Granite neighborhood joins to save historic house and keep Dimple Dell wild
Sep 23, 2019 12:56PM
By Heather Lawrence
Neighbors in historic Granite gather for a walkabout on Sept. 16 to learn more about saving the 1890 Muir-Poulsen home at 3006 East Mount Jordan Road. (Heather Lawrence/City Journals)
By Heather Lawrence | [email protected]
The Granite community in east Sandy hosted a walkabout on the evening of Sept. 16 in which organizers from the Dimple Dell Preservation Community talked to neighbors about a local historic house in need of renovation. Four other stations educated residents about preserving the unique natural characteristics of the area.
Joyce Walker, a board member of the DDPC, talked about the historic elements of the Muir-Poulsen home at 2940 East Mount Jordan Road. The only structure on the site, it was built by a farming family in the 1890s. Though the home was added to the national historic register in 2018, it is in disrepair and fenced off.
“The home is historically significant for many reasons. It was built with a foundation of granite stone from the same nearby quarry that gives the area its name. It’s the granite stone that the Utah pioneers used to build the Salt Lake Temple and the State Capital building,” Walker said.
Walker is passionate about raising funds to get the home restored. Its final use after restoration is still up in the air. “Salt Lake County Parks owns the home. It has a lot of potential as a community education and meeting center,” Walker said.
Resident Ray Anderson used his knowledge and skills to share local legends. “This stop is based on four geologic features visible in the ridges of the Wasatch Mountains: Satchie’s Tooth, the Old Chief mountain silhouette, Belle of Bell’s Canyon and Petrified Teepee. The stories have a connection to the Ute Indian band that made their summer home here,” Anderson said.
Another station showed a budget and priority plan for the Dimple Dell bond. Fire resistance was at the top of the list. “A fire here is something I worry about every day. In the last year there were three fires in Dimple Dell, but fortunately they all happened near 1300 East where the area is most accessible to fire crews,” McNamer said.
Taylor Kalander came to the walkabout with her teenage stepson Lincoln Zacharias. Kalander just moved to the area in August, but enjoyed learning about its history. “The building is very interesting and I like the idea of restoring it. I hope they can do it,” Kalander said.
Lincoln liked exploring the natural area and talked to McNamer for several minutes. “I ride my bike here — you could explore forever,” Lincoln said. McNamer pointed out the acres of dry ryegrass to Lincoln, reminding him all it would take is a teenager playing with matches or fireworks in the area to start a catastrophic fire.
In a station set up in a small grove of black locust trees, Utah archeologists talked about the trees’ helpful properties. “These were brought from the eastern United States with the pioneers and planted under the direction of Brigham Young. They are drought resistant, do well in the sandy soil and the wood is excellent for building homes and burning,” said the archeologists.
Hillcrest senior Lucas Schreiber showed that the younger generation is also interested in preserving the area. “Earlier this year I completed my Eagle Scout project, which was to clean up the old orchard area of the property,” Schreiber said. The family who farmed the area planted apple, pear and other trees.
“The trees are still bearing fruit after all these years, but they needed some restoration. I got a group of volunteers together and spent a day working on them. We watered them and cleared the ryegrass which sucks up all the water. We dug dirt moats and put some mulch down. It was fun. Everyone had a good time,” Schreiber said.
Schreiber said there are plans for an arborist to come to the site and give further instruction on how to preserve the trees. “They’re being watered manually, but we are working on an irrigation system. It might become a kind of community orchard, where you can just come and pick off a pear,” Schreiber said.
“I’m not an expert — I just jumped in. Our goal is to put the orchard in the historic registry. Until it is, anything could happen to it,” Schreiber said. The DDPC has a Facebook page for those who are interested in learning more about the site.
Anderson said interest by residents like Schreiber was the purpose of the walkabout. “Without Schreiber’s Eagle Project, many of us in the Granite community would have never known about the historical significance of the old Muir-Poulsen Farm. The walkabout provided an opportunity to increase resident awareness of the heritage in our own backyard!” Anderson said.