Fall = A New School Year

I always loved the Fall.  I loved the colors of the changing leaves and the start of a new school year.  Not to mention, the fun of Halloween!  I bet many kids today feel the same way.  Thinking about them and thinking about Yalecrest’s past… thought I’d share my 2 favorite stories relating to Uintah Elementary School.

The 1st story takes place in the earliest days of Uintah.  Remember, this was back when the school’s eastern boundary extended all the way to the Wasatch Mountains.  Children often reported seeing a coyote as they walked to school.  And sometimes the kids and teachers would gather for a little coyote watching before getting down to business.

The 2nd story comes from Ray H. Barton, Jr.  Ray attended Uintah from 1923-1929.  His story can be found in a booklet titled “Uintah Memories, A Retrospective View of Uintah Elementary School, 1915-1993.”  In Ray’s words:

I was caught jumping out the first story window at lunch break in the 5th grade and was sent to see the principal by Miss Kelly, my teacher.  We were all scared of Mr Kesler.  He was tall and had a booming voice.  So I went to see him shaking in my boots.

He said, “Come in,” when I knocked and asked what I was there for.  I told him and he said, “I don’t think that was so bad.  Sit down and let’s talk for a few minutes.”  He was nice and then sent me back in a few minutes to my room.  I was grateful to him.

Years later, after graduating from Temple Medical School in Philadelphia, I returned to LDS Hospital in Salt Lake to intern.  One day I was asked to assist on a surgery.  The surgeon asked me, as we made the incision, to check the tissues and tell him how old I thought this man was.  I couldn’t see anything but the incision because he was draped.  I didn’t know who it was.  The doctor was trying to make the point that this patient had taken care of himself and was lean and wiry.  I guessed about 45 to 50.  He said to my astonishment, “He is 70 years old.”

Being curious, after surgery I went up to his room to see him.  To my surprise it was Mr Kesler, my old principal.  I introduced myself and then told him the above happening when in school.  He was glad to see me and shook my hand and said, “Well, Ray, I’m glad I was nice to you at that time.  Things have a way of paying off.”  We remained close friends until the end of his life.


Can you spot Mr Kesler, the principal, in this photo?


1917 Uintah School 8th grade graduates.


–Kelly Marinan
  • Copyright for the coyote images belongs to the Uintah County Library.  Copyright for Uintah School photo belongs to the Utah State Historical Society.
  • “Uintah Memories” was compiled by the Uintah PTA.  Lucile Anderson (PTA Historian) and Karamea Edwards did a lot of work on it.  Writing credit also goes to the school principal at the time, Julia Miller.
  • Fred Keeler was Uintah’s principal for its first year.  After that, A. B. Kesler was the principal from 1916-1934.
  • 1917 Uintah School photo: 1st row:  James Hurd, Irene Kimball, Ira Konold, Alice Edgeheill, Aquilla Merrill, Alice Christensen, Raphael Stokes.  2nd row:  Clyde Rose, Frank Goeltz, Marcel Mansuy, Edith Gray, Melvin Wagstaff, Martha Irvine, Hazel Westergreen, Ellen Bessendorfer, Glen Davidson, Myrtle Herman.  3rd row:  Rosalia Scribante, Olof Scott, Erma Wetzell, Clyde Watson, Vera Jensen, Fay Leaker, Hazel Grow, Joseph Gumbmann.  Top row:  A. B. Kesler, Edith E. Kendell.



Yalecrest Receives Another Local Historic District Designation!

In April, the Salt Lake City Council unanimously approved the sixth Local Historic District in Yalecrest.  Congratulations to those who spearheaded the effort and garnered support.  This latest district is located on the 1500 E. block of Hubbard and contains a variety of architectural styles and notable past residents.




This block is located in the original Douglas Park subdivision and contains a 100 year old home!

The Yalecrest neighborhood, established in 1910, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007, however there are no protections associated with that listing.  The district continues to experience demolitions/tear down of homes with the count in the 40’s; two more are planned.



12 ways to create Curb Appeal

12 Ways to Create Curb Appeal

K.E.E.P.Yalecrest was delighted to host Cynthia Bee, the Outreach Coordinator for the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District and the Conservation Park, on March 13, 2018 at the Anderson Foothill Library, as part of our ongoing Education Lecture series. The following is a summary of her enthusiastic, entertaining and knowledgeable lecture that  attended by members and guests.

What is Curb Appeal?

Merriam Webster defines curb appeal as “the visual attractiveness of a house as seen from the street”.  Ms Bee asserts that curb appeal is difficult to define, but “when you see it, you know it!”  Curb appeal draws walkers and visitors to stop, smile and appreciate your home.  Cynthia Bee shared 12 ways to create and/or enhance curb appeal of our homes with many examples from Yalecrest!

12 Ways to Create Curb Appeal

1.  Match don’t mix

Some homes in Yalecrest, have a distinctive architectural style.  Match the landscape design with the architecture of your home-either apply the house style to the landscape or use the landscape to give the house a style.  Avoid mixing styles –   carry materials from the house to the landscaping design.  Use symmetry in the landscape design to provide balance between plant specimens and house. One way landscape can generate a “style” for a house is with a fence or living hedge that creates a ‘barrier

2.  No Bore Front Door

Your front door is the jewelry of your home.  It’s the #1 project with the highest return on your investment and the quickest way to add curb appeal to your home.   Yalecrest is fortunate to have many uniquely designed wood front entry doors, but they require protection from elements (recessed entries).  If your door needs repairs, use BONDO to restore the door.  If the door is severely damaged, find the best quality upgraded door you can afford.  You can also choose to paint the door with a high quality, durable finish.  Choose an interesting color to draw attention to the door.  ‘No fail’ colors that add interest to the front door include 1. Bright colors (mid tones that are vivid or bold), 2. Subtle color (light colors that blend with the house becoming almost neutral), or 3. Classic color (dark crisp colors).   Make sure the sheen of the finish is either matte or semi gloss.  Gloss finishes shows imperfections.

3.  Emphasize the Entry

Draw the eye to the entry with a new covered structure, arbors or other details that direct visitors to the entry and protect them from the elements.  This is particularly important for homes with front doors which do not face the street.  You can also add great plants, an architectural element (arbor, stair railings) around the entry to draw attention to the entry OR add a great gate in the yard leading to the front door.

NOTE: If you opt to change the street facing side of your home, remember to contact Roger Roper at the State Historic Preservation Office (801-245-7251 or  rroper@utah.gov) to find out if those plans will alter your contributory status and affect your future state tax credits.   You can learn more about the State Tax credit program and print/download a read/write application at https://heritage.utah.gov/history/state-tax-credit. 

Also, homeowners in Local Historic Districts are required to obtain a ‘certificate of appropriateness’ for adding any permanent structure(s) to the street facade before obtaining their building permits.  Contact Historic Planners in the City Planning Department (Carl Leith 801-535-7758 or carl.leith@slcgov.com. or Joel Patterson (801.535.6141 or joel.paterson@slcgov.com) to find out how to get a ‘certificate of appropriateness’ for adding any structures to the street facade in a Local Historic District…it could change your house’s contributory status and prevent use of the State Tax credit program.

4.  Contain Yourself

Instead of using many container gardens around the front yard, limit yourself to either a few large containers or 1 grouping near the front door.  If the colors of the containers are different keep pot shape similar.  If the colors are similar, vary the shapes.  Create groupings.  The ‘bigger the container, the better’.  Match the pot architecture to house architecture.  Container considerations:  same type, same shape and varied heights.  Group elements to a limited number of locations (e.g.front and back)

      5.  Define the Lawn

Turf (lawn) becomes an organizing element of the yard.  It should have a defined shape and unobstructed view of the street. Shape your lawn into a single, strong shape.  This conserves water, increases function and simplifies maintenance.  It also serves as the “white space” in the landscape, around which you can organize the rest of the landscape design.  Locate the lawn to where it is MOST useful;  unobstructed for maintenance (no tree islands), fewer edges.  Maintenance is very important- maintain a ‘crisp edging’ of the lawn area.  Lawnless landscapes need great definition to prevent them from appearing as a “mess”. Use low growing blooming plants spaced appropriate for size maturity to minimize extensive pruning.

       6.  Walk this Way

Create a front walkway that is dedicated to pedestrians and separate from the   driveway whenever possible.  Scale the walkway to the lot size.  Use appropriate materials and installation styles similar to the house architecture.  Front walkways should abe hardscaping material that provides a stable walking surface;  use large stones   / pavers and set-in mortar.  Wide, meandering walkways should be soften with low ground covering plants that spill over the hard walkway surface.

7.  Friendly Face

Prairie School, Craftsman and Arts and Crafts architecture designed homes enjoy the curb appeal of a large front porch.  You can create the same effect of a front porch with a front yard seating area.  It not only sends a friendly vibe, like a front yard ‘living room’ and but also removes a section of landscape from continued, active maintenance!  Front yard seating areas are found throughout Yalecrest-a pair of Adirondack chairs in the front lawn to a paver or large stone patio with interesting ground covers and a set of chairs, inviting neighbors and walkers to sit or stop and share some conversation.  Now that’s neighborly!

8.  Seek and Hide

Whenever possible, call attention to positive attributes of your home.  They can be architectural, accent containers or plants.  Examples include walkways, attractive windows, window boxes, arbors, front gate, etc-anything with detailing.  This is especially important on a busy trafficked street.  Downplay garages, storage spaces, waste containers, HVAC units, etc with installation of arbors, screens or plants.  Downplay Garage doors by adding an arbor over the door or upgrade the quality of the garage door.  Regarding fences, choose a fence style that matches the architecture of your home.  Don’t bring the fence in the front yard all the way to the front yard setback of your property.  In addition, soften the front fence structure with plants and in 4 feet on the interior.  Use repeated plants for continuity and impact.

9.  Enthusiasm Your Curb

Call attention to your landscape, improve the sense of separation from the street and conserve/retain water by filling the park strip with low-growing, water-wise plants.   “Flip your strip”.  Keep the plantings low, use dense plantings to reduce weeds such as “steppable’ simple, lush-looking groundcovers (creeping thryme, wooly thyme, soapwort, shrub knockout roses, yellow creeping jenny, stachylantis (lambs ear).  Reduce any turf area less than 8′ x 8′ feet with creative pass-through areas with stepping stones and groundcover or small plants that spread less than 2 feet, etc for easier irrigation and less maintenance.  For creative designs in landscaping your parkstrip, visit http://conservationgardenpark.org/landscaping help, to find 1) ready-made plans and resources, 2) help finding a landscaping pro, 3) videos and an 4) online learning blog with experts to answer questions.  You can also visit Red Butte Botanical Gardens located just minutes from Yalecrest in the University Research Park.  The new 3 acre Water Conservation Garden contains 10 different garden rooms, displaying 27, 000 water-wise, drought tolerant plants representing over 500 species of trees, shrubs, flowers, ground covers.  Take your camera to collect photos and the associated information of the many interesting and lush plants you may wish to include in your landscaping design.

10. Focus on Foliage

Use foliage colors and textures and shape to create definite edges in closely-grouped plantings that remain attractive when not blooming, including shrub roses, elderberry and ninebark (gold and maroon colored varieties) and dense low growing, differently colored sedums.  This allow each plant to feel intentional while packing them close enough to reduce or hide any weeds and eliminate the ‘green jungle’ feel and add interest to your landscaping. 

11.  Bigger is Usually Better

Resist the urge to have a lot of small decorative elements-they look nondistinct or ‘messy’ from afar.  Focus instead of fewer items that are larger in scale, although use of bold colors can make objects seem larger.  The same is true with front yard flowers.  Large flower heads like peonies, hydrangeas and hardy hibiscus are more noticeable from a distance.  An alternative to a single large element is planting multiple (3-5) small flowering or colorful individual plants together to give the impression of a larger plant.  Remember, ‘Beauty is created with contrast’. Using multiple planting of the same water-wise, drought tolerant plant such as delosporum (iceplant), firecracker penstemon, salvia (crystal blue) and various sedums together with lavender or shrub roses in your parkstrip creates a large impact of contrasting color, height and foliage.  All can be sufficiently irrigated with drip emitters.  Don’t forget to add more drip irrigation lines at the dripline of your large parkstrip trees!  They still require more water to maintain their health in summer weather.

12.  Maintenance Matters

There is no substitute for good maintenance.  For the house, make sure water is properly channeled away from the house and stain or paint the house as needed.  Appropriate irrigation of the planting beds vs turf often requires different irrigation schedules.  Contact the ‘slow the flow-H20 program’ program at slowtheflow.org/free-water-check/  then go to slowtheflow.org/are-you-waterwise/ on that page to schedule your free irrigation analysis.  For the landscape, it’s better to have a simple yard you can keep up with than a fancy space in poor condition. Maintain clean edges between the turf vs planting beds and create a defined central turf area with planting beds around it.  Learn more about how to design appropriate Utah Localscapes at https://localscapes.com/designs


More About Cynthia Bee:  Ms Bee has a Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from Utah State University.  She is an ‘experienced landscape design professional dedicated to teaching everyday homeowners how to create landscapes they’ll love which also fit the climate in which they live’.  She specializes in teaching landscape design, implementation and management to homeowners– rather than gardening to gardeners.

She is a Contributor to the “Spaces” section (home and garden) of the Salt Lake Tribune,  providing relevant local content and expertise in landscape and garden related topics and Outreach Coordinator at the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District (8275 S 1300 W, West Jordan, UT).  She is co-author of the famed ‘Localscapes 101’ design course offered through the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District.

As a professional landscape communicator, she has presented at professional and public events throughout the western United States.  She has an active blogging site () and is the Founder of Utah Home and Garden Club.

This Lecture is a series of free events brought to you by K.E.E.P Yalecrest.   To become a member, donate and be notified of future events, visit http://www.keepyalecrest.org 

-Lynn K Pershing

2018 KEEP Yalecrest’s Annual Members Meeting

Thank you to our host-who happens to live in Yalecrest’s most recently designated local historic district!

How Yalecrest Got Laird Park

Laird Park, March 19, 1950    Digital Image ©2016 Utah State Historical Society

This photo of the first slippery slide, swing set, and teeter-totter in Laird Park was taken March 19, 1950.  At that time, only four houses had yet been built on the 1800 block of Princeton, three of which can be seen in the photo.  The 1800 East blocks of Princeton and Laird Avenues were the last two blocks to be developed in the Yalecrest neighborhood, and that occurred mostly in the early 1950’s.  In the distance is the original Bonneville Elementary School on 19th East which was completed in 1949.

Bonneville Elementary 8-4-1949 a

Bonneville Elementary School Construction, August 4, 1949 (Digital Image ©2008 Utah State Historical Society)

In 1950, new  Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps were created for Salt Lake City, coincidentally the same year this Laird Park photo was taken.  Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps are maps that contained information used by insurance companies to determine the liability of buildings, such as the materials used to build them, their proximity to fire departments and other structures, the location of gas lines, and other information.  Sandborn maps are also a great tool for doing historical research.


Laird Park Sanborn Map 1950 362

1950 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map

The houses on Princeton that were built by March 1950 precisely match the houses appearing on the 1950 Sanborn map for the area.  Conversely, the lots for houses not yet built show as empty lots. The photo and map together establish the accuracy of the date of the photo as well as the accuracy of the information appearing on the map.

The parcel of land now known as Laird Park was obtained by Salt Lake City in a land swap between the LDS Church and the city in June 1945.  The land had previously been owned by the LDS Church, and was exchanged for a portion of the west part of Miller Park, located along Red Butte Creek between 9th South and 15th East, owned by the city.

Miller Park Land Exch SL Telegram 4-4-35

Miller Park Creation, Salt Lake Telegram, April 4, 1935

Miller Park was created in 1935, ten years prior to this land exchange, after a large section of land was gifted to the city by Mrs. Minnie W.  Miller.  Mrs. Miller lived on Yalecrest Avenue in a home backing the creek.  She was a renowned rancher and livestock breeder, and gave the land to the city in memory of her deceased husband, Lee Charles Miller, on the condition that it be used as a public nature park and bird refuge.

Miller Park Fireplace 1935

Construction of Rock Fireplace in Miller Park by W.P.A., 1936

Miller Park Land Exch SL Telegram 4-7-44

Bonneville Ward Chapel Build Request, Salt Lake Telegram, April 7, 1944

Over the next decade there was significant development in the area with accompanying population increase.  Membership in the LDS Yalecrest Ward had gotten so large that in 1941, the ward’s boundaries were split along 17th East to create the Bonneville Ward.  There was no suitable available spot within Bonneville Ward’s boundaries between 15th East and 17th East to build a chapel so the ward petitioned the city in 1944 to acquire a portion of the west part of Miller Park to build one.  The upkeep of Miller Park had not been ideal, and after Mrs. Miller reacted favorably to the architectural plans for the proposed church building, she gave her blessing to the city to proceed with the land exchange.  The Church obtained the portion of Miller Park so the Bonneville Ward and Stake Center could be built, and Salt Lake City obtained the parcel of land on the east side of 18th East between Princeton and Laird Avenues, allowing it to become the public city park we know as Laird Park.

Bonneville Stake 10-15-1950 b

Bonneville Ward & Stake Center at the time of its completion, October 15, 1950,                              Digital Image ©2016  Utah State History

Laird Park current

Laird Park Today

I remember the swings and teeter-totter in Laird Park from my childhood years in the 1960’s. By then though, the double slide in the photo had been replaced by a single and perhaps taller metal slide.  My favorite thing to play on there was the spinning merry-go-round-like disk that was obviously installed after the 1950 photo was taken.  I’m not sure now why being spun into a delirium of dizziness was so much fun back then, but it was.  Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of that disk, but I bet that nearly every kid that played on it probably at some time got hurt on it somehow, yet healed quickly and came back to play on it again.   That disk and slide were made of metal and soaked up the hot summer sun sometimes enough to burn my hands and legs, yet I still played on them and came back for more.  Eventually all of those metal park fixtures were deemed too dangerous and replaced with “safer” equipment made largely from plastic and geared toward much younger kids.

The generosity of Minnie W. Miller played a large part in the development of the Yalecrest neighborhood.  Without her gift of land to Salt Lake City in 1935, Yalecrest may have never enjoyed the benefits of having the Bonneville Ward and Stake Center and Laird Park.

This is a 1937 newspaper article about Minnie Williams Viele Miller (1875-1967):

Miller Minnie SL Telegram 7-7-37

Minnie W. Miller, Salt Lake Telegram, July 7, 1937

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Princeton home receives Preservation Utah Award

The owners of a 1938 Cape Cod home located on the 1700 block of Princeton Avenue, in one of Yalecrest’s local historic districts, have been recognized by Preservation Utah (https://preservationutah.org) for their thoughtful and compatible rear addition.


Nominated by K.E.E.P. Yalecrest, the award was presented at the 2018 Heritage Awards Dinner on March 22, 2018. This is the 8th award presented to a Yalecrest home in as many years!


As part of our mission to encourage preservation of Yalecrest homes, K.E.E.P. Yalecrest awards plaques to homeowners for their notable preservation efforts. Additionally we now offer a Centennial Plaque for 100-year-old homes.  If you’re interested in a Centennial Plaque for your 100-year-old home, please contact us so we can work together in celebrating your home.

Library Lecture and Education Series continues…

With over 35 people in attendance, the popularity of the K.E.E.P Library lecture education series continues.  Last month, John Lambert from Abstract Masonry Restoration shared his masonry knowledge and experience with historic structures in Yalecrest (est. 1911) and significantly restored iconic buildings in Salt Lake City.

“Do you have cracks in your brick exterior walls?  Missing mortar between bricks?  Missing or loose bricks and mortar on your chimney?”  If you have answered yes, read on.

To read more about Mr. Lambert’s lecture, click here Masonry lecture 110217

The Library lecture series is a free event brought to you by K.E.E.P Yalecrest.  To become a member, to be notified of future events or to donate, visit http://www.keepyalecrest.org.