Alfred Harper built this house in 1876 of honeycombed limestone quarried from nearby American Fork Canyon. It is said that he traded his homegrown vegetables and flowers for the rock. Before the building was completed, Harper had to leave his family and home to serve a three-year mission in New Zealand for the LDS church. On his return he finished the house and planted vines he’d brought from New Zealand. The vines eventually grew to surround the building.
Locals called it “The Big House,” and it became a gathering place for community and church activities.
One of the most notable features of the property was a well, complete with bucket and dipper, that passers-by were welcome to use to quench their thirst. Church-goers, children, and even the occasional tramp made good use of the clear, cold water.
In 1987, the Harper House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the nation’s official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation. The register recognizes the accomplishments of all peoples who have contributed to the history and heritage of the United States.