Frontier Homestead recently lost a dear friend. Dennis Allan passed away earlier this month due to complications from a devastating fall. Dennis was a man of many talents. He enjoyed singing, and participated with the Master Singers in Cedar City for several years. He loved fishing, gardening, snowmobiling and woodworking. Dennis carried on the traditions of his father and grandfather as a blacksmith, wheelwright and wainwright for many years. He spent hours in his wood and blacksmith shop restoring old wagons and was never without a project. He loved to spend time in his garden and with his fruit trees. He could encourage anything to grow in even the most inhospitable environments. His hands were the symbol of decades of hard work, serving his family and friends.
As staff and visitors explore the museum grounds, Dennis’ handiwork is readily apparent. He has worked on many of our horse-drawn vehicles and most recently built a new set of wheels for one of our railroad baggage carts. According to museum curator Ryan Paul, “I spent many hours in Dennis’ shop soaking in the wisdom he had to offer. Dennis was always willing to assist the museum for our educational outreach programs, special events, and day camps. His talents and his unique sense of humor will be sorely missed.”
The Frontier Homestead Museum Foundation recently worked with Dennis to acquire his well-known mobile blacksmith and wheelwright shop. Frontier Homestead Park Manager Todd Prince stated: “We are all shocked and saddened by the passing of Dennis Allan. We had exciting plans with him this coming year. We will do our best to carry on his work with the addition of his wheelwright shop.”