Friday, June 18, 2010

Reed Smoot House

I have been wanting to get by and see this house for quite some time.  Finally!  The pictures in this post were all taken by me; so if there are any photographers out there looking at this and scratching their heads over the angle, view, lighting, etc. ... it's because I'm just a point-and-shoot kind of photographer.

From what I saw, the house was in absolutely amazing condition, inside and out. I learned that the owner was the great-great-grandson of Reed Smoot. Wow! After a few minutes of talking I was invited inside to the parlor. I did not take photographs of the inside of the house - perhaps that will come later (I felt as if I were already intruding enough and it would have been rude.  So, because I didn't want to become too much of a tourist photographing everything I saw ... click, click, click, I didn't even ask; I just appreciated the invitation and talked with the owner a little). The house has been kept in the family since Reed Smoot lived there and it is therefore, essentially in the same condition as when he left. There is original wood, heating, a large painting of Reed (complete with a mustache) and another of his father (A.O. Smoot).  One thing that floored me (pun intended), thinking about it now, is that the floors did not creak when I walked on them.  I've been in older houses with wood floors and you can hear them as you walk.  I heard nothing but silence as I walked into the house.  Nicely done, Smoot family.  I guess they just don't make things (houses) like they used to.  I saw a photograph on the wall of the Smoot family outside the house with essentially the same view of the house as the photograph below.  The family was all standing a few feet apart inside the front fence on the corner.  This photo was in black and white, obviously, and the trees, bushes, etc., around the house were smaller, but the house looked the same as what I have shown below.

Something I was told, by the house owner, that I did not know:  Reed Smoot was 6'-3''.  Obviously there are many things I don't know, but I found that piece of information interesting.  He was a rather large man for that day and age.  Wikipedia doesn't have that little piece of information.

I was told that Reed Smoot lived in the house for only about 12 years.  I'm not sure of the time frame that would cover yet; however, I do know that he moved to Washington D.C. (from this house) permanently - I believe it was around 1902 to 1904.  Some quick math can get you a basic move-in date, and knowing the house was built in 1892 (there's a stone marker on the house itself that registers this date - and it was built for him; the plate below claims that), can also fill in some of that timeline.  I'll get more definite information on this and fill it in later.  With the above timeframe in the house that I believe is correct (1892-1902/4), he would have lived in this house when he was called to be an Apostle in 1900, when he was elected as Senator from Utah in 1902, and possibly when his seat was challenged, in 1904.

The house is located in pretty much downtown central Provo, Utah.  Photos follow.  All have been resized from the original 3000 pixels, down to 1024x768.

1 comment:

  1. Years ago, when I attended BYU, that house rented out to students. I recognized it immediately. A good friend of mine rented there, and so I had occasion to visit there often. It was in good condition then, and it's nice to see that it has been maintained. They knew how to build homes in those days.