Monday, June 20, 2011

Historic Rock House Tour in Newton, Utah

"NEWTON ROCKS!" is the slogan for the Newton Utah Historic Rock House Tour. It will be held July 23rd (Utah's Pioneer Day holiday) from 1-4 PM. Six historic houses, several with beautiful gardens and water features, will be open to the public. A tour booklet will include the history of the open houses as well as information about five other historic rock houses in Newton. The booklet will include a map for a self-guided walking or driving tour.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience northern Utah's history through some of its early buildings and their stories. This also provides an opportunity for owners of historic homes to tap into the restoration experience of others.

Tickets are $5 for adults. Children under 12 will be admitted free. The Newton Market will provide free refreshments for all ticket holders. The 30-page booklet about the settlement of the town and the history of the houses will be on sale for $2.

Tickets and tour books are available at the Newton Library during regular library hours, the Newton Market in the center of town, Lee's Market Place on S. Main St. in Smithfield, UT, Lee's Market Place at 555 E. 1400 North in Logan, UT, and the Cache Valley Visitor's Bureau.

All proceeds from the tour will benefit the Newton Town Library.

The photos below provide a preview of the houses that will be open for the tour.

Built circa 1875 by Jens Peter Benson, this house has a beautiful traditional parlor with a fireplace, interesting landscaping, and a small pond. A recently restored primitive cabin will also be open on this property.

Built circa 1885 by William S. and Amelia Petersen Jensen, this house, like many of the early small rock houses, has an addition that made it more livable for expanding families. The property includes extensive landscaping and gardens that showcase native Utah plants.

Built in 1904 by William James and Frances Henry Barker, this house has a large addition, a recently-restored pantry and gardens.

Built in 1876 by Ludwig Erickson, this house includes a recent log addition, a pond and waterfall, a kitchen garden, a fledgling xeriscape garden, and Alice the dwarf Netherland rabbit.

Interior view of Ludwig Erickson house, built in 1876.

William F. Rigby, the founding bishop of Newton, started building this large house in 1882, but it wasn't finished until 1912. The front room will be open to the public.

Built in 1906 by David Clarke, this house is a restoration-in-progress. The property includes a large, irrigated vegetable garden, and a barn with its original Jackson Fork.

We hope to see you in Newton, a small agricultural community about 8 miles west of Smithfield, Utah, on July 23rd. If you need more information about the tour, please call 435-563-3654.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Our Rock Houses

From Sue in Utah

Here are pictures of my rock and log cabin. I bought it in October, 2008. It was restored by the people who owned it before me. The rock house was built sometime between 1875 and 1890. The log portion was added in the 1960's. I live in it full time.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sharing the Rock House Experience

This blog is an attempt to start a conversation about restoring, maintaining, and living in old pioneer rock houses. It comes from a little town in Northern Utah that has about two dozen pioneer rock houses that were built between 1875 and 1900. There are old rock houses elsewhere in Utah and the West and would like to include all pioneer rock-house dwellers in this forum.

To get things rolling on the forum, I'll include some pictures of my rock and log cabin in a separate post that I'll call Our Rock Houses. If you want me to add yours to that posting, email me some pictures and some information about it.

Here is a picture of a falling down rock house down the road from me. Someone told me it had a fire. But the rock is still standing!

Local history says that there are so many rock houses in this little Utah town (pop. 700) because one of the early settlers built a house out of wood, which burned down just after it was finished. He decided to try again, but used rock the second time around. I guess it caught on. They imported the rock from a quarry just west of here. I think the rock came from a place called Rigby's Ranch.

For starters, here are some ideas about topics for this forum:

- Our rock houses
- Restoring a rock house on a budget
- Materials and tools for tuck pointing rock houses
- Making a rock house livable
- How to heat a rock house
- Pros and cons of different types of stoves
- Modern roofs and rock houses
- Restoring a rock house on a budget
- Stories about pioneers building houses
- The 3 Little Pigs revisited ... How Solid is a Rock House?
- How to research a house's history
- You name it, and I'll start a thread for it

Let me know what you think. To join the conversation, use the Comment feature. But there may be some crazies out there. So you might want to withhold your full name, address, and phone number from public view. If you want to add information regularly, contact me via email, and we'll see if we can add you to the list of people who can post to this blog. If you want to include information about your house on a one-time basis, send it to me and I'll post it.

Keep on rockin'!