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