19 years ago this year we bought this old stone house in a small town, Payson, Utah.
Over the years we have put in thousands and thousands of hours and dollars restoring it. It had had a checkered past. It had been broken up into apartments during the depression, and had then served as a home for wayward boys. It was in such bad shape that in 1964 it sold for just $5,000
The new owner loved the house and spent many hours stripping wood work, and other labor intensive projects but a lack of money limited her ability to do much of the needed restoration.
When we bought it from her estate in 1997 there was much to do. We dug in installing furnaces, and completing bathrooms to make the house livable.
The former owners had visqueened off all but three rooms on the main floor where they lived, while leaking roofs did untold damage to walls, floors and ceilings in the upstairs rooms.
Two weeks ago a friend emailed to say the city council would be hearing a presentation from the Utah Department of Transportation (Udot) and that they are considering a proposal that would tear down my historic home and 13 others to widen Main Street, as part of a new freeway exit plan.
At the meeting we were informed that the only way to affect the final decision would be to have lots of people call and email to express their opinion that these old homes need to be saved.
Thanks to some Face Book and Insta Gram exposure, as well as calls to the media by my son Trevor, this reporter came to my work last week to film a spot for our local news.
A newspaper writer called and interviewed me for a story, then sent out a photographer to take pictures of my neighbor and me as well as our homes, both of which are on the National Historic Registry.
The next day another station sent out another news reporter. This means our story was aired two days in a row.
At the same time I was being filmed, a third reporter was interviewing my neighbor who lives in another historic home across the street.
When I went over to visit afterwards, she showed me this historic picture of my house with her great grandmother standing out front of her house. I guess getting to know my neighbor better and seeing this old picture will just have to be my Pollyanna silver lining!
If you'd like to help please email. Paysoneis@utah.gov and tell them to save our historic Main street. You can also call them at 801.859.3770 to register your opinion. I think even those from out of state can express an opinion that Utah, as a heritage proud state, should dismiss such a proposal from consideration. Thanks