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Sons of Utah Pioneers Visit President David O McKay’s Home

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On 6 October, 2018, eighteen members, including spousses, of the Morgan Chapter of the Sons of Utah Pioneers went on our fall trek to the David O McKay home in Huntsville, Utah.  John McKay, who is a grandson to President McKay was our tour guide and we enjoyed  a two hour tour through the house of his birth.   John told us that many people mistake the home of President McKay with the one next to it.  The home next door is made out of red stones, whereas the  correct home has thick walls and covered with light colored stucco.  There is no heating inside except that which is produced by a couple of fireplaces on each end of the main living area.  During the summer, due to the thick walls, the house needs no air conditioning.  However, during winter months, with heating only by the two fireplaces, the house remains rather cold.  We were glad that we arrived with our warm coats, so the cool home didn’t bother us at all.  The house was build by President McKay’s father, and originally only included two rooms on the ground floor.  The entire house was in a state of  continuous expansion as their family grew.  President McKays mother was a spiritual powerhouse whose husband, when she was about 10 days from delivering a baby, received a mission call to England.  He was not going to accept the call, however his wife insisted on his going.  Therefore, she had to take care of a large family, run the family farm and direct the addition to their home.  This included more bedrooms, which added up to a total of around nine plus bedrooms.  In addition to this task, when her husband returned three years later, an additional two summer porch type bedrooms were added, which were filled with many beds for the large number of constant visitors, children and grandchildren.  In addition, there were also four kitchens.  This was eventually reduced to three because the forth one was converted into another bedroom.  Of interest was what neighbors considered a huge waste of space.  This was a four foot wide stairway going from the main ground floor to the upstairs floor which included the master bedroom , summer porch type bedrooms, and two more bedrooms for a couple of their girls.  These required them to go through the parents master bedroom whenever they left or returned..  We felt that this prevented the above mentioned girls from leaving or returning without the parents knowledge.  A great move to say the least.  John told the group that tours now never include the upstairs, but because most of us grew up during this homes time period, he felt that he wanted to allow us to partake of the upstairs tour as well.  Many of the artifacts that were exhibited and shown to us were recognized by the SUP members. This included a butter churn, flour and sugar bins , and  transom windows above the doors which allowed the warm air to be transferred from a kitchen warmed  by stoves, to the cooler rooms. We all appreciated and enjoyed this final trek for  2018, to the home of the Church President that we grew up with.  This was a highlight for all who were present.

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