|The Daughters of Utah Pioneers organization is proposing the development of a historical museum of Carbon County in an old Price residence. The group is to apply for grants to help with the condition of the structure. The proposed museum will be just down the block of the College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum. Some say that the closeness of the two museums could possibly mean an increase in tourism to both.|
When Hans Ulrich Bryner and his wife, Magrethe, came to Utah from Switzerland in the Willy-Martin hardcart company, the couple probably did not realize that they would be some of the earliest settlers of a town called Price.
The Bryners also had no way of knowing that someday a house built by their son, Albert, in 1890 would become one of the oldest homes to remain standing in 2005.
The Bryner home stands unoccupied on the corner of 100 South and 100 East in Price.
During the last one-hundred plus years, the structure has served as a private residence and housed various businesses, including a credit union.
The credit union was the last occupant of the historic residence.
The home's current owner, Bruce Bryner, is apparently considering letting the local chapters of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers restore the structure to house a museum that would commemorate the history of the local area.
"When we looked in there, it was stacked from floor to ceiling with old credit union stuff," noted Sue Christensen, one of the leaders of the movement to make the historic building into a museum.
The DUP has six chapters in the Carbon County area and the organization is always looking for more members.
Christensen pointed out that many people have the idea that all the members belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. But the idea is portortedly a misnomer.
"Actually, there are only two requirements to belong to the DUP," said Christensen. "First, a person must be a female. Secondly, they have to have a direct relative who arrived in Utah before May 10, 1869."
Developing a DUP museum would honor the pioneering spirit that the builders of the house showed when they settled in the Carbon County area.
The original Bryner was blind, yet he managed to be the first person to bring domesticated bees to the area and he also had a basket business which thrived, according to local historians.
The settler owned the block where the house presently stands and his kids built houses through the years on that piece of property. The house being considered for the museum is the last of these with the other home on the block disappearing in the 1940's when the building where JC Penney is located was constructed.
The idea of having a DUP museum in Price ties in with what many communities around the state have done when it comes to honoring their pioneer heritages. In Castle Dale, for instance, the Museum of the San Rafael stands kitty corner from a Pioneer Museum that tells about the early white settlers of the Emery County area. In Price the Bryner house stands just down the block from the College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum. The natural tie between the two in terms of tourism seems a natural to many.
"Actually there have been many old things found in the house, despite its years of being used for other things," says Christensen. "Old newspapers dating back to the early 20th century were found and even an old sewing machine that was used in the early days."
But the house is in disrepair and a lot of money will be needed if it is to be brought up to standards to fit a museum building. Christensen is applying for a number of grants from various groups to restore the home, but as will most grants local money is needed as well.
"In every grant I am writing I am pleading for at least enough money to fix the roof because it is in bad shape," she says. "I worry the leaks could damage the entire structure."
Christensen said she has had some estimates done and it appears the DUP will need about $250,000 to bring the building up to standard.
To generate local money the DUP is planning some fund raising events including a yard sale at the site of the home on Sept. 9 and 10.
"A lot of people have already helped, including Price City," says Christensen. "They have waived some fees that would normally be charged when we start up the restoration."
Christensen says of course the project needs money, but volunteer help is also appreciated.
"There's a lot to do on the place," she states.
To contribute items for the yard sale or to help in any other way residents can contact Christensen at 636-1399.