. The maids would go in and strip a bed, take the sheets down to the linen room and throw them into a hamper. That afternoon a supply truck would take the loaded hamper to Cedar City and drop it off at the commissary. There was a man at the commissary that would take all the hampers from the parks and put them on the express train headed for Ogden. The laundry would be washed and pressed up there, hauled back from Ogden to Cedar City, loaded onto a truck and delivered to whichever park, and placed back onto the shelf by the cabin maids. So you had a set of sheets coming, one going, one in the laundry, one on the bed, and two on the shelf. So you figure up how many complete changes of laundry were needed to maintain a clean cabin.

 

Carl Croft, circa 1950

Carl Croft, circa 1950

After World War II the UPC eliminated the laundry having to go clear into Ogden and put their own facility in at Kanab. We didn’t need the rest stop anymore because the roads and the busses had improved. The railroad had a great big old boiler that they decided to take to Kanab for the laundry. They unloaded the boiler from the train at Cedar City and decided to take it by truck through Zion. There is a tunnel in Zion, in fact there are two of them. They made it through the first tunnel without a problem. However, there is a spot in the second tunnel that is several inches shorter than the rest and they got hung up. They had to let a little air out of the tires and that lowered it just enough so they could get through. 

The Utah Shakespeare Festival: Part 4 - The Past is Prologue

Chris Mixon as Charlie Brown in the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s 2002 production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. (Photo by Karl Hugh. Copyright 2002 Utah Shakespeare Festival.)

Chris Mixon as Charlie Brown in the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s 2002 production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. (Photo by Karl Hugh. Copyright 2002 Utah Shakespeare Festival.)

The Utah Shakespeare Festival has undergone great change since its first season in 1962. Facilities have been constructed, productions have grown in size and scope, and the Festival staff has grown to include a number of full-time employees. In 2002 the larger format, three-play fall season debuted with I Hate Hamlet, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and Twelfth Night. In 2011 the Festival announced that, for the first time, a play would run through the traditional break between the summer and fall seasons.

Tragedy befell the Festival when on October 22, 2008, Barbara Gaddie Adams, Fred’s wife and longtime partner and confidant, succumbed to a long illness and passed away. Barbara, along with Fred, had shepherded the Festival from words on a little yellow notepad to a nationally recognized, Tony award-winning theatre company. Barbara had coordinated all the preshow activities, the music, singing, puppet show, and dancing that provided the atmosphere for Festival goers as they prepared for the transition from the contemporary to the Elizabethan. Barbara Adams’s creative spirit is memorialized by a bronze plaque located on the wall of the Adams Theatre, near The Greenshow performing space—a fitting tribute to the program she proved instrumental in developing.

The expansion of the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s artistic and technical company and a longer theatrical season required new spaces.  The much loved Adams Theatre had served its purpose in enriching, entertaining, and educating the lives of those who sat in her seats and witnessed her bounty. Like the stage before, the passage of time and changing technology have taken their toll. In 2016, the Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre opened its doors and a new Wooden O now stands guard over the works of the Bard and serves as an anchor for the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s future.

 

Additionally, a smaller “black box” space, the Eileen and Alan Anes Studio Theatre, now serves as a creative space for the development of new plays. This flexible space is able to be configured in a variety of seating styles to better enhance the vision of the playwright, designer, or director. The Anes theatre allows for the exploration of the theatrical experience and provides Festival patrons the opportunity to discover the diversity of the world stage. The Anes Theatre is home to the new plays program where scripts are workshopped and tested with a small audience before being moved to the larger Festival stages. This theatrical laboratory shows the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s continuing commitment to the development of theatre professionals and to the expansion of America’s influence on world drama.

 

John Wascavage (left) as The Suspects and Paul Helm as Marcus Moscowicz in the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s 2016 production of Murder for Two. (Photo by Karl Hugh. Copyright Utah Shakespeare Festival 2016.)

John Wascavage (left) as The Suspects and Paul Helm as Marcus Moscowicz in the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s 2016 production of Murder for Two. (Photo by Karl Hugh. Copyright Utah Shakespeare Festival 2016.)

Festival Founder Fred C. Adams at the beginning.

Festival Founder Fred C. Adams at the beginning.

The future of the Utah Shakespeare Festival is rooted in the tradition of what it does well and in a commitment to utilize that shared past as a springboard for the future. The expanding and deepening of programs, the construction of new theatres, and the development of a core artistic company are not without challenges. However, these same difficulties were met and faced fifty years ago by a young drama teacher, and we all know how that turned out. To find out more about the Utah Shakespeare Festival and see what is coming in the future, visit their website, www.bard.org

The Utah Shakespeare Festival: The 1980's & 90's

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Fred and Barbara Adams had built their dream. The summer productions in the new Adams Memorial Shakespearean Theatre had sell out crowds nearly every night, operating at 98 to 99 percent capacity, which offered no room for growth. The Festival had become too successful for the current space.

Construction tour of the Randall L. Jones Theatre

Construction tour of the Randall L. Jones Theatre

Festival and college representatives turned to the Utah State Legislature for assistance in funding the construction of the new theatre. The legislature, while agreeing that the project sounded interesting, refused to fund the building. A representative advised them to look into the mineral lease money that the mining companies operating in Iron County had been paying into for over fifty years. The mineral lease fund was established to offset the impact made by the mines on schools, hospitals, roads, and other public works projects. A large sum had been paid in, but very little taken out. The mineral lease board agreed that a new theatre for the Festival was worthy of funding and awarded most, but not all, of the construction costs. The descendants of Randall L. Jones, an early booster of southern Utah, provided the remainder of the needed funds, and the new theatre would now be named the Randall L. Jones Theatre.

The 1989 season, the first using both the Randall Theatre and the Adams Theatre, featured six plays, three in each theatre, the most the Festival had ever produced in one season. Festival producers decided they would need two separate companies. They duplicated every position, one for the Adams Theatre and one for the Randall Theatre. This proved very expensive. The 1989 season ended with a $379,000.00 deficit. Relief came from Paul Southwick, vice-president of finance for Southern Utah University, who had been pulling some of the Festival profits each year into a rainy day fund, which had more than enough money to cover the deficit, and the Festival was saved. The Utah Shakespeare Festival did not repeat the mistakes of 1989 and began double casting roles for both the Randall and the Adams theatres.

Sunset at the Randall L. Jones Theatre

Sunset at the Randall L. Jones Theatre

Karen Thorla (left) as Helena, Alexis Baigue as Demetrius, Stefanie Resnick as Hermia, and Brandon Burk as Lysander in the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s 2017 Shakespeare-in-the-Schools production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. (Photo by Karl Hugh. Copyright Utah Shakespeare Festival 2017.)

Karen Thorla (left) as Helena, Alexis Baigue as Demetrius, Stefanie Resnick as Hermia, and Brandon Burk as Lysander in the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s 2017 Shakespeare-in-the-Schools production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. (Photo by Karl Hugh. Copyright Utah Shakespeare Festival 2017.)

Fred C. Adams believed in the power inherent in Shakespeare’s texts to change lives for the better, and the Festival created an education program to take that message to schools across the West. Fred’s traveling show, Costume Cavalcade, evolved into the Shakespeare-in-the-Schools Tour, a traveling group of trained actors who perform abbreviated versions of Shakespeare’s major plays in schools throughout the region. The actors also meet with the students after the show, answer questions, provide training, and help them better understand the concepts brought to life on the stage.

 

By the late 1990s the business community of Cedar City began asking the management team of the Festival if they would extend their season in an effort to keep the much needed tourism money flowing into the local economy. The Southern Utah University worked with them for a test run in 1999. The Festival would pick two very small plays, Forever Plaid and The Compleat Works of Wllm. Shkspr (Abridged), and see if a fall season could be economically viable. The plan worked, and the fall season began, although it would not be fully developed until a few years later.

Brian Vaughn (left) as Smudge, Jered Tanner as Jinx, Michael Fitzpatrick as Frankie, and Gregory Ivan Smith as Sparky in the 1999 Utah Shakespeare Festival production of Forever Plaid. (Copyright Utah Shakespeare Festival.)

Brian Vaughn (left) as Smudge, Jered Tanner as Jinx, Michael Fitzpatrick as Frankie, and Gregory Ivan Smith as Sparky in the 1999 Utah Shakespeare Festival production of Forever Plaid. (Copyright Utah Shakespeare Festival.)

In May of 2000, the American Theatre Wing and the Broadway League announced that the Antoinette Perry or “Tony” Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre would go to the Utah Shakespeare Festival. The Tony, comparable to the Academy Awards in film, is the most highly sought after accolade in American theatre and, for the Festival, was the culmination of nearly four decades of hard work and superior artistry.

R. Scott Phillips (left), Sue Cox, Douglas N. Cook, Fred C. Adams, and Cameron Harvey receiving the 2000 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. (Copyright Utah Shakespeare Festival.)

R. Scott Phillips (left), Sue Cox, Douglas N. Cook, Fred C. Adams, and Cameron Harvey receiving the 2000 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. (Copyright Utah Shakespeare Festival.)