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A Labor Of Love

Grady and Jeanne McEvoy have spent almost 17 years renovating their 100-year-old home in Price.

Sun Advocate reporter

Jeanne and Grady McEvoy have a celebrity on their hands. Their vintage home at 191 North 100 West in Price celebrated its 100th year birthday in 2010. With tender loving care for about 17 years now, the McEvoy's have transformed their home into a statuesque icon in the community.

Grady purchased this home in 1994 on a fluke. The home had a buyer, but when the deal fell through, Grady, who had just returned from Idaho, stood on the porch and struck a deal right then. He later married Jeanne McAlister-Cooper, and they are currently residing in the home while working to update the house one piece at a time. It has been a labor of love for such a piece of Carbon County history.

The McEvoys have done all the remodeling themselves except for the roof and the kitchen cabinets.

Portions of the original charming architecture have been preserved. The high ceilings, some of the original door knobs, most of the wood floors, woodwork around the doors, the stately wood porch that surrounds half of the house. The interior walls are still lath and plaster, so they have added picture rails and wire hangers to hang art work and photographs.

Preservation is paramount

The original leaded glass work is still above the windows, and the original windows are still in the house. Up close you can even see the small bubbles and wavy lines that was so typical of glass that was made in that era. Jeanne explained," We loved the look and wanted to preserve its authenticity".

In trying to preserve as much as possible and staying authentic and true to the times with the remodel, a few updates were needed. "We tried to keep as much as we could but some things had to be replaced," Grady explained. "The original cabinets in the kitchen were made of straight grain Douglas fir but needed to be updated, so we consigned for cabinets to be made. We chose the wood to be made from Trestlewood that came out of salvage from the Great Salt Lake's historic Lucin Cutoff, because it closely matched the original wood of the cabinets."

Not only is the house historic and charming but the treasures found during remodeling are equally as priceless. Found outside the home in the dirt, inside the house behind walls and under the house are items such as old horseshoes, marbles, an old insulin bottle, a bottle of spirits of turpentine, a pearl-handled pocket knife, shoe polish, thimble and a child's block. A few of these items are proudly displayed in a large decorative glass jar adorning their living room.

Some of their fun discoveries include a lubrication chart for a model 47 car tacked to the wall in the garage behind the lath and plaster. This now lies under glass on top of their coffee table as a conversation piece. Also found behind a baseboard in the house was a letter, "To a darling daughter," dated 1927, written on paper with a letterhead that said Price Commercial Savings and Bank by Carl Marcusen.

Old newspapers from the early '40s, trim roughly made from virgin wood with the bark on the reverse side, and a small railroad spike, possibly from a narrow gauge railroad, are all part of this historic spot. Jeanne explained, "The area to the south of the house had rails from a railroad that abruptly ended and was later removed in the '70s, so we think this spike was from those times."

"Not only do we find treasures, but we also discover history from people who either lived here or in the surrounding homes. There was an author, John Fitzgerald, who wrote 'Papa married a Mormon' and The Great Brain Series, who lived kitty-corner to our home. We have observed buses and cars slowing down or sometimes stopping, people take pictures and some individuals even knock on our door wanting to look and reminisce," said Jeanne. "They tell us invaluable history of this neighborhood, and provide us with some little known facts are are truly interesting. Even past occupants of the home have visited the us and have shared memories."

The son of the Eldridges told them that occasionally they would have Mr. J. C. Penney visit and sit at the head of their table for Sunday dinner on his rounds to the store here in Price.

On the to-do list, among the other projects still in progress, is to apply to be on the National Historical Register. "We want to get the house in a little better shape before we do this," explained Jeanne, "because we hear that people actually stop by and want to tour the home." A visitor from the National Historical Society described their home as eclectic-craftsman-Victorian.

The McEvoys invite readers to contact them with information or pictures that would help complete their history of the home.

The history began in 1899 when Erastus Anderson purchased block 6 from the state of Utah which was signed by Gov. Heber M. Wells Feb.14,1899 for $100.65. On Sept 14 1909, Sybil S. Jones and Joseph Jones purchased the property where the home currently stands for $220.

The home was built in 1910 and the time line follows.

1910. Carl R. Marcusen purchased the property and builds the home for $450. Marcusen was a school teacher who helped rebuild Central Elementary after the fire and became principal. Later as a banker, issued payments to the widows of the Winter Quarters mine disaster, and served on the State School Board.

1920. Carl Marcusen had the deeds amended to the current property description on Dec. 24. The claim was that the previous description was erroneous.

1929 W.E. and Florence Anderson purchased this property from Marcusen on Mar.29.

1940 Anna Eldridge, purchased this home on Feb.10 for 4,400 dollars. Mr. Eldridge was the Manager for JC Penney.

1947 Dean and Ethel Holdway purchased the home July 21, making them the longest residents of this property until 1993.

1993. Robert and Marilyn Lundburg purchased this home in Nov.22, with plans to retire in Price. However, their children wanted them to move to Sanpete area so they sold the home 9 months later.

1994. Grady McEvoy purchased this home and the rest is history.

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