Sunday, March 11, 2012

COPPERTON LAST COMPANY TOWN by W. DEE HALVERSON

COPPERTON:  THE LAST COMPANY TOWN
by W. Dee Halverson
W. Dee Halverson
Every morning when I walk over to this clubhouse, I feel like an English squire at home in his exercise room.  I’m reminded of my days attending the University of York in England while studying history and gaining an appreciation of architectural heritage in a Yorkshire country-manor designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. The designers of Garden Park Village in Daybreak, too were inspired by Sir Edwin’s magnificent English Romantic architectural style.  JUST LOOK AT IT!!

High-vaulted ceilings, hammer-beam trusses, Victorian draperies, dormer windows, solid wood window surrounds and stately chandeliers in this Great Hall, curved bay-window conservatory w/fireplace, gentlemen’s billiard room and library.  Notice the French Gobelin tapestry hanging in foyer and solid teak wood furniture outside in the courtyard.  Cleverly disguised pool/hot tub mechanical equipment hidden away in a dormer-peaked carriage house.  WHAT AN ARCHITECTURAL JEWEL!!

After moving into Garden Park Village last year, I became interested in how it was conceived.  I called Eric Osth, a principal architect of the Urban Design Associates in Pittsburg, PA who explained it to me this way:
Senior Center
“Our Garden Park Village in Daybreak was envisioned as a compact, transit-oriented community surrounded by greenbelts of natural landscape.  It contains all the pieces of a town, integrating residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural use.  Its architectural styles were diverse and inspired by expressive, picturesque and romantic designs (i.e., Arts/Crafts, Bungalow and English Romantic) which are appropriate for these natural settings.”
            When I was puzzled with the names of the streets and lanes in Garden Park, I called Cameron Jackson at Kennecott Land Company told me in an interview:  “I was in charge of naming all the streets in Daybreak.  In the case of Garden Park Village we wanted to weave the Garden theme throughout the neighborhood.  Since most of the common fruits and vegetables were already taken as street names in Salt Lake County, we thought it would be fun to choose ones that were a little more obscure, so we found some gardening websites online and did our research that way.”  I’ve compiled a list of these unusual names and meanings. My favorites are. . . .

NOW TO THE ARCHITECTURAL DESIGNS & THEIR ORIGINS
            Any idea where these homes are located?  They were photographed in Copperton, Garden Park Village and East Lake Village areas of Daybreak.  Do you notice any similarities?
Copperton
            Yes, in general they all belong to the Arts & Crafts architectural style that was prominent in the United States and Great Britain from 1875 to 1935.  Specifically they represent classic examples of the American Craftsmen, Bungalow, English Tudor and Spanish Revival styles.  All of these styles feature wide eaves, exposed rafter tails and an emphasis on natural materials, like stucco, brick and cobble stones.  Characteristically the homes of this style featured large covered porches, broad chimneys and knee-brace support trusses under their wide eaves. 
These architectural styles were also in step with the large-scale shift in the American standard of living.  As cities thrived, life on the farm gave way to life in the suburbs.  The idea of homeownership became the American Dream, and the Craftsman dream was to build these homes and furnish them with simple but beautiful interiors.  The influence of the American Arts and Crafts Movement cannot be overlooked.  Its idealism, beauty and simplicity have a ring of truth that is as inspiring today as it was 100 years ago.  That is why they are still very pleasing to the eye.
           
Copperton Elementary  5th and 6th grade 1940-1941
COPPERTON:  A COMPANY TOWN
            Copperton, Utah lies 25 miles southwest of Salt Lake City and just 8 miles from this Garden Park Village clubhouse.  It sits at the mouth of Bingham Canyon and has a population of 826.  Its 86-year-old history makes for quite a story.
            It was constructed between 1926 and 1946 as a company town for the management employees of the Utah Copper Company.  The new community was built as a much needed residential annex to the early mining towns and settlements further up in Bingham Canyon.  Eighteen houses were built in Copperton in 1926, 30 in 1927 and so on until by 1941 a total of 217 houses had been built and were then being rented to the company’s employees.
By the end of World War II in 1947 the Utah Copper Company had been acquired by the Kennecott Copper Corporation.  In 1956 that company decided to get out of the housing business altogether.  That year all the homes in Copperton were sold to private individuals.  Kennecott continued its mining operation, however, expanding the huge open pit mine until Bingham Town and the 15 other small settlements in the canyon were swallowed up.  Copperton is the only remaining community located near and closely associated with the Bingham Copper Mine.    
Today Copperton appears much as it did during its first few decades.  None of the houses have been torn down and only a few have been significantly altered.  In 1986 the entire town was nominated to the National Register of Historic Places.
Early Copperton with Bigham ditch and old railroad

Utah Copper Company chose the Copperton site for its planned community for several reasons:  the property was already owned by the company, the parcel of land was relatively flat and large enough to accommodate the size of community needed; and the site was close to the mine.  Salt Lake City architects Carl Scott and George Welsh were hired by UCC to design the overall layout of the town as well as to provide blueprints for the individual houses.  Their plan for the subdivision included amenities such as a fully-landscaped 8-acre park, concrete curb, gutter, and sidewalks, shade trees, graded and graveled streets and a baseball park.
            Scott & Welch, who had designed such famous buildings as the Masonic Temple, Elks’ Building and South High School in Salt Lake City, created over 85 design variations for the Copperton houses.  This variety was intended to avoid the repetitive streetscapes that typified most company towns.  The builders for the homes were E.J. Teague & Company and F.B. Bowers.

Eugene Halverson   Keith Webb   Lowell Jensen
The Copperton homes, with few exceptions, are all one-story with brick or stucco exteriors.  Stylistically all of the houses in the district are Bungalows, English Tudor and Spanish Revival styles.

There was only one basic floor plan:  a rectangular form with its narrow end facing the street.  It was divided lengthwise by a central wall with living room, dining room, kitchen on one side—and bedrooms and bathroom on the other. 
The downstairs included a laundry room, furnace room, small bedroom and a coal-storage room.

Copperton
The majority of the houses were either 4- or 5-rooms designs which cost about $5,500 to build in the 1920s and which were rented to the UCC management for about $25.00 per month.

In addition there were four pre-fabricated copper-clad houses built between 1936 and 1938.  These “experimental houses” featured horizontal, solid copper siding, roofing, plumbing, screens, storm doors and fixtures.  When the first “all copper” homes was completed in 1937, there was a huge wave of publicity.  During the week-long open house over 2500 people toured the home, which was touted at Utah’s first prefabricated house.  The local newspaper gave the following description:                                                      

LDS Church  Copperton
“Visitors were particularly impressed with the economy of the arrangement of rooms in the house and characterized it as the ‘biggest little house’ ever planned.  Another feature that will help to sell copper houses is that a house like the one on display at Copperton is everlasting.  Roof, gutter, downspouts, window frames and screens, radiators and piping are all of copper and the framework of steel beams makes the house termite proof.”  Bingham Bulletin, June 1937

The current owner of this experimental house, Scott Adair, informed me that his home wasn’t everlasting and has required extensive replacement / remodeling.

At that time, Copperton received very favorable coverage in national newspaper and mining journals as a model company town.  The hospitable environment of the community was viewed as a benefit to both worker and employer.  It was noted that the town would focus on the family-life: “There will be no room for the floater, the pool hall hustler or the bootlegger.”

As the town grew schools and churches were established and a number of stores as well.  The Copperton Elementary was constructed in 1929 and the Bingham High School was built in 1931.  The LDS meetinghouse was completed in 1942 as the first church in Copperton.  The Methodist Church building was moved from its original location at the Kearns U.S. Army Camp to Copperton in 1948 and the Catholic Parish Church was constructed and dedicated in 1949.   

Winter
Because of the reasonable rent and the quality of the accommodations, the Copperton houses were very much in demand.  Since there were many more employees than there were houses, priorities were established for allotting them.  First choice was given to the head company officials; the superintendent automatically had his own house.  The first eighteen houses built in 1926 were all initially occupied by mid- or upper-level management personnel.  Only married workers could qualify to live in the town, and those were rated according to their seniority, department, date of application, and their record of taking care of company property.  The mine superintendent took those factors into consideration and made the final decision on who would live in the houses.  His personal feelings toward an employee would often determine whether or not that person was given a house.  If a worker retired or quit the company he was no longer eligible for a home in the town and had to move out.  Widows, too, were not allowed to remain in their Copperton homes after the deaths of their mine-worker husbands.
Catholic Church  Copperton

The Utah Copper Company was particularly devoted to maintaining high standards in the appearance of the community.  The houses were kept in good condition by regular cleaning, painting and repairs.  Maintenance of each yard was the responsibility of the occupant, but the superintendent personally inspected the properties to insure that the standards were kept.  Louis Buchman, the superintendent from 1930 to 1946, was notorious for his habit of driving slowly through the town each morning to inspect the homes and yards.  Any irregularities that he spotted were sure to be brought to the attention of the occupant, and in at least one instance he was known to have dispatched a company employee to mow overgrown lawns and to charge the occupants the cost of mowing.

MY RESEARCH TURNED UP THE FOLLOWING DETAILED DESCRIPTION:
Copperton Park     Dee johansen
            The Superintendent’s House is historically significant as the home of the head administrators of the Bingham Copper Mine for almost 30 years.  In keeping with the stature of the position, the house was the largest, the most distinctive and the most expensive residence in Copperton.  The total cost of this 5,200 square-foot mansion in 1926 was $19,000 or $240,000 of today’s dollars.
            It is a one-story Craftsman-style house with Spanish Revival influences.  It has a classic low-pitch roof with overhanging eaves, the fa├žade features a gabled entrance.  The front doorway has an arched head and is framed by brick quoins.  The house has exposed rafters, long bands of single-hung windows, dark wood trim and built-in furniture.
            Also inside the house were solid oak and maple floors, cherry-stained pine wood trim and built-in china cabinets.  The front room is paneled with dark walnut up to six feet, topped by a plate rail that encircles the entire room.  The ceilings throughout are nine feet high and coved.  The solid walnut wainscoting blends in perfectly with the 8-foot-long built-in walnut hutch.  The house featured a wood-paneled library, billiard room and large bar room with a curving 12-foot-long saloon bar and copper foot rail which were taken from an old saloon in Bingham Town
Jerry & Linda McCalmon, owners since 1990, have maintained it all perfectly!
MY FIRST INTRODUCTION TO THE OQUIRRH MOUNTAINS & COPPERTON

Methodist Church
            My own personal fascination with this Oquirrh Mountain area began forty years ago in 1971 when I spent the summer before entering graduate school at BYU trying to sell 5-acre parcels of land in the Hi-Country Estates development near Herriman for my father-in-law Dr. Gerald Bagley.  I wasn’t very good at it and was still determined to become an historian.  I did enjoy exploring Rose Canyon and talking with old-timers like Jess Dansie, Clete Hamilton and Tony Mascaro.  I also liked driving over Butterfield Canyon to visit the old mining towns of Mercur and Ophir.  In May 1972 just before I was scheduled for ROTC camp at Ft. Lewis, Marty, who was about 9 months pregnant, and I decided to drive over that rough Buttterfield Canyon road to try to speed up her delivery date—Baby Josh took his own time and wasn’t born for weeks!

            A few years and a few children later, I became a full-time real estate developer with a residential subdivision and manager of the West Jordan Industrial Park after successfully selling the Interstate Brick Company their new location on the Old Bingham Highway in 1975. 
I was working at the industrial park one day when a long parade of vintage automobiles drove past heading toward the Kennecott mine early one morning.  I grabbed my camera and joined them.  They first stopped at the visitors’ center where I took tons of photographs of these old cars from every angle possible.  Their next stop was the Utah Copper Company community park in the center of Copperton.  As I drove into the town I was overwhelmed.  It was as if I had stepped out of a time-machine set at 1926.  The combination of the vintage models of Ford, LaSalle, Dusenburg, and even a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud parked in front of these classic houses of the Arts & Crafts style was an historian’s dream come true. 
Copperton Park entrance
            That day, Copperton seemed to me just like Brigadoon the village in the Scottish Highlands which mystically appeared every 100 years.  Copperton was like a vision to me.  It renewed my interest and enthusiasm for history and became a retreat anytime I needed to soak in the past.

 Since moving to Daybreak last year I have become reacquainted with Copperton and some of its long-term citizens.

LIKE: Dorothy Peterson (82 years old)   “I’ve lived here on Cyprus Street in Copperton for over 50 years.  My husband and I first lived in the school apartments because we both taught school here.  When Kennecott started selling these homes in 1956, Jim’s uncle bought the home they lived in and then we bought it from them.  When Jim came home and told me were we buying Aunt Hazel’s home, I said, ‘But its way too small.’  ‘That’s OK,’ he replied.  ‘The price of $8,000 is just too good to pass up, so we’re buying it.’ We raised our family of 5 children in its 2,000 square feet and have loved it more and more over the years.
            “Even though there are three different churches (LDS, Methodist and Catholic) in town, we consider ourselves Coppertonians first and then our religious denomination next.  For several years we have a progressive dinner in each of the churches.  We might start with soup and salad in the Mormon church, then the main dish at the Methodist church and finally end with desert in the Catholic church.  Then each year we would rotate.
            “A couple of years ago when the LDS Church headquarters decided to close down the Copperton Ward and move our meetings to West Jordan.  The entire town sent letters and emails to Salt Lake City and even posted signs protesting the move.  The Methodists and Catholics joined with us in an effort to keep the Copperton LDS Ward alive.  It worked!”
           
Last Sunday I visited all three Copperton churches!  Each of them welcomed me warmly and invited me to stay for their meetings.
I asked Bishop James Oldham of Copperton LDS Ward, Pastor Carol Loftin of St. Paul’s Methodist Church and Father Dennis Ruane of the Catholic Parish if there was still an ecumenical feeling between the three congregations in Copperton, today.  They all agreed that it still exists as strong as ever.
Copperton  Boy Scouts
            Pastor Loftin told me that “I never thought that I would be writing to LDS President Thomas S. Monson fervently petitioning to keep the LDS Ward in Copperton open and active—but I did!”  Father Dennis of the local parish told me that his congregation very much enjoyed their friendly relationship with both the LDS Ward and St. Paul’s and said, “We look forward each year to our progressive dinner and social.”
Dorothy Peterson also told me, “When the Daybreak development started, they held a big event here in Copperton with displays and house plans to show how everything would fit together.  I said to one of the presenters, I hope you’re giving everyone their own driveway.  He asked if that was a problem, because they had wanted Daybreak to be just like Copperton.  Then I told him of some pretty serious fights and squabbles over the single driveways leading to the double garages here.”    

Bingham High School
I ALSO INTERVIEWED Gordon Bodily, now 85   “I’ve lived in Copperton now for 60 years.  As an early employee of Kennecott Copper, I lucked out by getting one of these homes—I qualified immediately after marrying Superintendent Barlow’s daughter, Jackie.  We enjoyed the quality of the maintenance of these rental homes.  Every five years they completely repainted or wall-papered every room in the house.  The company kept each property in tiptop shape with timely repairs and replacements.  They also provided full-time gardeners for the community park—which was always a source of pride.
            When it became possible for us to purchase these homes, we all jumped at the chance.  For many years Copperton was very stable, nobody wanted to move out.  Gradually, my generation died out making way for younger families with children to move in.  That keeps the spirit and activities alive and well today.
            My wife and I raised our eight children here in this house.  We loved the closeness of everyone in town.  Copperton was a place where everybody looked after and cared for each another.”  

Copperton house
To our great delight, Marty and I have discovered right here in the Garden Park Village and Daybreak the same kind of friendship and community spirit that has always existed in Copperton.
1926 Was also the year of the deadly avalance at Highland Boy where Dr. Richards and his hospital performed a medical miracle

            Born in 1892 in Salt Lake City, Utah, Paul Snelgrove Richards was the grandson of Dr. Willard Richards, an early leader in the LDS Church.  Paul received a medical degree from Harvard University and served most of his professional life as a physician to the copper miners and their families in Bingham Canyon.
Working for the mining companies, he was impressed by the diversity of nationalities among his patients; immigrants from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Finland, Japan, and the Slavic countries of eastern and southern Europe were among the many ethic groups.  Dr. Richards’ medical practice included many emergency surgeries to treat injuries from falls, blasting, fires, floods, snowslides and cave-ins.  The dangers extended from the mines into town because of the nature of the narrow canyon into which the settlements in Bingham Canyon were wedged. 
Miners Club  1947  1948
In February 1926 a blizzard commenced and it snowed continuously for three days.  The storm left several feet of soft snow on preexisting snow pack.  In places on the mountainsides above Highland Boy the snow was 25 feet deep. Then the weather turned warm, and shortly after 9 a.m. on February 17 an avalanche of snow, mud, rocks and timber hurled down Sap Gulch and crushed the miner’s boardinghouse and buried other residences. Fires among the debris further added to the danger.  In all, the disaster killed 31 men, women and children in Highland Boy outright and buried over 150 others.
            Many of the victims removed from the snow hours later were frozen into immobility yet had faint, slow heartbeats.  When the victims were brought to the hospital, the doctor instructed that they be placed in a cold room, where towels were used to wipe away the snow.  Dr. Richards then instructed volunteers to gently massage the entire body of each victim, using the warmth of their hands to gradually melt away the frost.  At times, sixty to eighty people were working over the frozen bodies.  All of the victims who had a discernable heartbeat, even as slow as eight beats per minute, were gradually revived.
Bingham High School
            A little five-year-old girl was brought in, apparently dead.  Dr. Richards took over the treatment of hot-packing the entire body.  The attending nurse just handed him what he needed.  The doctor’s lips were moving but no sound was heard.  After a time the child moved her head slightly, and the little grey-colored hands became pale, then there was a sigh.  She opened her eyes slowly, smiled a little and whispered, “Hi, doc.  I’m cold.”   LONG PAUSE

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.  ARE THERE ANY QUESTIONS?

NEXT LECTURE ON APRIL 14TH: “BARS, BROTHELS & BROTHERHOOD”


Saturday, March 10, 2012

BINGHAM LOPEZ POEM


LOPEZ —FACT OR LEGEND
By John J. Creedon
  IN BINGHAM AT THE MINE

A Mexican vaquero, turned miner for a change,
Was digging for a living amid the Oquirrh range.
Discarding drill and shovel one bright October morn,
He hied him down the canyon and filled his skin with corn.
With rude outcry and warwhoop, he built a scarlet haze
About the town of Bingham and got his thirty days.
Emerging from his prison, he swore a mighty swear,
Announcing he was wolflike, and also a bear;
He called the State’s chief witness the Spanish word for swine,
And shot him there in Bingham, in Bingham at the Mine.

Next seized a brace of sweater, his pistol and some shoes
Retained his trusty rifle, his cigarettes and booze,
And beat it o’er the mountains, until at break of day
Fair Utah Lake and Valley at peace before him lay.
He got a bite of breakfast at a rancher’s humble shack,
Then busted up a posse that came to take him back.
When word of this reached Bingham, it made an awful noise;
They telephoned to Andy and Andy called the boys.
With megaphone and banner, with sign and countersign,
They sought the Mex from Bingham, from Bingham where they mine.

They chased around the foothills, they rambled o’er the plain,
With theories outpouring from many a fertile brain;
They searched the brush and gullies, they scrutinized the flat;
They photographed the footprints in places he’d been at;
They found where he had eaten; they saw where he had slept;
They heard his voice in greeting from heights to which he’d crept.
They’d bulletins from Fairfield, from Stockton and elsewhere,
But when they went to get him; he simply wasn’t there.
They sought him, without pausing–except to rest and dine—
When hark! “He’s back in Bingham! At Bingham in the Mine!”

Posthaste they tore for Bingham, that fearless, footsore crew,
Put guards at all the exits–except just one or two—
Some said he wasn’t in there; were sure he couldn’t be
Because the tale was given by a son of Italy.
Inside reports convinced them; the doubters ceased to doubt
And all began to figure on ways to get him out.
Some voted for starvation; and then the Sheriff spoke:
Villa's soldiers
Said he: “Go on your crazy! The only thing is smoke!
We’ll close up all the exits; we’ll burn incense and pine
And get this guy at Bingham, at Bingham in the Mine.

Forthwith they sealed the exits—except just one or two—
With bulkheads and with blockheads; they had a lot to do.
They piled up ash and cedar and mountain fir and oak,
They added oil and powder to a mighty smoke.
Formaldehyde and sulphur they placed upon each pile,
Then sent for grub and bedding and waited quite a while.
The fumes, they said would enter each raise and drift and stope
And make that Mex surrender or perish in the dope.
The fires smoked on bravely in tunnel and incline,
For days they smoked at Bingham at Bingham in the mine.
Pancho Villa-- General and Governor
Outside, the press was smoking, and what it smoked was hop;
The patient readers suffered and prayed for it to stop.
Came then at last a warning: “Mine opens up today”!
Brave volunteers will enter when the fumes have cleared away!
With bated breath a nation, all anxious for the news,
In spirit traveled with them in search for Mex or clues.
They scrambled up the ladders, thru cross-cut and through winze;
They fell down shafts, and boulders made bruises on their shins;
They found some ancient blankets, some candles and some twine–
But found no Mex at Bingham, at Bingham in the Mine.



Goshen Valley History      by Raymond Steele
Lopez   Quite awhile after the hunt had simmered down, a Mexican named, Morris Valdez, staying at the McIntyre summer ranch, told Sherrif  Henroid that Raphael Lopez had stayed with him.  Valdez had not known that he was harboring a murderer and a fugitive.  And away to Mexico he went.
Pancho Villa was Mexico's famous Revolutionary Generals who appointed himself the Provisional Governor of Northern Mexico.  He was quite popular with the people and maintained his hold for ten years.  There are many rumors of Lopez becoming one of his soldiers.
Lopez was wrongly arrested by the sheriff and later kicked by him while in custody.  Lopez swore he would kill him and he did.   



Friday, March 9, 2012

HOUGHTON BILL & HELEN HOUGHTON by CHARLEY JOE

RECOLLECTIONS of

WILFRED (BILL) HOUGHTON
and
ELLEN (HELEN) HOUGHTON
by CHARLES J. HOUGHTON

Charley   Bill   Johnny Houghton
Wilfred Houghton was born April 26, 1908, in Castle Gate, Carbon County, Utah, the son of Charles Houghton and Catherine Burrows Houghton.  He always went by the name of Bill or William although he thought his name was Wilford.  On his death my mother had to obtain a birth certificate and discovered his name was really Wilfred.  He was the seventh of 8 children.  The children were Agnes, Gladys, Sarah Ann, Elizabeth May, George Herbert, Charles Albert, Wilfred, and John Thomas.  The first five children all died in childhood.  Agnes apparently died of burns suffered when her nightgown caught fire.  I do not know the details of the others but they were dead before Charles and Catherine came to this country in 1907 (?). 

Uncle Charlie (Charles Arthur) says that he remembers going to Niagara Falls when they were enroute to Utah after arriving in this country.

I don't know much about his early childhood.  He lived with his parents and his two brothers in small houses in Castle Gate.  I have heard stories that the family of five and three boarders lived in a three room house.  He told me a few stories of his youth.  In 1924 an explosion in the coal mine at Castle Gate killed 173 men.  My father, not quite 16 at the time, worked with the undertakers preparing the bodies for burial.  He evidently witnessed the embalming process since the details he related have been corroborated from other accounts.  His job was to carry the waste out and dispose of it in privies.

Catherine and Charley Houghton
He ran around with a crowd including, Andrew Wallace, his cousin, Robert Lambert, and my mother's cousin, Leo Nielson.  There are a few others that I do not recall.  He made a trip to California somewhere around 1928 With a few friends in a Model T Ford.  They evidently had many adventures.  He often told of using his belt to shim up a bearing in the desert between Bishop, California and Las Vegas, Nevada.

He and my mother ran away to Castle Dale, Emery County, Utah. on September 18, 1931 be married.  It was supposed to be a secret but he borrowed two dollars for the marriage license from the town barber, Steve Alfieres.  By the time the whole town knew about it.

He started working on the tipple(more correctly coal tip) at Castle Gate shortly after the explosion and after dropping out of high school in the tenth grade (or was it the ninth).  He worked there for the rest of his life.  While I was growing up he ran the dump where the coal cars were dumped into the tipple.  It was a dusty job, Very cold and windy in the Winter and hot in the summer.  The dust and his smoking combined to give him emphysema which afflicted him the last few months of his life

James and Stena Nielson family
My mother, Ellen Vernetta Nielsen, was born in Winter Quarters, carbon County, Utah, June 25, 1913, the daughter of Joseph Henry Nielson and Florence May Hall.  She was the second of six children.  The children were Veda May, Ellen Vernetta, Joseph Henry Jr., Ethel, Jack and John James. 

As with my father (does this run in the family?), she went by the wrong name during her entire life, being convinced of this finally by her birth certificate which she needed for Social Security when my father died.  Marie Gilbert, who had been my grandmother's best friend, kept telling my mother that her name was really Ellen, after her mother's mother, but that her English relatives added the h as in h'eggs.  Her mother died in 1924 when she was 11 years old.  The family had a rough time of it due to the father's alcoholic problem.  Grandpa Joe later married Jenny Gibson and although they were divorced his children remained very close to her for the remainder of her life. 

Ed's kids Winter Quarters
My mother had very happy memories of her childhood in Winter Quarters.  The entire town seemed to be one extended family.  The same was almost true in Castle Gate but there were more divisions there due party to the varied ethnic backgrounds of the people and mainly to the geography.  The town was divided naturally into three parts, the main part of town North of the tipple, Coke oven row (South of the tipple where there used to be coke ovens), and Willow Creek, spread out along Utah Highway 33 below the mine entrance. 

Mother dropped out of high-school in the eleventh or twelfth grade.  I don't know what she did tween then and when she married but Grandma Jenny ran the boarding house, so I suspect that she worked there. 

Some of my first recollections of family life are of the period when we lived in the "rows" in Castle Gate in a fairly small house.  It was originally a three room house, about 24 feet square with two rooms across the front and along room across the back of the house containing the kitchen.  The long room was later divided into two rooms to make a small bedroom.  There was no hot water and no bathroom.  A privy in the back yard provided refreshing experiences in the Winter.  We had no refrigerator.  During the Summer an orange crate covered with burlap and kept wet provided whatever cooling we needed. 

Post Office 
I can remember that Grandma Jenny bought me a new outfit for my birthday, it must have been about the sixth or seventh birthday, and the family was coming over for a party.  I was dressed in the new outfit and went out in the front yard.  The neighbor kids came over with a new kitten which I picked up.  The kitten was sick and had a diarrhea all down the front of my new outfit.  I think that is the basis for my general dislike of cats. 

This house in the rows was kitty-corner from the house of Grandpa and Grandma Houghton.  Grandpa died in 1937 of cancer of the throat.  I can remember that he used to sit on the front porch in his rocking chair.  He could not talk in the later stages of his illness which is all that I can recall.  I remember being held up to see him in his casket. 

Wasatch Store Castle Gate
This proximity had advantages and disadvantages.  I could nip over to grandma's house easily to get a cookie or whatever.  She used to make a cake with caraway seeds in it.  Whenever I see or smell caraway seeds, I can taste that cake.  The closeness also meant that she could nap me or my sisters for errands.  With no refrigeration in either house, we used to buy perishables as needed and this made frequent trips to the store.  She would send me at least once a day, often twice, to get 10 cents worth of hamburger, a loaf of bread, a can of condensed milk (it kept longer when opened than fresh milk), what ever. 

After grandma and grandpa Nielson's divorce and Uncle Jack and Uncle Jim went off to the Navy during World War II, our family moved in with grandpa Nielsen since he had a rather large house.  This was a welcome move, relatively speaking, since there were four of us kids by that time.  My brother and I slept in what had been the bathroom.  The house had originally been used by one of the higher-ups in the mining Company but when he moved out he took the bathroom with him.  Again we had a privy in the back yard although this one was further from the house behind the pigeon coop, thus less smelly in the Summer but a colder, longer trip in the winter. 

Castle Gate looking down to Store and Power Plant
Grandpa Nielsen lived in two rooms in front of the house and we had the remaining five rooms.  My bedroom (and my brothers) was the passageway from the dining-living room to my sister's bedroom.  My brother and I slept in a three-quarter bed.  Later when my Uncle Jack came home from the Navy he slept with me and my brother Billy slept on the sofa.

MEMORIES of AUNT JOYCE by MARK BOYNTON

Memories of Aunt Joyce
By Mark Boynton
Aunt Joyce Houghton Halverson
Looking back on our childhood it is hard to find a time when our families were not doing something together as a group.  Camping, fishing, hunting and the archery club were most of what I remember.  Easter camps at the sand dunes or Lookout pass usually started the off the camping year.  The weather was not always the best, but we could make the most of it by playing cards and games in the campers or decorating eggs for the annual Easter egg hunt.  The archery shoots would come along after that and then heading up to the muddy for the archery hunt.   We were lucky to have those opportunities in our lives and I am glad we are still getting together once or twice a year outside these events to keep our memories alive. 
Aunt Joyce was always there.  We could wander in to her trailer any time during our activities and she would greet you with a treat and visit with you finding what you were up to.  I remember dragging a bunch of my high school buddies up to the Muddy during the bow hunt one time.  She fed us lunch and visited with us for hours and was just enjoying her peaceful time in the mountains. I remember when we moved to Ephraim we always saw the most of her and uncle Gene.  I remember the pinochle games at our kitchen table.  Aunt Joyce was always easy going, but it always seemed like she would get riled up somewhere during the match.  As soon as that little vein in her neck bulged out Dad and Uncle Gene knew they had better back off or they were going to get an earful and maybe a lap full of cards. 

Joyce working at St. Marks Hospital
If we ever went back to Salt Lake we always stayed with them when we got there.  It didn’t matter who we were visiting we always stayed with her and Uncle Gene.  I think everyone in the family stayed with her at one time or another.  I was looking for work in Salt Lake one year after school let out and I showed up on her door step.  Cathy stayed there, I believe Uncle Pat and Kent stayed there and so did Edward and Emily.  We always knew we were welcome.
Whenever Craig had any of his many hand surgeries at St. Marks hospital he knew that Aunt Joyce would make sure he was taken care of.
Sherron   Gene   Joyce  Viv
Kent   Pat  Castle Gate
Aunt Joyce always kept everyone up to date on what was going on about her brothers and her family.  We always found out about Uncle Charlie’s family through her.  We really would not know Edward, Ellen and Emily if not for her.  She and mom would keep track of grandma and they kept up on how Kent and Pat were doing or what they were up to.  She was very proud of David and Diane.  I know she loved everyone in the family deeply.
I remember when Grandma died, Uncle Jim said that there was going to be a great reunion with Grandpa and Annie.  Well now Uncle Billy, Mom and Aunt Joyce have joined them and I bet they are having a great time!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

HOUGHTON MEMORIES of CASTLE GATE by SHERRON H BOYNTON


MY MEMORIES of CASTLEGATE  

by SHERRON HOUGHTON BOYNTON

Castle Gate Houghton house five houses below the Church
My earliest memories are of living in a housing project in Castlegate called the "Rows".  We lived right behind our cousins the Harrisons.  Colleen was close to Joyce and I in age.  My earliest thing I remember was when Joyce had the measles on Christmas Day and we couldn't go out, I must have been about five years old. 

I remember when Jim and Jack lived with us, they would take us to Royal and leave us to walk home.  Anther way to tend us was to lock us in the cellar.  The next memory I have is Mother teaching us to love to read which is something I still enjoy doing, I always have a book with me.  
I used to like to visit my Grandmother Houghton.   She had a neat glass case filled with little nick-nacks which she would let us take out and look at. 
Sharron's Mother, Helen far left, uncles and Grandma Hall
at Winter Quarters
We used to go to the store for her a lot and get five cents worth of sugar, five cents worth of flour and such things.  She never bought very much.  She would make Caraway seed cakes which we thought were wonderful.  Grandma always had her mirrors covered because some old lady kept looking at her.  She would come to our house for dinner and only stay for a minute because some old lady kept looking at her.  My Mom told me one time Grandma took the bus to Salt Lake and was very confused about how she got there.  I think she must have suffered with some sort of depression.  She had several children and only three survived to adulthood.  One little girl died from burns she suffered when her night gown caught fire.  Life must have been hard for her to leave her family and move to United States. 
I can't remember my Grandfather very clearly but Mom told me he used to bring me a banana every day because I was so small. 
Charles and Catherine Houghton
I remember my Grandfather Nielson, seems to me he was always such a mean old man.  It was only at his funeral that I heard he was once a nice man. 
I remember going down to the railroad tracks to see the troop trains moving across the country.  I always felt sad because Jim and Jack were in the Navy and on ships.  I know my Mother worried about them a lot.  It was hard on Mom when Jack died, she was very close to him since he lived with us a lot.  I imagine she felt a lot like their mother. 
I remember starting school and having my first grade teacher, Miss Diane, she was really mean; she would make us hold out our hands and she would slap them with a ruler.  I can't remember if she ever hit me but I trembled every time she walked by. 
When I was in the second grade I won a spelling contest, I always did well in school.  My friend Marilyn Thacker wanted to win the contest and she told Mrs. Long that I cheated.  It was so silly because we didn't know what words they would ask us to spell.  I remember the prize was a mirror, comb and brush.  Marilyn and I were the best of friends and we had a Crisco Can full of marbles that we won from the boys.  We used to do everything together.   I went through the first grade to the twelfth with Marilyn, Willadeen Miller and Mary Margaret Russell.  We had a lot of fun.  We all did very well in school and were very competitive for grades and such. 

 
Grandpa Joe Nielson
Seems like as with all large families we always had something wrong, such as measles, chickenpox, etc.  When we were growing up there were no antibiotics and so when you got a sore throat you were sick for a long time.  I remember one of our friends had a bad case of mastoiditis, she was out of school almost a whole year and when she came back she had a big bandage over her ear where they had to drain the abscess.  Polio was a real threat and Mothers worried all summer that their kids would get this.  Those who got it were very crippled and some even died.   I remember my Mom worrying about this all the time.  
I remember my Mom taking us swimming in the river under the railroad bridge.  We would swim and she would embroidery.  I wonder now how she could stay there when she couldn't swim a stroke.  She did make sure that we all took swimming lessons and learned how to swim.   There used to be a bus that took us from Castle Gate to Helper so we could all swim. 

My Dad always had a season pass to the ball games in Helper.  We would go and sit inside and he liked to look over the fence.  I think he had a hard time being around people because he was deaf.  He had measles when he was seven and lost his hearing.   My Dad was really a smart man but his hearing loss was a real handicap for him.  In today's world he wouldn't have had it so rough.  He taught himself to read lips so he could carry on a conversation.  I remember he liked to do math with Charley, fish, deer hunt, raise his pigeons and climb rocks.  I remember him telling me about pulling himself up to a ledge and being eye to eye with a rattle snake.  I shouldn't forget he liked to go to Spring Glen and drink wine with his Italian friends. 

 
Helen Nielson Houghton and Bill Houghton
I remember during the War when he would walk to work every day so he could save gas coupons for our annual vacation.   We would load up whatever old car we had and head for Southern Utah where we trekked through Zion’s, Bryce’s, Wayne Wonderland and best of all Fish Lake.  We always had a tent that leaked and smelled like old canvas.  I think often of the old surplus rubber raft he bought.  He was sitting on it with our neighbor telling him how wonderful it was when it blew up on them or under them.  It was quite funny.  
Dad also liked Randolph Scott in Western movies. Drive-in Movie theaters and he loved TV..
I think my Dad was a very spiritual man.  He never went to Church but I think he read the Book of Mormon repeatedly.  He was very quiet.  I don't think I ever got to know him.  He was so happy when Kent and Pat were born, although I think he knew he was not going to live long.  I wish I could have known him as an adult. 
Helen Nielson Houghton
My Mom had a hard life, it was very hard on her to raise Kent and Pat alone.  She did her best and I think they turned out very well.  She would be proud of them.  Most of the time she did not feel well and she just kept plugging along doing her best.  What more could anyone ask of her.  She was quite the lady.   I remember during the War when she belonged to the Women's Auxiliary, she had a little silver and blue cape they wore and they would go practice first aid and they would march in the Labor Day Parade.  She never had much money but she was generous to everyone.  She would share her last meal with anyone. 

I remember when she got robbed at the store she worked in and would not give the money to the robber.  She told him to go earn his own money.  I don't know anyone who did not like her.  Mom loved to read when we were growing up, she always had books which she shared with everyone in town.  I think she love her job at the Library very much.  She was very intelligent and I feel given the right opportunity she could have been anything in the world. 

Mom was a good cook.   I remember when I was in Nurses Training getting a box of her Wonderful Fudge, which I would share with everyone.  She kept me in Nursing School and I know this must have been a great sacrifice for her.  I didn't think much about it at the time but now I appreciate it so much.  Mom could always find someone to help if it was something as simple as sending Fern Fish a book of stamps or taking meals to Anne.  I'm sure she's one of Heavens Choicest Angles. 
 
Sherron   Pat  Kent Charles   Bill
One thing I would thank my parents for if I could was to opportunity they gave us to learn and for encouraging us to get an education.  It was goal they set up for us and helped us to achieve.  A lot of kids we grew up with didn't get this support from their parents. 

I went to the same school for eight years, we were terribly poor but most everyone was in the same boat.  We used to have good times sleigh-riding in the Winter, swimming and playing tennis in the Summer.   We had a house that had a lot of tea vines around it and we used to make a play house in them and playing we were Mommies playing with our dolls.  I remember tagging along after Joyce and her friends and they were so mean to me, sometimes they would even throw rocks at me.  We would take our lunch and go on a picnic up by the water tank. 

Halverson, Boynton, East Kids going camping, Darald's truck
Ever since I was a little girl I have wanted to be a nurse.  I worked hard at school so I could get a scholarship for school.  My scholarship was for $250 dollars which seemed to me a fortune.  My books for the three years were $94, now one text book costs that much.  School was always easy for me and I was shocked when we got to college and I found out you have to study.  I look back now and wondered how we survived those three years.  We would go to Westminster in the morning, come back to the hospital have nursing classes in the afternoon and doctors lectures at night.   We had to maintain at least a C average or flunk out.  I wonder how we did all that and still have to do shifts at the hospital.  We still found time to go to Bill's Diner for coffee, watch Elvis Presley on TV and chase boys.  It was quite a three years.  On November 27, 1957 Darald and I got married.  We were married at Russ's house the day before Thanksgiving.  We went to Reno, Nevada for our honeymoon.  We have had four children, Cory Lynn born Oct., 23, 1959, William Mark born Nov., 23, 1962, Catherine Ann born July 15, 1965 and Craig Leo born March 28, 1968.  We had a lot of fun when the kids were little.   We camped a lot, water skied.  It was nice the family was close and we camped a lot with them and their good friends the East's.  We went to a lot of ball games, dance rehearsals, drill team presentations, Parent Teacher Conferences, archery tournaments etc.   We have had a lot of ups and downs but mostly they have been good times.

Joyce    Sherron   Charley  Castle Gate
The children are all grown and settled and we are blessed with some wonderful grandchildren, some ours and some we share with other families.  We have Barey born Nov., 25, 1980, Brock born January,. 9, 1984, Brooke Ellen born September 10, 1984, Hayden Guy born December 28, 1990, Alix born February 26, 1991, and Morgan Kelly born August 22, 1994.  We have three others that are like our own, Jessica Austin born December 22, 1981, Niki and Nathon Burr who call us Grandma and Grandpa.  Cory has been married twice, first to Cindy Lou Burr, June 1980, and Michelle Austin July 19, 1986.  Mark married Shirrilyn Loveless on March 5, 1987.  Cathy married Guy Rulon Anderson on June 16. 1989.  Craig married Stacey Hanson on July 31, 1991.  They all seem to be happy.  We enjoy our grandchildren immensely.  It is nice to just love them and enjoy the milestones in their lives.  I wish I had been more relaxed with my own children and loved them for what they were and not fretted so much about when things went wrong.  I have always enjoyed being a wife, mother, grandmother and nursing which have taught me a lot about life.  I have learned to accept people exactly the way they are and not to be to judgmental of them.  I have made a lot of wonderful friends. 

 
Joyce   Sherron   Charles   Bill 
When I was ill last year I truly appreciated my family, everyone was there for me all the way.  My sister was so good to me, who else would take me in and give me such tender loving care?  I appreciate all of the brothers who were there for me with their visits, calls and everything.  I love the nieces and nephews who came to see me and call me.  I appreciate all the love and prayers said for me.  My children were so special at this time, they were truly there for me.   I could not have asked for more.  Darald was with me 100% of the time.  He took such good care of me.  I could not have made it without them all.  I'm glad I pulled through so I could tell everyone how much I love them all.  It's not often in life you get a second chance. 
 
Well Gene you probably didn't expect a whole book when you asked me to write this.  You have been a special part of our family, you have always opened your home to us.  I know it has not been easy being the home away from home for our family.   We have always been welcome in your family and I appreciate your Mom, Dad, brothers and sister.  I feel we are more than in-laws.