The Alexander Mitchell House is architecturally and historically significant as one of the ten remaining houses that were original to Perkins’ Addition subdivision, the most visually cohesive example of a streetcar subdivision in Salt Lake City. Streetcar subdivisions played a major role in the transformation of the land south of the original city from agricultural to residential use in the 1890s, and Perkins’ Addition was considered the standard of subdivision excellence. The Mitchell House is one of three houses whose design varies from the standard pattern that was repeated with variations in seven Perkins Addition houses. This variation within a subdivision which is dominated by similar house types indicates that the ideal of personalized expression as a selling point in subdivision development occasionally became a reality. Although a unique type among Perkins Addition houses, the Mitchell house has many design features which visually tie it to other Perkins houses.
The Alexander Mitchell House at 1620 South 1000 East was built in 1891 as one of the thirteen large, brick houses constructed in Perkins’ Addition
subdivision by Metropolitan Investment Company. Alexander and Jessie M.
Mitchell, who contracted to have the house built in January 1891, lived here
until 1899. The Mitchells had come to Salt lake City around 1887,
apparently from Milwaukee, and had been living at 29 F Street before moving into this house. Me. Mitchell was a commercial agent for the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad. Their thirty-year-old son, Alexander R. Mitchell, manager of the Union Pacific coal yards, lived with them in this house until his accidental death on August 19, 1892.
The Mitchells transferred the property to the National Bank of the Republic
via a sheriff’s deed in 1898 for $3800, then apparently left the state. The bank either left the house vacant or rented it out until selling it for $3500
in 1900 to Robert Hartley, who had arrived in Salt Lake City that same year.
Hartley, a native of England, had mining interests in Nevada. He lived in
this house until his death on December 3, 1919. His daughter, Ada H. Hartley, who had lived here with him, sold the house in 1920, moved to Sandy and began teaching school at Murray High School.
Paula Lubold, a widow who had first come to Salt Lake City around 1918, bought the house in 1920 and moved here from 770 East 700 South. Soon after, she married Dr. William Sahr, N.D., a naturopath. They opened a naturopathic health care center, East Side Sanitarium, in this house, which also served as their home. Mrs. Sahr, also listed as a doctor and a registered nurse, operated this facility by herself for a time while her husband operated a similar facility, Broadway Sanitarium, in the New Grand Hotel at 377 South Main. Ms for the East Side Sanitarium claim twenty-two years experience in “nature treatments connected with the knowledge what God likes us to do for suffering humanity….” William Sahr either died or moved away in 1924, a year after Broadway Sanitarium closed down. Paula L. Sahr, who also went by Louise M. Sahr, continued to operate the sanitarium and live in this house until her death in 1946.
In 1947, title to the property was transferred to Paula Sahr’s brother, Gustav
H. Schmidt, who lived here for one year then divided it into two apartments
around 1950. Schmidt also owned another of the Perkins’ Addition houses at this same time, 936 East 1700 South, which was also divided into apartments, where he lived for several years. Schmidt, who was single, transferred the property to his relatives, Walter and Gustave A. Schmidt, in 1954, a few months before his death.
Bertha and Elmer Lee Wellington, who bought the house in 1955, lived in one of the apartments in the house until 1958, then moved into the house next door at 1632 South 1000 East. Mr. Wellington operated the Wellington Cigar Stand in the lobby of the Atlas Building (36 1/2 West 200 South), and Mrs. Wellington worked in the Atlas Beauty Salon, also located in the Atlas Building. The Wellingtons currently own the house, renting out the apartments in it, and continue to live next door.
Julie Gallagher said:
I lived in this house. It was absolutely haunted. I have searched for almost 30 years to find someone else who lived there so as to see if the ghost is still haunting the place.