Thursday, May 7, 2015

Preston carpenter decoding pioneer secrets to OSA's front door

Wes Dryden points to the different layers of finishes on the original door frame. It appears that the first finish was faux graining, commonly used by Mormon pioneers to make softwood structures appear to be hardwood. It then appears the door was painted a solid color, and re-grained with a new faux graining. This was done in the 80s under the direction of Newell Hart.
Preston carpenter decoding pioneer secrets to OSA's front door


            After painstaking deconstruction of the historic Oneida Stake Academy building’s front door, local carpentry artisan, Wes Dryden, has been able to determine a few of its secrets.
            Originally, he thought the door’s frame was made from long-length boards that were bent into shape. Not so. They were made from several smaller pieces of wood, cut to fit a curved opening left by stone masons as they constructed the front of the building.
            And, although power tools were not used at anytime during the original construction of the building, Dryden has uncovered clues that at least some of the interior woodwork was cut on a mechanized saw over a century ago.
            “See these indentations on the backs of the molding? That is how boards are moved along an assembly line,” he said. Research seems to indicate hat the closest mill would have been in Brigham City, so it is possible the molding was made there.
            According to the history of Brigham City, there was a planing mill and carpentry department of the Brigham City Mercantile and Manufacturing Association (Brigham City Co-op). This association was initially started in an effort to comply with the Territorial Incorporation Act of 1870. Almost every resident of the community was involved in some way.
            Dryden began working on the door last fall, after making an analysis of the door before bidding its restoration. Board members of the Oneida Stake Academy Foundation had determined from old photographs, that the doors hanging on the building during the last several decades are not original. The small windows at their top were the clue, as they did not appear in the earliest photos of the building.
            Dryden said the wood used by the pioneers for the door he took down, was pine, painted to look like a hardwood – a practice known as graining, which was commonly applied by Mormon pioneers to enhance the beauty of the buildings they were constructing. Artists using feathers, cheesecloth, paintbrushes, paint and washes would reproduce the look of hardwoods, marble or leather on the soft pine that was prevalent in the local forests.
            Dryden is making the door to appear is the pioneers had hoped. He has duplicated the millwork on it, and expects to install the replicated door and door frame in May.

A view of the OSA's door in 1920.

The current view of the academy's doorway. The red door has been hanging in the doorway for many years. It will be replaced with a replica of the original door design.

Friday, May 1, 2015

OSAF Musical returns July 16, 17 & 18!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

New windows add sparkle to front of OSA

Cooks enjoy working on Benson alma mater

            Installing new windows, designed with modern materials to look as the building’s original windows, has been a significant experience for Ralph and Kimberly Cook, of Wallsburg, Utah.
            The couple has installed new windows in historic edifices for several years,  but said working on the Oneida Stake Academy has held special meaning for them because they are fans of Ezra Taft Benson, one of the schools more famous alumni.
            ”It’s been especially neat because Ezra Taft Benson is a patriot and we are studying him this year,” Kimberly said. Working on such an historic edifice has been gratifying, the couple said. “It’s probably the oldest building we’ve worked on,” said Ralph.
            “I took a couple of pictures and sent them to my father, and he said ‘Well, you make sure you do a really good job,” chuckled Kimberly.

            “We’re sure glad we were able to do this job,” she said.

From around the net

Recently published on LDS Living, is a great article on OSA Alum, Samuel Cowley, at Mormon FBI Agent

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

New windows to be installed

Time damaged windows.
This view from 1924 shows the full-sized window panes.
         New windows will be installed in the front walls of the Oneida Stake Academy building this week. Much appreciated funds from an anonymous donor have made their purchase and installation possible. The windows are being made by Sierra Pacific Industries of Salt Lake City. Seasoned window installer Ralph Cook from Hillcrest Construction will set them.
            Since the building’s construction 125 years ago, the windows have been changed more than once, as panes were broken. The earliest pictures of the building show that the large rectangular windows were each made up of two single panes of glass in double-hung frames. In later pictures, the large single panes were replaced with four smaller panes. Windows of both styles remain in the building today, their aged and severely warped wooden frames irreparable. They will be replaced with large paned windows to match the original design of the building.
            “Because we are restoring the Oneida Stake Academy Building to be used for contemporary use, the board felt it was wise to match the original design of the windows with contemporary materials in order to minimize maintenance costs for the future,” said Nathan Hale, chairman of the Oneida Stake Academy Foundation.
            The building’s original architects understood how to work with Mother Nature in order to light and cool the building using the windows. Without the modern conveniences of electric lights and air-conditioning and heating, that knowledge was critical to make the building capable of providing an atmosphere in which students could learn.
            A double-hung window means that both the upper and lower panes of a window can be raised and lowered, using a system of weights built into the window frames. Taking advantage of the properties of hot and cold air, those early builders could create a cooling draft in a room simply by raising the lower panel and dropping the upper panel on a window. This principle was applied to cool the entire edifice by strategically opening and closing windows in different parts of the building.
            Even the shape of the windows was more than a fashion statement. The tall rectangular shape of the windows allowed sunlight from the earliest rays of morning to the latest evening light to enter the rooms, extending their use as long as possible. Lantern light would be used after the sun set if the building was still in use.
            Although the new windows will appear as they did a century ago, they will not open as they did due to the benefit of modern heating, cooling and the litigious nature of today’s society.
            Also in progress is the building’s front door. Working in his shop on West Oneida, Wes Dryden is deciphering the process used by the pioneers to duplicate the original door. More on that story will appear in a future edition of The Preston Citizen.
           Anyone interested in being a part of the restoration of the elegant Oneida Stake Academy building as a cultural center/museum of local history is invited to contact one of the OSAF’s board members for i deas. For example, a donation of $2500 will install another window. Gifts of higher amounts will help restore additional features of the building. Additional information on this idea can be found on an earlier post on this blog and at Board members are: Nathan Hale, Sydney Hale, Lyle Fuller, Elliott Larsen, Paul Judd, Saundra Hubbard, Necia Seamons, Larry Bradford, Kim Wilson and Jim Brown.


Monday, January 12, 2015

Thursday, November 27, 2014

One hundred Thanksgiving days ago....

One hundred Thanksgiving days ago, Nephi Larsen stood on the Streets of Preston with Oscar A. Kirkham watching students of the Oneida Stake Academy march in a Founder's Day parade. The OSA band was playing and banners were waving in the autumn breeze, wrote Larsen in an article that appeared in the May 1915 edition of the "Improvement Era," a publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"One of the banners, held proudly above the heads of the marching students, had printed on it in bold letters, "Labor conquers everything." Kirkham caught sight of the inscription and remarked, "Labor does not conquer everything. There are many things that can only be conquered by faith."

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Meet the OSA's architect

A bit about the architect of the elegant Oneida Stake Academy, Don Carlos Young, can be found at the following link:

William Lowe Young

According to “Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah” William Lowe Young helped survey the Preston town site, the Mink Creek Ditch, the Cub River Ditch, and helped build the first railroad in Utah. 
His family notes that he was a prominent leader in the building of the ONEIDA STAKE ACADEMY and the Logan Temple (of which he was very proud).
Lowe built one of the first log homes in Preston with a dormer window on the roof. It stood just south of the Preston Cemetery. He owned that farm and the land running north of it to the cemetery.
He was married twice, first to Helen Bunting, and second to Julia Widdowson Reeves.
He had several children, and was beloved by both friends and family.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Rock work progresses on OSA front

Bracing themselves, masons move the keystone of the arch into place.

A new keystone is placed on the arch above the front door.

The rock is adjusted.

More rock will be placed tomorrow, Oct. 14.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Presidents of the Oneida Stake Academy

ONEIDA STAKE ACADEMY, Preston, Idaho, was commenced under the jurisdiction of the presidency of the Oneida Stake at Franklin, Idaho, Oct. 1, 1888, with 75 students and two teachers. In 1898, a fine cut stone building having been erected for the school at Preston, the equipment was moved to that city. As the scope of the work increased, another fine school building was added in 1907 and a well-equipped gymnasium was built in 1915. Preparatory, normal, high school, commercial, domestic science, carpentry, missionary and music courses were offered and the school served a noble purpose until, on account of the splendid facilities offered by the state schools, duplication of scholastic courses was avoided and the Academy closed in 1922.
Following are the names of the presidents of the Oneida Stake Academy: 
Samuel Cornwall, 1888-1889; 
James S. Rawlins, 1889-1890; 
Jos. G. Nelson, 1890-1893; 
John E. Dalley, 1893-1896; 
Josiah E. Hickman, 1896-1899; 
Dr. Allen R. Cutler, 1899-1900; 
Edwin Cutler, 1900-1906; 
Dr. John Johnson, 1906-1912;
J. Robert Robinson, 1912-1914; 
Joseph A. Geddes, 1914-1920, and 
Thomas C. Romney, 1920-1922.
Encyclopedic History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Andrew Jenson

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Vintage Car Show to precede "If These Walls Could Talk" Aug. 8 & 9

            A mini- vintage car show will precede the new and original musical, “If These Walls Could Talk” this Friday and Saturday, Aug. 8 & 9, in Benson Park.

            Doug West, who has gathered vintage cars to be part of the pageant, has invited the owners to display the vehicles in Benson Park, west of the Oneida Stake Academy building. They will do so from 4-7 p.m. both nights.