Charles O. Card Home

On June 3, 1887, Zina Young Card arrived at Lee’s Creek (later Cardston) with two children, joining her husband, Charles Ora Card, and bringing the total number of settlers to 41. Living in tents, they began planting gardens, building corrals, and establishing a community.

Card, founder of the settlement and local leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, built this log home, originally 4.5 meters square, for his family. The Cards moved in before winter came. On Christmas Eve 1887 the tiny community held a party here, with a Christmas tree and Santa Claus; music was provided by mouth organ.

An addition to the north side of the house was completed by January of 1889, and the Cards lived here for a total of 13 years. From this cabin Charles Card led the Canadian Saints, and “Aunt Zina” served as functional mother of the community.

Here new settlers found refuge; lodging was also provided for heads of state conducting official business and for General Authorities of the Church.

After the Cards moved in 1900, the house became home to a succession of families. For a time it was used as a school.

By 1937 the cabin had fallen into disrepair, but it was restored and preserved by the Alberta Stake Relief Society, the women’s organization of the Church. For more than a decade thereafter, social events and priest- hood meetings were sometimes held here.

The structure now belongs to the city of Cardston. As a museum, it serves as a tangible reminder of both pioneer and Latter-day Saint cultural heritage.

The text above is from a plaque on site placed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2012, located at 337 Main Street in Cardston, Alberta, Canada.

These photos were submitted by Marshall Hurst: