Restoration of Hooper home a tribute to forefather

Sep 10 2013 - 8:54am

Images

(RYCK VOISARD courtesy photo)
A panoramic view of a historic home in Hooper shows the restoration of the original rooms built by some of the first settlers in the area. The structure was made of thick brick walls on a foundation of stone that was hauled in from outside the area.
(RYCK VOISARD courtesy photo)
The outside of the home shows intricately detailed wood work above the porch, which was preserved throughout the years. A similar design on an eave had to be re-created from photographs.
(RYCK VOISARD courtesy photo)
This bedroom has a meadow theme and hand-painted scenes complete with animals in playful character roles.
(RYCK VOISARD courtesy photo)
This view from the living room shows a hand-made bookcase and hand-made doors that create a warm feel to the area.
(NICK SHORT/STANDARD-EXAMINER)
(NICK SHORT/STANDARD-EXAMINER)
(NICK SHORT/STANDARD-EXAMINER)
(NICK SHORT/STANDARD-EXAMINER)
(NICK SHORT/STANDARD-EXAMINER)
(NICK SHORT/STANDARD-EXAMINER)
(NICK SHORT/STANDARD-EXAMINER)
(NICK SHORT/STANDARD-EXAMINER)
(NICK SHORT/STANDARD-EXAMINER)
(RYCK VOISARD courtesy photo)
A panoramic view of a historic home in Hooper shows the restoration of the original rooms built by some of the first settlers in the area. The structure was made of thick brick walls on a foundation of stone that was hauled in from outside the area.
(RYCK VOISARD courtesy photo)
The outside of the home shows intricately detailed wood work above the porch, which was preserved throughout the years. A similar design on an eave had to be re-created from photographs.
(RYCK VOISARD courtesy photo)
This bedroom has a meadow theme and hand-painted scenes complete with animals in playful character roles.
(RYCK VOISARD courtesy photo)
This view from the living room shows a hand-made bookcase and hand-made doors that create a warm feel to the area.
(NICK SHORT/STANDARD-EXAMINER)
(NICK SHORT/STANDARD-EXAMINER)
(NICK SHORT/STANDARD-EXAMINER)
(NICK SHORT/STANDARD-EXAMINER)
(NICK SHORT/STANDARD-EXAMINER)
(NICK SHORT/STANDARD-EXAMINER)
(NICK SHORT/STANDARD-EXAMINER)
(NICK SHORT/STANDARD-EXAMINER)
(NICK SHORT/STANDARD-EXAMINER)

HOOPER -- Ryck Voisard has worked a great deal in the field of construction, so restoring houses is kind of a hobby.

But a decade ago, when he had the chance to work on a home built by his great-grandfather Thomas Hull III, that hobby turned into a passion.

And that passion is clear to anyone who looks through the home Voisard and his wife, Kimberly, restored over the last 10 years.

"The sky is the limit when you can design anything you want," Kimberly Voisard said, looking at her husband's handiwork. "He's kind of a Renaissance man. He's always coming up with new ideas."

The home is small, just less than 1,800 square feet.

But it's a dwelling where the average person could live comfortably, with a home for every needed item.

There is a space for storage around every nook and cranny.

"You have to look for space in every possible place when you are dealing with a small house," Ryck Voisard said.

The Voisards bought the house on a bank foreclosure in 2000.

The story is typical of situations where the owners have lost their home to the bank and leave behind their trash and treat the dwelling poorly before they leave.

"The flooring, the drywall, we had to Clorox everything," said Kimberly Voisard. "It was so bad."

But Ryck Voisard's love for his great-grandfather and his heritage becomes evident when looking through the house that he has restored and remodeled.

"Today, the home stands as a reminder of the efforts and remarkable talent of our forefathers," Ryck said. "The work they did was all by hand with rudimentary tools at best. It was an honor to follow in their footsteps and restore what they had created."

An intricate sun-shaped eave was lost somewhere in the years of use and sometimes abuse by the home's former owners, Ryck said.

But Ryck re-created the structure, along with other features, such as a sego lily painting and cut-out above the front door, from photographs.

He told the story of taking down aluminum siding to expose the brick work originally built into the home.

Ryck Voisard said the structure of the home told him much about his industrious relative who lived so long ago.

Thomas Hull III was born to Thomas Hull II and Mary Benson in Tergoland Londonderry, Ireland, on March 17, 1837, according to the family history.

He was one of 12 siblings. Shortly after converting to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Thomas II and his family immigrated to America to move to Zion and find a new life.

The trip, much of which was on foot, took four and a half years.

Hull arrived in Salt Lake City in his late teens and was called on a two-year mission to quarry rock for the Salt Lake temple.

Following that mission, Hull and his father were called by Brigham Young to settle the Franklin, Idaho, area.

For 10 years, he resided in Franklin, where he met his wife, Jane Price Roberts, and they were married April 2, 1864, states the history.

But they soon relocated and became, along with his father, one of the first settlers in Hooper.

Hull lived in a dugout for a decade while he built his home with the finest construction techniques available to him.

Hull and Jane Price Hull had eight children, according to the history. When their youngest son was just over a year old, Jane died.

Thomas met Mary Ann Fluitt in Whitney, Idaho, while visiting his brother, Robert, said the history.

Mary returned to Hooper with Hull and on their way, they stopped in Clarkston where they married on Feb. 12, 1886.

Seven more children were added to their family.

But Hull was not just prolific when it came to family matters. His home tells of a dedication to create a structure that would stand as a witness of his life for generations to come.

The outer walls are built on a concrete footing and foundation, and the inner walls have a concrete footing with very large rocks set with mortar, said the history.

"The rocks are not native to the Hooper area and must have been brought from the surrounding mountains," said the history.

The walls are double brick and very thick, keeping the home warm in winter and cool in summer, Ryck said.

"Thomas' skill as a craftsman was evidenced in the construction of his home and made it possible to be restored," Ryck said.

Ryck reflected on his decade of work on the home, which he did in and around his regular job, as requiring patience and a willingness to do the tedious things.

But the family went above and beyond the tedious as they created themed rooms with paintings on the walls and hand-made desks, shelves and beds, which are built into the structure.

There is a castle bedroom, complete with columns, turrets and a round bed.

Another room is a meadow room, complete with paintings of a fantasy land with a special frog that greets all who enter.

Another is an ocean room, complete with paintings of ocean scenes and a hidden treasure box behind a pirate-type ship from the days of old.

These last two rooms were used by the Voisard's two 11-year-old children, Lily and Preston.

Ryck carved a wooden staircase out of a willow tree from his parent's house on which he played as a youth.

But this last week, they left their treasured home for another family who has purchased the home and they have moved on to Idaho, where they will raise farm animals on 92 acres.

They said they will be returning once again to their great-grandfather's past as he came to Hooper from Franklin, Idaho.

Contact reporter JaNae Francis at 801-625-4228 or jfrancis@standard.net, or follow her on twitter at @jfrancis.

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