Demolition crews discover hidden pioneer cabin in Orem

Dec 20, 2021, 9:23 PM

OREM, Utah — Demolition crews in Orem made a historic discovery when they found a pioneer cabin centered in the middle of newer construction.

“The family who owns the property said they would gift the cabin to the city,” Steven Downs, Orem’s deputy city manager, said. “Orem’s history was a lot of orchards and multiple cabins nearly 150 years ago. This historic structure paints a sentimental picture.”

The construction site at 1435 N. State Street was once the home of Mormon Pioneer settlers, Carl and Mary Hanson.

The Hansons immigrated from Sweden and traveled to Utah with the Mormon Saints. They settled in Orem with their six children, with Carl as town blacksmith.

For weeks, no one knew who originally built the pioneer cabin.

“One day, a note was posted on the side of the cabin, from the great grandson of the family who owned it,” Downs said. “This link helped us trace the family history.”

The roughly 550-square-foot cabin will be preserved and eventually placed in a new Heritage Park, which is set to be dedicated in two years.

“This is the home of the Hansons, but this represents the home of so many who homesteaded this property and began the legacy of hard work and entrepreneurship,” Downs said.

Orem’s soon-to-be Heritage Park will sit at 400 West and 400 South, across the street from Orem Elementary School. It will be a place to remember the legacy of those who came before.

Those who lived on this property in more recent years added some modern features, including carpet, electricity and plaster to the 1880’s cabin.

Downs said the historic structure will be maintained to show a likeness of its original style.

City officials plan to hire historians who specialize in these types of projects. The foundation and many other elements remain untouched from their 1800’s timestamp.

“To think that those exact rocks were placed by the hands of Orem residents 150 years ago to build a home for their family — it’s really special,” Downs said.

On Tuesday, restoration crews will start boarding up the pioneer cabin to prepare for a smooth transport.

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Demolition crews discover hidden pioneer cabin in Orem