LAYTON -- When Jean Love's brother said he wanted to move their grandfather's birth home from Illinois to Utah, she thought the idea was a bit far-fetched. When the move indeed proved impractical, the two put the idea in the back of their minds.
Fast forward several years and Love had an epiphany; why not build a replica of the house instead?
With skilled engineers and construction experts in her family, Love was in an ideal position to make her dream come true. A one-acre pond site within Antelope Hill, the subdivision Love and her husband Jay developed along with their oldest daughter Jaydene, seemed the perfect place to build the home that would become a labor of love, or Loves, for the whole family.
Using the original layout and appearance as inspiration, Love asked her son Sam for assistance. A married father of five and a talented structural engineer with his own company, Sam Love eagerly agreed to help. Tragically, Sam was killed in a bicycle accident in May 2006. Only two days after Sam's death, Joshua Jensen, the Loves' grandson and a newly licensed civil engineer, agreed to take over where Sam left off.
Setting aside her grief at the sudden loss of her son, Love remained determined to finish the project. It took a year to build, but she did her best to keep the replica as close to the original as possible. The house was designed to face west just like the Payson, Ill. home after which it would be modeled. One major change was the addition of three bathrooms, where the original had none. The home's dimensions were expanded and other modifications were made to adapt the home to the needs of a modern family.
Despite a bit of resistance on the part of planners and builders more used to modern concepts, Love stuck to her guns. She kept the windows the same size as those found in the original. Additionally, the molding over the doors and windows is consistent with the Greek revival style found in the home where her grandfather, Elias Adams Jr. was born in 1843.
According to a booklet prepared by Love for the home's dedication, Elias's family left the home in 1845 to better enable them to help build the Nauvoo Temple and prepare to move west.
The booklet adds, "The Adams family crossed Mississippi to Iowa in April 1846 under force from mobs... They arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in September 1850" and settled at the base of an area later named after them, Adams Canyon.
A self-described grandmotherly dreamer, Love has done more with this project than just dream. With the help of talented friends and family, she persisted until that dream became a reality. She still credits her brother, Harris Adams, for first putting the idea into her head. As his reward, Adams has a view of the replica, located at 2092 N. 75 East in Layton, from his own home across Antelope Road.
Adams also offered the prayer at the home's dedication ceremony on Nov. 11, 2008. Love's family and friends celebrated the project's completion with lemonade and ginger snaps. They recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang "God Bless America." Veterans Day seemed a fitting choice to dedicate the home of Elias Adams Sr., a veteran of The War of 1812, and the dozens of ancestors who fought in America's wars.
A Love family employee, his wife, and their children now live in the home. Love is grateful for the care and attention they pay to the project built in honor of a much-loved ancestor.
A monument with details of the home's creation and names of Adams descendants sits in the front yard next to a large flagpole the Loves designed to be lit, allowing an American flag to be flown through the night.
The Loves both turn 80 and celebrate their 62nd wedding anniversary this year. Despite several major surgeries between the two over the last 10 years, the Loves continue to work a large farm. They've had 10 children born to them, seven still living. With 50 grandchildren and 60 great-grandchildren with another on the way, the Loves have continued Elias Adams's legacy of hard work, tenacity, and dedication.