Yalecrest Streetscapes – Then and Now

We have been able to find some photographs of a few scenes in Yalecrest taken about seventy-five or eighty years ago that we’d like to share. It is fun to see those scenes and how they compare to the same scenes today. The trees have certainly grown and some are gone. It is comforting to see the houses that have so distinctively defined our neighborhood over the years that are still here.

Children Playing in the Snow at 9th South and 14th East, 1943
Looking Northeast from 9th South at 14th East, February 2019
Children Clearing a Pathway on Military Drive After a January 1944 Snowstorm
986, 980, and 976 Military Drive 75 Years Later, February 2019
Clearing the Snow on the 1500 Block of Yale Avenue, January 1944
South Side of Yale Avenue Looking West From 1582 Yale, February 2019
Left: Snow-Covered Trees Illuminated by Street Lamp Looking East from 1751 Yalecrest Avenue, January 7, 1940; Right: Same Location, February 25, 2019
Looking South on 17th East from Yalecrest Avenue, March 23, 1937
Looking South on 17th East from Yalecrest Avenue, February 2019
North Side of Harvard Avenue Looking East from Normandie Circle, March 1942
North Side of Harvard Avenue Looking East from Normandie Circle, February 2019
Ninth South at Diestel Road, Looking Northeast, May 31, 1939
Ninth South at Diestel Road, Looking Northeast, February 2019

Kim Childs


A Long-Time Yalecrest Resident Once Christened a Navy Warship? Who Knew?

Front Left to Right: Utah U.S. Senator Reed Smoot, Miss Gaylie Rich, Miss Helen Budge, U.S. Secretary of Navy, Curtis D. Wilbur, Salt Lake City Mayor, John F. Bowman, January 23, 1929

In December 1928, the U.S. Navy was finishing construction of the U.S.S. Salt Lake City, a new navy cruiser, at the New York Shipbuilding Company at Camden, New Jersey.  Miss Helen Budge, a 22 year-old Julliard trained musician of 1002 Douglas Street, was selected by U.S. Utah Senator Reed Smoot and Salt Lake City Mayor John F. Bowman to be the sponsor for the new ship and to perform the honor of christening her at her launching ceremony.  Gaylie Rich, age 18, of 1400 Yale Avenue, was selected to assist as Helen’s maid-of-honor.

Gaylie Rich, Maid-of-Honor; and Helen Budge, Sponsor

Helen, Gaylie, and a coalition of others from Utah traveled to New Jersey for the January 23, 1929 launching, which was ninety years ago today. 

U.S.S. Salt Lake City before launching, January 23, 1929

Six thousand onlookers cheered as Helen, bedecked in flowers, smashed a bottle of champagne on the bow of the U.S.S. Salt Lake City, sending her off on a remarkable journey.

U.S.S. Salt Lake City right after launch

During her first twelve years before World War II began, the U.S.S. Salt Lake City sailed extensively in the Atlantic, passed through the Panama Canal, and even sailed to Australia.  On December 7, 1941, she was accompanying the U.S.S. Enterprise aircraft carrier delivering airplanes to Wake Island and avoided disaster at Pearl Harbor by one day.  In 1942 she was part of the raid of the Marshall Islands and escorted other ships in the Doolittle raid to bomb Tokyo.  She was in the thick of things at the Solomon Islands and at Guadalcanal.  She took a beating but survived the Battle of Esperance. 

U.S.S. Salt Lake City, Mare Island, California, February 1941

In 1943, she departed for the Aleutian Islands and at the Komandorski Islands was again badly damaged.  After a remarkable comeback, she was part of the 1944 operations in the Gilberts and the Philippines, and in 1945, assisting at Iwo Jima and Okinawa.  In 1946, after the war had formally ended, the U.S.S. Salt Lake City was used near Bikini Atoll in the Pacific for atomic bomb testing and remarkably survived that.  Considered radioactive after that, she was sunk as a test target ship on May 25, 1948.

U.S.S. Salt Lake City at Wake Island, February 24, 1942

Meanwhile back in Salt Lake, Miss Helen Budge joined the faculty at the McCune School of Music in the fall of 1929 where she remained for eight years.  She moved to New York in 1937 to get a Ph.D. in music education at Columbia University and eventually joined the faculty there and at Queens College.  She also performed in many concerts and radio programs while there. 

Helen Budge, about 1929

Helen returned to Salt Lake in 1946 and married Harold Folland, who was a professor of English and Theater at the University of Utah.  He grew up at 1471 Michigan Avenue and served in the U.S. Army between 1942 and 1945.  Helen joined Harold at the University initially as a professor of English and ultimately taught in the Music Department.   They had a son who was born in 1947. 

The Follands moved into their bungalow at 1571 Harvard Avenue in 1948 where they remained the next fifty years.   They were simply the neighbors who lived five doors down the street from me all of my growing up years.  I didn’t have a lot of interaction with them, but they were always very friendly, greeting me with a smile if they were outside when I walked by. 

Dr. Helen Folland, University of Utah, 1966

Harold died in 1992 at age 85 and Helen died in 1999 at age 92.  I knew that they were both professors at the University of Utah, but that’s about all I knew about them…until recently, that is, when I learned that Mrs. Folland actually once christened a U.S. Navy warship!

Kim Childs

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

.                                                                                                                                      Kim Childs







Uintah’s Lost Shield

Many school building facades constructed a century ago displayed ornamental terra-cotta features such as an emblem showing the year the school was built aesthetically placed at the top of the building.  Such was the case with the old Uintah Elementary School which stood at 1227 South 15th East between 1915 and 1993. Chances are though that no one today under age 95 who has lived in the area or attended school there ever saw it or even knew of its existence..

Uintah Adornment Date 1915

Uintah’s Lost “1915” Architectural Ornamentation

Uintah School’s emblem was an artistically designed shield that clearly read “1915,” the year Uintah was built.  It was not located over the school’s front door facing 15th East however; but rather on top of the south wall of the school’s east wing facing 13th South, outside of the school’s auditorium located on the second floor.

Uintah Lost Adornment 1915

View of Uintah School from 13th South looking north in 1915

The school was enlarged in 1927 with a two-story addition to the south end of the east wing, adding what most of us remember being the classrooms for the Fifth and Sixth Grades.  Unfortunately, the hallway connecting that addition of classrooms to the original building permanently blocked the view of that “1915” shield beginning in 1927, or at least until one day during the summer of 1993 when the school was being torn down.

Uintah 6th grade doors

Completed 1927 Southern Addition to Uintah’s East Wing

The 1993 razing of the school started with the Fifth and Sixth Grade classrooms in the school’s southeast corner, working northward and counter-clockwise around the “U” shaped building, as evidenced in the following photo that I took myself.

Uintah Lost Adornment 1993

Uintah School razing in 1993

Had I known about the 1915 shield, I would have probably moved to a different vantage point to take a photo that may have shown it.  I attended school there between 1965 and 1972 and only very recently became aware of it when looking at the 1915 photo more closely.  The very top right corner of the terra-cotta emblem background can be seen in this demolition photo.   In the school’s 78 years of existence, that ornamental shield was seen only during Uintah’s first 12 years plus perhaps just one day during the summer of 1993 before being reduced to a pile of rubble.

Sadly, this is just another instance where Yalecrest has lost a piece of its history, only this loss came very early.  Gone essentially 90 years, it’s as if that emblem giving Uintah its place in time never existed at all.

Kim Childs

Dancing Around the Maypole in Yalecrest

Last year, we made a post about Hollywood motion picture actress Muriel Goodspeed who grew up at 1559 Harvard Avenue.  We wanted to revisit Muriel briefly because today is the 100 year anniversary of her birth.  She was born May 1, 1917 to Alvin and LaVon Goodspeed.  1559 Harvard was built in 1917, so it also 100 years old this year. The Goodspeeds moved in to their brand new home with infant Muriel soon after it was built.

With a May Day birthday, Muriel had several birthday parties with a maypole on the front lawn and coverage on the newspaper society page.  Last year’s post included a photo of Muriel’s 8th birthday maypole in 1925.  Since then we have discovered this photo, taken at Muriel’s 11th birthday party on May 1, 1928.

1559 Harvard Maypole 5-2-1928

Besides dancing around the Maypole, the party included a miniature orchestra and a contest of dolls brought to the party by Muriel’s guests.  Muriel’s doll, “Miss Utah,” was named “Queen of the May” and at 6 o’clock, a special radio program was presented that included Maypole dance music.  The Salt Lake Telegram news story provided a list of all the party guests.

1559 Harvard 1928 Maypole articleUnfortunately, none of the names of the party guests are matched with the faces of the children in the photo, not even Muriel’s.  Perhaps someone will be able to identify some of the children.  Please post a comment if you do.  Following are close-ups of the same photo, zoomed-in to see the faces more clearly.

1559 Harvard Maypole 5-2-1928 a1559 Harvard Maypole 5-2-1928 b

It is likely that most of the children in the photos lived in the neighborhood.  Following are the names of the party guests from the newspaper article.  I have added the addresses of some of the children that I have learned from other research.

Guests:  Clella Young, Louise Shuster, Lucille Rich, Lois Gill, Beth Rich, Elda Garfield, Phyllis Done, Bernadine Devinny, Katherine La Con, Betty Fowlks, Katherine Johnson, Robenia Hooper (1511 Harvard), Adele Squires (1604 Harvard), Jeanette Taylor, Eleanor Barlow (1572 Harvard), Katherine Moffat (1560 Harvard), Frances Rogers (1452 Gilmer),  Katherine Peterson, Louise Johnson, Edna Glazier, Ruth Greenwood, Belva Stevenson, Verna McMurdie, Mary Dean Wardrop, Myrtle Black, Peggy Pearsall (1554 Harvard), Helen Davis, Mildred Houck, Mary Alice Baker, Emilie Seigle, Bernice Smith.

Marjorie Carruthers, Ruby Wardenburg, Betty Peery (1435 Yale), Delina Perry, Betsy Ross Young, Mary Snow, Helen Gabbie, Helen Hagen, Erma Hickman, Elaine Hickman, Betty Davis, Meryl Romney (1337 Gilmer or 1442 Princeton) (sister of future Michigan Governor George Romney and aunt of Mitt Romney), Joyce Livingston, Shirley Price (1536 Harvard), Marjorie Selley (1503 Harvard),  Arlow Lesler, Veda Adams, Ruth Snow, Luana Gowans, Marilla Barlow (1572 Harvard), Elaine Openshaw, Jane Rawlins (1506 Harvard), Leo Francis Bachle, Sterling Devinny, Elman Snow, Neco Vancina, and LeRoy Nesbitt.

Kim Childs



Harvard Avenue Contributions to Motion Pictures and Beauty Pageants

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.

1559 Harvard 5-1-1925Maypole 1925 1559

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.

Muriel Goodspeed and Jean Rogers in "Flash Gordon"

Muriel Goodspeed and Jean Rogers in “Flash Gordon”

Muriel Goodspeed Zona Flash Gordon 1


Muriel Goodspeed & other Flash Gordon characters1

    Muriel Goodspeed and other cast members of   “Flash Gordon,” 1936

Muriel in "Flash Gordon," 1936

Muriel in “Flash Gordon,” 1936




Muriel Miss America 1938

Muriel Goodspeed, left, 2nd Runner-Up to Miss America 1938

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.


Bitter Sweet 1

    Muriel Goodspeed, Jeanette MacDonald and Pamela Randall in Noel Coward’s “Bitter Sweet,” 1940

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.

Centennial – Harold B. Lamb House

The Harold B. Lamb house at 1327 Michigan Avenue, a distinctive two-story home of the Prairie School design, was built during the last half of 1915 and has therefore just reached its 100th birthday. Susanna Bransford Emery Holmes, whose massive fortune in silver mining earned her the title, “Utah’s Silver Queen,” financed the home’s building for her nephew Harold Bransford Lamb, the son of Susanna’s sister, Viola Bransford Lamb. Viola died after giving birth to Harold in 1886, and Susanna took in Harold to raise as her own. Harold and his family moved into the house when it was new.  He died nine years later of appendicitis. He was only 38 years old. The old photo of the house, from the Shipler Commercial Photographers Collection of the Utah State Historical Society, was taken February 9, 1916, 100 years ago. The new photo was taken February 9, 2016.

— Kim Childs