All you historic-home lovers need to add a trip to Spring City, Utah, to your bucket list.
Friends of Historic Spring City hosts an annual Heritage Day home tour the Saturday before Memorial Day, and I am already planning to attend again next year. Last weekend was my first time visiting the town, and at the risk of sounding overly dramatic, it was one of the best trips I’ve ever taken.
The entire town of Spring City is on the National Register of Historic Places, so it’s jam-packed with amazing 19th century community buildings and houses preserved for well over 100 years. My mom and sisters came with me, and we were there for five hours and only had time to see about a third of the sites. But the ones we visited did not disappoint.
Here are a few highlights:
Look at this staircase, which leads two different directions at the landing.
Every one of these houses is decorated with original art, and the juxtaposition of old, small house with vivid, gorgeous artwork was so rich. Spring City has drawn lots of artists over the years, and many works were available for purchase at a silent auction held in conjunction with the tour and in a local gallery.
Those two green tiles in the middle have dog faces on them.
Those window panes are curved too, just like the rest of the turret.
My mom pointed out how this tour was overwhelmingly positive—we heard no criticism of any of the houses the entire day. It was an interesting contrast to the negativity you commonly hear at a Parade of Homes. I’ve been mulling this over for days and can’t figure out why this is the case, but it sure was refreshing.
My favorite house on the tour.
These houses feel so intentional. Hardly any of them are big houses, and they’ve been lovingly preserved and furnished with beautiful things from the past and present. When you have a small space, you can’t afford to fill it with junk just for the sake of filling it up. Instead, the decorating must be more deliberate. These homes and their furnishings felt significant and personal to the owner. I think we’re all drawn to authenticity like that.
The house above was the workshop for Jock Jones, who makes Windsor chairs the old-fashioned way—talk about works of art!
Take, for instance, this artist’s home. It is full to the brim with framed canvases, crazy chandeliers, and total hodgepodge. I didn’t even notice until my second time through the main floor that there is a grand piano crammed in one corner, a makeshift kitchen situated in another, and an easel with an in-the-works still life set up between the two. Instead, the focus is on the homeowner’s collections. The bedroom is the same way. This was the fullest home, but it was also the most personal. Something about an entirely personalized house is attractive and complex, even if you wouldn’t want to live with that much “stuff” yourself.
I can’t really sum up how much this tour made me think. I did not expect it to be so inspiring, and I can’t stop thinking about the things I saw and why they were memorable. For more information on Spring City and the annual Heritage Day celebration, visit Friends of Historic Spring City. •