This is the capitol building of today. However, it wasn't always the capitol. I never really got a handle on what our friends Jim and Betty were doing this summer until we actually went to Fillmore and saw for ourselves.
This was the first capitol building. Only one wing of the proposed building was finished. Three more wings and a central domed structure were left on the planning table. Only one legislative session was held here, in 1855. The capitol was moved to Salt Lake City the following year.
And so, the first capitol building is preserved as an important part of Utah's history and my friends have spent the summer acting as tour guides for the building as well as leading activities for the youth groups who visit the museum. They have done everything from writing a play based on historical events and then subsequently producing the play with various groups . . . to . . . organizing games from pioneer days. If I'm to believe what they say, they have had a great summer.
The following are photos I took in and around the building - fondly called The State House.Picture in the middle left of the collage above is the old school house.
From top to bottom: Boys puzzling over puzzle hobbles, sketch of the proposed capitol building and proposed Deseret Territory (lucky for the other states, the US government whittled that down a bit) , and a very happy camper.
I think it would be very difficult to over-emphasize the importance of music to the early pioneers of Utah. After walking through rooms filled with silent instruments, it was a delight to hear Betty play the piano upstairs in the meeeting room.
I couldn't believe my eyes. We walked into this store that sold EVERYTHING! Refried black beans, jeans, garden seeds, toys, dishes, jewelery, bear rugs, pistols, rifles, gatling guns, Marilyn Monroe memorabilia, and
The store was amazing: part pawn shop, part retail store, and part museum! Who would have thought you would find something like this in the little town of Fillmore?
Another totally unexpected find in Fillmore - The Wood Art Store. Betty introduced me to a lovely lady who told the most amazing story of her husband and his love of wood.
Trained as a watchmaker, his wood-working started as cases for his clocks which became more and more elaborate. Eventually, he began creating animals and human figures with wood. He passed away several years ago and many of the remaining pieces have begun to deteriorate, but you can still see the imagination and attention to detail in his art.
My favorite was this Indian riding a wild-eyed horse.
LAST NIGHT - RAINY NIGHT - STORMY NIGHT - PICNIC
Some times the best laid plans blah, blah, blah!
Jim and Betty had planned a picnic in the canyon just outside Fillmore. Invitations were sent and accepted. Food bought! Wine chilled! Everyone had a nap in the afternoon in preperation for a grand time that evening. It all came to pass with one minor exception.
About thirty minutes before we were to leave the house, Fillmore got the most rain it had gotten all summer. Out of nowhere, dark heavy clouds blew in and dumped rain all over the place.
Knowing the canyon would be totally wet for days after such a downpour, Jim got on the phone with invitees and changed the plan. We would go across the street to the state house. After a rather damp start, we got the grills going and what a party we had. We missed the canyon, but here is what we got:
An evening with old friends and the opportunity to meet some of the nicest people in Utah.
A very happy puppy with a brand new toy - corn on the cob.
A spectacular sunset
And another opportunity to dance. This time it was Nora on the piano and she played everything from waltz to boogie woogie to hymns. All of it beautiful!
The next day we drove into Salt Lake City, did a bit of shopping, had a great BarBQ dinner, and turned in early. Bright and early the next morning, we were flying back to Texas.
We packed so much into those five and a half days . . . What wonderful memories!
Here's hoping you have the opportunity to make a few more summer memories before Old Jack Frost comes sneaking around again.