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Cabin preserves Santaquin's history

SANTAQUIN — Preserving the heritage of Santaquin in the form of a cabin originally built about 1871 has become a focus for two local camps of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers.

Joseph C. Stickney may have built the log structure, which was restored and dedicated this summer, on a pioneer lot at 100 North and 100 West. Measuring nearly 300 square feet, the cabin was home to the Stickney family until it was sold to David Greenhalgh in 1901.

Greenhalgh then sold it in 1905 to his father, Ezekiel Greenhalgh, whose picture hangs in the cabin.

It remained in the Greenhalgh family until it was given to Santaquin and moved near the city's museum on Oct. 18, 1996, said cabin director Linda Quittner.

The cabin has been moved at least three times before coming to rest on the 42-by-45-foot lot next to the city library, across the street from City Hall.

"We bought it for $1. We were thinking it was a mobile home (because) it was moved so often," cabin museum board member Zaloma Goodall said.

For its most recent move in November 2006, the cabin was taken apart, log by log, and reconstructed at its new site, where the restoration began.

"We formed a committee to restore it," board member Dawn Warenski said.

The committee was made up of DUP's Camp Summit and Camp Chief Santaquin.

During the restoration, 13 logs were replaced inconspicuously.

"We used a lot of the original logs that weren't rotten," Goodall said.

Before being donated to the city, the cabin was used as a granary with the room divided into several bins and a door added near the roof.

Entry is now through its original door, which local wood expert Richard Bettis rebuilt, said board member RaeLou Elsberry. The DUP is now working to outfit the cabin, looking for donations of furnishings dating before 1900. The exception is Santaquin-area furnishings, which can be newer than 1900, Quittner said.

A pioneer rope bed, neatly restored, is one of its major donations. Modern computer technology was used to replace 150-year-old lost and broken spindles.

The Daughters of the Utah Pioneers honors the early settlers regardless of their religious affiliation by learning about their lives and how that affects Utah residents today, Quittner said.

"We're preserving their history for our grandchildren," Warenski said.

The cabin project can be fodder for Boy Scout Eagle projects, while the DUP continues to seek donations to improve it. The group raised more than $5,000 to initially restore the structure, Quittner said.

e-mail: rodger@desnews.com