Same but Different – Signs of Spring

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!

–Kelly Marinan

Photo: Courtesy of K. Lewis

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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

Charlotte Stewart

One of my favorite Yalecrest “neighbors” is Charlotte Stewart, 1709 Harvard Ave.  It’s really hard to write something short and concise about Miss Stewart.

Charlotte was born in Draper in 1884.  Her father, Dr. William M. Stewart, was Dean of Education at the U of U.  Her mother, Sarah E. Taylor, was prominent in educational work and in the Federation of Women’s Clubs.  Charlotte worked as the City Recreation Director and was a leader in physical education for the City’s public schools.  She had an office downtown in the City County Building.

CityCountyBldg

Besides dealing with playgrounds and pools, Charlotte helped create and organize fun activities at Saltair and various City parks:  dance and costume contests, track and field meets, a marble tourney, story telling festivals, snow sculpturing contests, harmonica bands… even a model airplane contest in preparation for Lindbergh’s visit.  She worked on camp facilities in Big Cottonwood and Mueller Park.  She combined art, music and drama at the Nibley Park Water Theater which she helped construct.  From 1917-1933 she would organize 12-17 free public performances for Christmas “Cheer Week.”  She participated on numerous boards and committees and represented us at State and National events.charlotte 1925-06-20

Charlotte spoke to athletic organizations, women’s groups, service and business organizations.  She was involved with the Progressive Education Association, served on the State Woman’s Committee during WWI, was on the general board of the M.I.A. and on the board of directors for the Deseret Gymnasium.  [I could go on!]

Charlotte believed physical education should be compulsory in all states.  She wanted to see 80% of all high school girls going out for athletics.  Charlotte predicted as women got more into exercise they would see their natural beauty and not need all that rouge and lipstick. (SL Telegram 6-27-1925 “S.L. Woman Sees Cosmetics Passing”)

charlotte 1929-06-18

Charlotte was convinced the answer to juvenile delinquency was recreational opportunities.  But, despite a petition by supporters, Charlotte lost her City Rec Director job to a former U of U football star who thought the emphasis needed to be more on adults because “children find their own recreation.” (SL Telegram 3-1-1934, “New Recreation Head Plans Wider Program“)

When high school boys feared they might not get an invitation to the girls’ dance at East High, one wrote to a newspaper advice columnist.  The columnist suggested he take an idea and go talk to Charlotte Stewart. (SL Telegram 3-8-1934, “Challenge to ‘East ‘ Girls for ‘Dates’ Still Undelivered“)

Charlotte 1931Businessman George Mueller had donated Mueller Mountain Park to the City years ago.  When he wrote to complain about the park’s neglect, the new Park Commissioner blamed Mueller’s letter on Charlotte and the Chief of Police.  This led to the following news headline: “Miss Stewart Strikes Back.” (SL Telegram 9-25-1936)  Charlotte is quoted saying the assertions were “asinine, puerile and an insult to intelligent citizenry.

Charlotte even made the news when she paid her parking ticket.   She had scotch-taped 5 dimes to a piece of cardboard and mailed it in just under the wire.  If it had been received a few minutes later it would’ve cost her an extra $1.  (SL Telegram 8-29-1939, “50-Cent Parking Violation Bond Mailed to S.L. Police“)

Charlotte was certainly loved.  East High teachers and girl students threw a nice birthday bash for her.  It included music, toasts and a “fashion show” of women’s gym apparel from 1850-1941!  (SL Telegram 3-4-1941, “East High Group Honors Supervisor for Girls“)

— Kelly Marinan

Note:  Picture of Charlotte Stewart is from the 1934 East High School yearbook.

Lynwood and Afton Fish

Lynwood Fish was one of Yalecrest’s WWI vets.  He and his wife Afton (Warburton) married in 1921.  They had a home on the 1700 block of Harvard Ave for almost 60 years!

Lynwood (who preferred to be called Len or L.L.) suffered a serious head injury on the battlefield in France. When he came home he thought he could do carpentry work on construction jobs with his father, but discovered he couldn’t stand on a stool without getting dizzy.  As a vet he was eligible for rehabilitation training, so he went to school to become an architectural draftsman.

The Fish’s bought a Doxey-Layton lot on Yalecrest Ave near 1800 East, but decided to swap it for another lot on Harvard Ave.  Len said there was an understanding that if you bought a lot from Doxey-Layton then when it came time to build, they got to be your builder.  Together Len and Afton poured through architectural magazines and housing brochures until Afton picked out the house she wanted. Then they picked out some special features and presented their finalized plans to Doxey-Layton.  In 1929, for only $8,000 they would be getting their dream home in Yalecrest!

Here is a list of some of the special features Len and Afton requested:

  • a large yellow acid-resisting enamel iron kitchen sink IMG0524122552
  • an incinerator
  • tile bathroom
  • 2×6 ceiling joists
  • extra outlets
  • steel windows
  • a special type of stucco on the exterior walls

Unfortunately, the day excavation started on the foundation of their home Len found himself looking for a new job.  The Depression had caught up with them.  The Fish’s resigned themselves to having to sell their home.  But, there were no buyers.  They hung on through some rough years and survived the good times and the bad.  People that knew them said they were wonderful neighbors.

Afton was a very talented painter.  I saw one of her paintings hanging in a neighbor’s house years ago.  It was beautiful.  Afton also loved to grow violets.  At some point the Fish’s remodeled their kitchen and the big yellow sink was replaced by a stainless steel one.  Their granddaughter told me Afton hated seeing the water spots on that new sink and would offer to pay her to come and polish it.  Oh, Afton never threw out her yellow sink either.  She re-purposed it to use with her violets.  It is still in the neighborhood.

Like many of our neighbors, Len and Afton have moved on.  But, many still remember and/or think of them fondly.  I do, every time I go by their home.

–Kelly Marinan

IMG0524122536Sources:  Cooley Family Papers in the U of U Special Collections, friends/neighbors, family.

Old photo courtesy of Salt Lake County Archives.

 

How to ruin a streetscape

Demolition of 1547 E. Harvard Avenue is coming

Many developers, contractors and realtors see our historic Yalecrest neighborhood as a money-making device and target our homes for profit. They see Yalecrest as a charming neighborhood and a desirable homesite, but don’t consider exactly what makes it attractive—the historic streetscapes. They don’t realize demolishing a home forever ruins the continuity of scale and architecture on a block and that loss of our precious buildings weakens the recognition Yalecrest enjoys on the National Register of Historic Places and as a treasured historic site in the state of Utah.

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Many prominent Utahns numerous generations of families have made Yalecrest their home over its 100-year lifetime. Some homes are cozy and small yet full of craftsmanship and unique details. Others are larger and ornate and designed by well-known architects and builders of the time. They all tell a story of the shaping of the Yalecrest neighborhood—and of Salt Lake City—over 22 subdivisions and 27 years of development.
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This is why we at K.E.E.P. Yalecrest have formed around a mission to encourage the preservation of our neighborhood, rich in history, families and memories.  Sadly, this little bungalow was left vacant by its owner and did not receive needed care and attention.  Some feel its status as an eyesore makes it a candidate for removal.  It’s been listed for sale and a neighbor even offered to purchase it at a fair price, but the current owner/developer has decided he’ll make more money on a rebuild. Likely the only way to achieve a decent profit will be to build a structure much larger than the other one-story cottages on the street.  Will it stand out? Most definitely. Will it shadow its neighbors and encroach on their privacy?  Quite likely. Does it matter how it impacts the nearby residents, and the neighborhood as a whole? Not the current owner developer Lane Myers and his partner Mike Baird of TV FlipMen fame.

Watch this video to see the streetscape last fall:

 

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1547 Harvard with dozer_edited-1

Researching Your Yalecrest Home

Are you curious about the history of your home?  Wondering about others that also found shelter under its roof, passed through its rooms, cared for it, and called it “home?”   If so, here is a list of resources you might want to use… with some commentary added to help you.

Polk Directories
I love these books!  I like starting with them.  If you pick up a Polk directory published in 1925 or later and go towards the back of it, you’ll find a street index.  Look up your address in the street index and you’ll see a name listed as living in your home (generally a man’s name).  Look up the the name in the front of the directory and you’ll see their occupation, where they worked, and probably the name of a wife.  Adult children at the same address might also be listed.  Look up the name in an earlier Polk directory and see if they were living in your home before 1925, or if they lived elsewhere in the City.

These books can give you an idea on who lived in your home, for how long, and who were its longtime residents.   Getting familiar with the residents’  names can help you spot information more easily when you’re utilizing the other resources that follow.   If your home was built before 1925, you will likely want to come back to these directories again later.

Where can you find these books?  I’ve seen them at multiple locations.  I tend to use the sets at the Downtown Library and at the Utah History Research Center.  Keep in mind that no Polk directories were produced in: 1943, 1945, 1947 and 1954.

Utah State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO)
Visit this office.  It is UPSTAIRS in the Rio Grande Depot (300 S. Rio Grande St).  Because Yalecrest is a National Register Historic District, it’s possible that some extra research has already been done on your home— including information on its architecture, architect, builder, and first residents. Not every Yalecrest home has information this complete.  But, it will still give you an idea on the building date and architectural style.  The basic data came from the Yalecrest Reconnaissance Level Survey done in 2005.

Utah History Research Center
Combine your trip to SHPO with a trip here. It is on the MAIN FLOOR of the same building, the Rio Grande Depot (300 S. Rio Grande St).   This is where you’d go to hunt for the original building permit for your home.  The information isn’t digitized so you’ll need to load up the microfiche reader.  Having an idea on what year to start with (from upstairs) should help you scan through to find the month and year for the building permit, and the name attached to it.

At the UHRC, you can also find Polk directories, books on Utah’s history, manuscripts, maps, newspapers, cool old photos by Shipler (early Utah photographer), a collection of old East High yearbooks…

heritage.utah.gov/history/research-center

Salt Lake County Archives
Email the County Archives and schedule yourself an appointment.  The SLCo Archives is a windowless building with records dating back to 1852!

It can be interesting looking at your home’s early tax appraisal cards.  You’ll see the early owner names and a footprint sketch.  You might find original old photos of your home here.  I like looking at the building date info… because it tells you when and how they came up with the building date recorded.   Like, maybe when the City came knocking on your door nobody was home so they recorded an estimate given by a neighbor!  Or maybe the owner was home and had a record showing the date.  Or maybe the City guy decided to make an educated guess himself.  Looking at a record’s source, I can’t help wondering if some of these dates might’ve gotten copied and reused (incorrectly) through time.

The archives also have tax assessment rolls on microfiche.  You can see how the value of a lot changes before and after the street gets paved, or how the land value varies depending whether or not you’re on a corner.  You can see who owns the land and is holding the mortgages or who outright owns the home.  You can see which homes appear to be under construction longer than the others.  The exact abbreviations used, or the order of the letters, changed from 1929 to 1930 to 1931.  All seem to have BH as Built Home, FG as Full Garage, DFG as Double Full Garage.  A ‘P’ might mean partial.  An ‘R’ for recently.  It all depends on the year.  You can look at what’s being taxed and see if your “building date” makes sense.

slcoarchives.wordpress.com

Salt Lake County Recorder’s Office (and Assessor’s website)
The Recorders Office is located at 2001 South State Street #N1600.  To dig through the records here, you first need to know the legal description of your lot.  You can look it up on the Assessor’s website:

assessor.slco.org

On the website “submit” your address.  This should bring up your property.  Near the top, choose the tab labeled “Legal Desc.”  Make note of your lot number and subdivision name.  Or walk up to the desk and give them your address and they’ll be happy to look up the legal description for you.

Let the office worker know you’re researching your home and they’ll print out a list of the books and corresponding pages where information for your lot is recorded.  You might want to bring good reading glasses or a magnifying glass, along with a ruler or something you can use as a straight edge because the information (that is freely available to the public in the red abstract books) is hard to read.  The desk can help you get started in understanding and reading the info you’ll see in the books.  For example, under “Kind of Instrument” you’ll want to pay attention to lines marked with the initials W.D. since that represents a Warranty Deed.  The Grantors and Grantees will probably match the names you saw in your Polk directory research.  For a nominal fee the office can print you a copy of any records of interest if you give them the Entry Number associated with it.

Census records
Check out the federal census records that are digitized and available online.  By law, the government cannot release census records to the public until 72 years have passed from when the Census was taken.  The 1940 Census is the most recent census available, having been released in April 2012.  It can be accessed online for free at 1940census.archives.gov.  You can get free access to census records from earlier years at familysearch.org.

Census records show you the ages, occupations, number of kids living in your home when the census takers came around.  The 1930 census will tell you what state or what country both the residents and their parents were born in.  You can see how educated they were, if they were war veterans, how old they were when they first got married, and whether or not the home had a radio set.

Digital Newspapers
There are quite a few newspapers already digitized and more are coming online all the time.  Check out:

digitalnewspapers.org

Use the search engine and search for articles of interest using your street name or the names of past residents.  Reading these old newspapers can be very entertaining.

The Internet
You may be able to find info already written on people that built your home or lived in it by surfing sources on the internet.  Check out the University of Utah’s Special Collections.  They have some interesting documents, old publications, transcribed oral histories, and Sanborn maps.  (The historic Sanborn maps can show you the evolution of a city, neighborhood, or specific building site.)  Investigate genealogy websites.  The internet is full of family blogs and articles around history.

Your Neighbors
Talk to them!  Particularly the old-timers and anyone whose family has lived in Yalecrest for generations.  There is a wealth of information all around us.

K.E.E.P. Yalecrest
We’ve been gathering so much information, but there isn’t enough time/people to write it all down.  Consider becoming a KEEPer and helping us uncover, organize and celebrate the history of our wonderful neighborhood.

Thanks for reading this far.  I hope you found this information helpful!

–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

HarvardYale_tour_map