K.E.E.P.’s History Committee continues to learn and have fun. I thought I’d share on our more recent activities.
In April we helped judge student-produced documentaries for the Utah History Day State Competition. The top winners in various categories will be competing this month in Washington D.C. at the National History Day Contest. It was a great pleasure to meet youth so enthusiastic about history and so darn INCREDIBLY SMART and TALENTED! Go, Utah!
In May we dropped in at the Salt Lake County Archives during their 30 Year Anniversary Celebration… where we chatted with more history-loving folks and received a nice tour. We greatly appreciate the help they have given us. And it was nice meeting others that also enjoy utilizing the SLCo Archives. (Have you ever seen chattel mortgage records? They have them.)
We know not everyone can attend K.E.E.P.’s one-day Walking Tour events. So… we decided to put the tour into a new format and try taking it on the road to share with more people. Our “Tour on Tour” participants have hailed from Sarah Daft, Parklane, St. Joseph’s Villa, Chateau Brickyard and Brookdale. It’s been fun!
Every time we do a presentation or a ride-along, we hear questions and comments that either make us chuckle, teach us something, or have us doing more research to find the answers to improve our tour. Speaking of which– for those that missed it last October (and those curious about how the tour has changed)…
The Prairie School bungalow at 1559 Harvard Avenue was built 99 years ago in 1917. Alvin and LaVon Goodspeed were its first owners and moved in that year, just a few months after the birth of their daughter Muriel on May Day, May 1, 1917. Alvin was a traveling salesman and LaVon was a granddaughter of LDS Prophet Lorenzo Snow. Muriel’s eighth birthday party on May Day 1925 was reported in the Salt Lake Telegram and featured a May Pole on the front lawn. As a child, Muriel showed great talent singing and dancing so her parents enrolled her at age 8 in the Theodore Kosloff Dance Studio in Los Angeles.
After graduating from East High School in 1934, LaVon and Muriel moved to Los Angeles to give Muriel her chance to star in Hollywood motion pictures. In 1936, she appeared in the first “Flash Gordon” movie serials starring Buster Crabbe and Jean Rogers.
In August 1938, Muriel earned the title Miss Utah and a month later won the Miss America talent competition to become second runner-up to Miss America, 1938.
Muriel hasn’t been the only Harvard Avenue resident to be crowned Miss Utah.
Loi-Anne Bailey, daughter of Loile and Anna Bailey, long-time residents of 1553 Harvard Avenue, became Miss Utah 1964 and competed in the 1964 Miss America Pageant.
Muriel Goodspeed became the vocal backup and understudy to Jeanette MacDonald and went on to appear in the 1940 Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald musical, “Bitter Sweet,” and the 1943 film “Presenting Lily Mars,” starring Judy Garland and Van Heflin. She traveled with other celebrities on the World War II Bond Tours.
Married for sixty years, Muriel had three children. After raising them, she continued teaching music lessons for many years to many piano students in Southern California. She produced and performed in many local musical shows into her mid-eighties. Muriel died in 2005 at the age of 87.
This photo was taken in the 1930’s on the 1700 block of Harvard Ave.
Gone are the skate keys, longs skirts and cool retro hats. But the kids are still here. You can see them wearing helmets as they move down the sidewalks skating or riding their bikes. You might also see them on razors, skateboards, and even motorized scooters and hoverboards!
Photo: Courtesy of K. Lewis
On March 31, 2016 K.E.E.P. Yalecrest received the 2016 Heritage Award for Organization from the Utah Heritage Foundation. It was a privilege and honor to accept this at their annual banquet. Additionally we were asked and honored to be presenters at their annual preservation conference.
The awards announcement and news coverage: Preservation conference encourages, honors restoration of Utah’s historic buildings _ The Salt Lake Tribune:
This Period Revival home on Harvard Ave was built in 1929 by the Doxey-Layton Company. Graham Doxey (of Doxey Real Estate) and Howard Layton (of Layton Construction) were Yalecrest residents that joined together to build and sell homes.
William and Emily Naylor were the first owners and long time residents. The 1940 census has 6 adults living in the home: William E. and his wife Emily, their 3 adult children (Audrey, Evelyn and William J.) and Emily’s mom (Mary James). Mr. Naylor was his own boss working in the grocery store business. Mrs Naylor and her mother came from Ireland. Audrey had graduated from college and was working as a school teacher. Evelyn was employed as a stenographer. And William J. was in his 1st year of college and working as a grocery store clerk.
Mr Naylor passed away in 1966 at the age of 84. For at least 20 years he owned and operated Dickinson’s Market (2nd S. near 7th East, now a parking lot). The family lived in the back of the store for a couple years. Mr Naylor was well-respected in the community. He served as president of the Salt Lake Retail Butcher’s and Grocer’s Association, was a captain in the Utah National Guard, served as board director in at least 3 organizations, worked in the government’s War Assets Administration, and later entered the real estate business.
Emily James Naylor immigrated to the the U.S. when she was a teenager. She lived to be 95. The home stayed in the Naylor family for more than 55 years. Their eldest daughter Audrey (born in 1906) was still living here in the late 1980’s.
——- Connection to early SLC history:
The brothers were born in England where they joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They came to Utah with the early Mormon settlers, most likely with the 1852 John S. Higbee Company.
The Naylor Brothers manufactured some of the first wagons built in Utah. Together they were skilled blacksmiths, woodworkers and mechanics.
William E. Naylor was one of the sons of George Naylor and his 2nd wife Fanny Wiscombe.
As the popularity of wagons and carriages began to dwindle, George Naylor started selling Studebakers. At one time SLC boasted a Studebaker showroom in the Naylor Building (100 S. block of State Street).