The Naylor Home

1715 Harvard (30's and 2013)

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:

Naylor Brothers AdWilliam E. Naylor was a direct descendent of the “Naylor Brothers.”  The Naylor brothers consisted of Thomas (1826-1872), William (1835-1918) and George (1837-1922).

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.George Naylor photo

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).

–Kelly Marinan


Walking Tour Saturday, Oct. 12

K.E.E.P. Yalecrest is hosting an educational neighborhood walk Saturday, Oct. 12 from 1-3 p.m. to highlight the architectural styles and historicity of some notable homes located on the 1300-1500 East blocks of Harvard and Yale Avenues.

We’ll meet at Harvard Ave. and 13th East and walk east to 15th East, then down Yale Avenue and back to the start.

We will be viewing a variety of exterior architectural elements from the sidewalk in small groups and giving a brief synopsis of notable people or events related to certain houses.

The tour is open to the public and we’re suggesting a $5 donation for participants who are not current members of our organization. A $25 per person or $50 per family annual membership is also available.

This is our first tour event and we’re very excited about the wonderful bits of history we’ve uncovered in our preparations.  We hope to see you Saturday!

If you don’t make the tour, here’s the program: Yalecrest Notable Homes Tour Oct 12 2013


The Match Prowler

Only a few homeowners were living on the 1700 block of Harvard Ave in early 1929.  Gaskell Romney (Mitt Romney’s grandfather) had built the earliest homes on the west end.  Residents had moved in while nearby homes were still under construction.  It was during this time, on a Thursday night according to the Salt Lake Telegram, that the “Match Prowler” struck…

Czar Winters (1709 Harvard) was a lawyer who worked downtown in the Walker Building.  He was the first to call and report to the police that something was amiss.  Not only did he notice burnt matches on the floor of his new home, but items were missing too.

The match prowler had stolen a suit, a flashlight, and MONEY!   75 cents, to be exact.

Across the street, M.Ross Richards (1710 Harvard) had to work a bit late Thursday night.  He didn’t make it home until 11pm.  He was the Manager at Richards-Barlow Motor Company.   It was a great industry to be working in.  The rise of the private automobile was giving way to a transportation revolution.  Everybody wanted to own a car.  When Ross finally got home he didn’t notice anything missing, but he did find “evidence of prowling.”

Ross remembered that his friend, Ben Richie, had asked Ross to keep an eye on his house for him while he was out of town.  Ben was the Managing Director for the Great Western Film Library.  His home was conveniently located right nextdoor (1716 Harvard).  Investigation showed the Richie home had also been entered, but nothing was taken.   (Could the police and Ross really know nothing was taken from Ben’s?)

The police felt confident it was the same prowler.  All three homes had a trail of burnt matches.

Reading the Telegram, I wondered about the wives.  Where were Margaret Winters and Algie Richards while their husbands were at work and their homes were being burglarized?  The newspaper doesn’t mention them at all.  I imagine Grace Richie was traveling with her husband.  Wonder if they ever went to Hollywood?  Or knew any famous cowboy actors?

Well, it seems almost cartoonish now– the image or a burglar using matches to make his way through a dark house.  But what I like about this story is that this is the first documented evidence (and not the last) that I’ve found of  “neighbors looking out for each other” on this one little block in Yalecrest.  Nice.

 –Kelly MarinanJan 1929 ad

Over 100 Years Old

While reading a Salt Lake Tribune article on the Sarah Daft Home, these words caught my eye:

“What’s incredible is that it hasn’t been modified much in 100 years,” said Namba. “That’s a huge compliment to the 75 women on the board and the builders. They built a building that had permanence in mind, not a building meant to serve for 20 years. It has stood the test of time. Our nonprofit has been able to concentrate on the care of the residents, not necessarily in the preservation of the building. It is in remarkably great shape.”

Yalecrest has homes just as old.

And I believe Yalecrest builders were of the same mindset. They built homes of distinction, high quality, built to last. Existing Yalecrest homes are filled with interesting stories of their people and life in an earlier SLC.

This featured Yalecrest home (941 S 1300 East) was built in the same year (1913) as the Sarah Daft Home. Of course the landscape around it has changed a lot since then! 941S 1300E - iPad

Note: Shipler photo used by permission, Utah State Historical Society, all rights reserved.

-Kelly Marinan

Protecting Our Elderly

I think my block has always had widows and widowers. Looking through the Polk Directories, I can identify widowed/single women.  It’s not as easy when it comes to the men, but they existed too. In 1946 there were 5 widows/single women living on my block.  I know about past kindnesses between neighbors.  I bet they felt at-home living here.

I wish I could talk about the elderly living in Yalecrest today, to share some of their stories. But I can’t because I don’t want to put them in danger. There are too many people that prey on the elderly and we have seen it here (i.e. woman looking for prescription meds).

But I can talk about a woman that used to live across the street. Her name was Martha. She died a couple months shy of 97 yrs old. I loved Martha.  I know I wasn’t the only one. Even though she was a widow, homebound and often couldn’t hear well, she helped bring us together… because we worked together to watch out for her. For example…

One summer morning Martha’s newspaper was still on her porch waiting for her to retrieve it. I don’t know who spotted him first– E, S, M or P. But all were pretty sure that shirtless tattooed man sitting on Martha’s stoop didn’t belong there. There was concern about Martha opening her front door. Phone calls were made to the police. E gave me a call. And then– Martha opened her doors!!

Witnesses saw Martha in her nightgown. It looked like she said something.The man got up and started stumbling down the street. But it doesn’t quite end there for me…

M&P, thinking the police were on their way, decided to trail the man at a safe distance with M’s big dog. That had to be kind of hard — following and faking like you’re not following a man who appears lost and is walking slowly!

Later that night I went over to Martha’s to hear what she had to say about her “visitor.”  She was tickled when I shared what I had heard.  I said, “We were wondering what you said to him?” With each retelling, I swear Martha grew bigger and stronger. But I bet she really did say, “Get the HELL off my porch!”

Homes that are smaller and more affordable are perfect for older downsizing couples or families just starting out. When I see these homes being flipped into mini-mansions and now advertised for a million dollars or more, I think we’re losing our elderly. And we’re losing more than that.

Preservation has NEVER been just about the bricks for me. It’s about values. And people. And the connections between them and other generations, past, present, future. I love my part of Yalecrest.  We still have what I think we’ve always had.  It’s something money can’t buy.

-Kelly Marinan

Secrets of Old Homes

Winter street and 1931 Salt Lake TribuneJanuary 2013
Rather than returning the pipe insulation tape I bought for an issue elsewhere, I decided maybe I should take a look at the pipes in my Yalecrest home and see if I can use the stuff here. It’s been so cold. I tend to keep my house cooler in the winter than most people. (In fact, my brother and I were once asked if we were related to polar bears.) I knew the pipes were near the furnace room, originating from the little shelf basement on the north. Being fairly ignorant on fixer-upper stuff, I couldn’t differentiate the water and gas lines with just a glance. But, it wasn’t hard to figure out. And it looked like the water pipe could use some wrapping. I put it on my to-do list.

Last night I decided it was time to knock that item off the list. The fluorescent light in there burned out, maybe a year ago. I figured the fixture should be replaced, but what’s the hurry? I bet Bill (the guy I bought my house from) put it in when he remodeled the basement… back in the day when brightly colored shag carpeting was all the rage. He was quite the handyman. I loved that guy. He had his hand on my house and a couple homes across the street. And he pruned the roses of neighbors that lived in Yalecrest, but not on our block. The late Martha Tucker told me he moved his old garbage disposal from my home into hers before putting in a new one. I thought that was kind of funny. Those old folks were always re-using, never wasteful, environmentalists to some degree before their time. But I digress. Back to my work…

I propped open the doors, put on my head lamp and crawled in to wrap that pipe. The pipe comes up out of the ground and then turns 90 degrees. The vertical part was completely bare. I wrapped it up. The top part was covered with light brown paper. It reminded me of old packaging tape that lost its stickiness. It appeared partially unraveled, like it was ready to fall off. I started tearing it off in little pieces because it wasn’t coming off as easily as I expected. Then I realized I was tearing off pieces of newspaper too. Someone wrapped the pipes with NEWSPAPER?!! (I briefly envisioned a movie scene with a homeless person under a blanket of newspapers.)

After using up the insulated tape, I started cleaning up. I became curious if one of the newspaper scraps might reveal a date. The stuff was old, crumbly, dirty… and in very small chunks. But I found a date. The paper was from Feb. 1931! WOW! That means the first owner covered this pipe with newspaper… during the first winter after “our” home was built! Awesome good job, Peter Peterson Jr 2nd! [yes, that wasn’t a typo]

One neighbor told me another neighbor said (sounds like a friend-of-a-friend thing?) that “these are just tract homes.” I held my tongue. I was listening, trying to decipher if there was a hidden meaning behind the first utterance and in this new repetition. Well…. my thoughts today?

Spec home, tract home, WHATEVER.

I’d take a home on a block of mostly Doxey-Layton/Layton Construction homes built 1929-1930 over any of the “custom homes” today’s builders/architects have modified in Yalecrest. Our long dead builders thought about the whole community and they knew how to build them. I respect the quality, craftsmanship, character of their work. Not so much when it comes to certain builders today. That’s my opinion. Ha! 🙂

—Kelly Marinan