Weber County historic house tour spotlights Victorians

Thursday , March 06, 2014 - 1:31 PM

Becky Wright, Standard-Examiner

The Victorians have been labeled as prudish and austere, but they sure loved painted ladies.

Victorian homes are known for their extensive decoration — from fancy shingles and ornamental brick chimneys to intricate scroll-cut woodwork, turrets and stained glass windows — and, of course, the multicolored schemes that inspired the “painted ladies” nickname.

Victorian architecture is the focus of the 2013 Weber County Heritage Foundation Historic House Tour.

“I think the Victorian house tends to be one of the more popular styles with people,” said Richa Wilson, an architectural historian on the board of the foundation. “They’re going to have the opportunity to see some of the true gems of Ogden.”

The tour, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, is a fundraiser for the foundation’s restoration projects. Tickets cost $15.

Homes on the tour are in or near the Jefferson Avenue Historic District and the neighborhood around Pioneer Stadium.

Victorian style was adopted across income levels, Wilson said.

“You get the mansions — the grand homes— and then you also get the cottages, where they’re a fairly simple structure but with applied ornamentation,” she said.

The embellishments were less expensive than before, because they no longer had to be handcrafted.

“More often than not, these were pieces that became available because of the industrial revolution,” said Wilson. “They were mass-produced and shipped out on the railroad, and became widely available.”

Some homes were designed specifically for owners by architects, but plans for others were selected from books.

“Pattern books were widely available, and you could look through and not only see house plans, but you could pick and choose ornaments,” said Wilson. “In the Victorian era, anything goes.”

Contact reporter Becky Wright at 801-625-4274 or Follow her on Twitter at @ReporterBWright.

• 2601 Jefferson Avenue

Amos and Eva Corey home; owned by Tyler and Jessica Hollon

Built in 1883 by Amos Corey, the house is a two-story, cross-wing building listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Corey was a railroad contractor, owner of Corey’s Livery and Feed Stables in downtown Ogden, and, with his brothers, started the predecessor of the Utah Construction Company. He died in 1922; his family stayed in the house until 1937. The home was once divided into apartments, but the current owners are restoring it to a single-family residence.

• 2523 Jefferson Avenue

Edmund T. Hulaniski house; PJ and Lydia Gravis, owners

William W. Fife designed this brick house for Edmund Hulaniski, who lived in the home from 1893 until his death in 1928. Fife also designed Ogden City Hall and Ogden High School. (See related story on the restoration of this home.)

• 635 25th Street

The Dennis A. Smyth house; Erik and Linda Ward, owners

Built around 1889 in Victorian Eclectic style, this house was owned by Ephraim H. Nye, co-owner of the Dalton, Nye and Cannon store, which sold stationery, books and music. Dennis A. Smyth bought the house in 1898, but didn’t move from his European Hotel and Diamond Sample Room until 1910. While living in the home, he was visited by President William Howard Taft, Irish President Eamen de Valera, and Irish singer and actor Chauncy Allcot.

Among the home’s later owners was the Roman Catholic Bishop of Salt Lake City. It was used as the Christ of King Convent from 1948 to 1967.

• 726 25th Street

The Andrew J. Warner house, owned by Rhonda and Milan Lauritzen

Built in 1890 for Andrew J. Warner, a real estate agent and chief clerk at the Reed Hotel, this house has been featured in several books on Victorian architecture. The home’s most noticeable feature is its Moorish “onion” dome. Inside, a spiral staircase ascends the tower.

• 1417 Washington Boulevard

The William Raymond house (The Victorian Rose); Raylene and Michael Linder, owners

Built in 1896 by William M. Raymond, it was said at the time to be Ogden’s most expensive residence. Raymond ran the city’s first ice cream parlor, from an on-site creamery and pavilion on the property.

The doors of this three-story Queen Anne house are noticeably crooked, and the sill is uneven; according to local stories, this “flaw” and curved interior walls were designed to confuse harmful spirits.

The current owners operate The Victorian Rose gift shop and tea room, on the first floor.

• 462 17th Street

Edwin Dix house; owned by Nick Kotok

Edwin Dix served as Weber County assessor from 1894 to 1904. He came to Utah around 1860, as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, then left that church and helped establish the Episcopal Church in Plain City. Dix worked as a stonecutter on the LDS temple in Salt Lake City, and is believed to have built this house over several years, between 1895 and 1903.

• 531 17th Street

The Stone house, owned by Stacey Kunz

This home is not open, but the parterre gardens are. The patterned beds feature Victorian-era flowers. The modest house, built in 1893, has typical Victorian features — a wrap-around porch, and rake board and eave brackets on the gable end.

Swedish immigrants Emil and Mary Sandstrom were the first owners. William Henry Stone, known locally as “Wild Bill from Huntsville,” bought the house in 1915. He died in a bike accident on Ogden’s 12th Steet, in 1952. Noises in the house are attributed to Stone, and his wife Luna Adele, who died in 1920. He’s said to still work in the basement, while his wife paces the floors and slams doors. The current owner removed interior doors to cut down on the slamming.

* * *

Tour participants will pass several other notable homes while moving from one location to the next. Here are a few that organizers suggest admiring from the sidewalk:

•  451 17th St., built in 1891 for Charles W. Cross, an Ogden saddlemaker. This home is in the National Register of Historic Places.

•  511 and 503 17th St. The current owner says neighbors told him these Second Empire-style homes belonged to Ogden’s first mayor. Lorin Farr is believed to have lived in the larger home, with some of his wives, and other spouses lived in the smaller residence.

•  700 Canyon Road, built in 1887 for Valasco Farr, son of Lorin Farr. The home was designed by William W. Fife, and is in the National Register of Historic Places.

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