Constructed in 1893 by Oscar M. Booth, this house is an excellent example of the Queen Anne architectural style in Utah. Some identifying features of the home include its side-hall plan, asymmetrical massing, long wrap-around porch, and the octagonal tower with conical roof. Mr. Booth was a local carpenter and builder who is best known in the Nephi area for his design of the Whitmore Mansion, listed on the National Register. It is also reported that in addition to the work Booth did in Nephi, he also worked in the Avenues in Salt Lake City during the 1890s. He was born in 1868 in Utah and continued his building activities, primarily in Juab County, until his death in 1944. Mr. Booth, along with his wife rose, owned this home until 1897, when it was then sold to another local resident of Nephi. The home retains its historic integrity and is a contributing resource within the city of Nephi.
This 1926 home is an architecturally-significant example of an American Colonial Revival Period Cottage, which was influenced by earlier Georgian designs. The home was constructed and owned until 1928 by Thomas Pierpont, owner of the Provo Foundry and Machine Company. Mr. Pierpont married Vilate Smoot Pierpont, daughter of A.O. Smoot and Diana Eldredge, in 1893. The home, for many years, served as the residence of the President of Columbia Steel, which operated a mill at Ironton. The stately dining room was used for official corporate dinners.
This full two-story brick home was built in 1875. Located on a corner, the north facade partakes of formal early American styling, especially the Federal and Creek Revival influences. Notice the symmetry, six-over-six windows and Federal lintels, central porch and entry doors and bracketed Creek Revival cornice. The east elevation has a cross-wing plan with recessed entry and original porch.
Morten Rasmussen was one of the original settlers in Mt. Pleasant. His wife Karen crossed the plains in an 1857 handcart company and met Morten while visiting friends in Ephraim. He helped erect the first fort and they lived there for two years, where Karen gave birth to a son Martin, the first male born in Mt. Pleasant. They moved here and built a two-room shed where Sophia and Lars were born. Their next house was a three-room adobe where John Mary, Annie, Henry and Erastus were born. Building this brick house was the pride of family members, who all assisted with the work. The boys hauled wood from the cedar hills to build fire for the kiln. Some of the bricks were fired too long and thus used on the back of the house where inconspicuous. Born here were Daniel, George, Will and Hyrum for a total of eleven children. Morten died here in 1885, followed by Karen 15 years later. In 1959 the house passed to Esther Rasmussen Rasmussen Christensen, the last of Morten and Karen’s grandchildren to be born in the home.(*)
This Early Victorian Style house, with a Temple Front plan, has been owned by some 16 different individuals/families since its construction in 1899. Past owners include Samuel Rieske, a master mechanic for Provo City Schools and Roy Passey, a parole officer and two-term member of the Provo City Council (1956–1961). Passey, who was active in the Boy Scouts and held many LDS Church positions, was married to Sarah Lovina Harris, who was a descendant of Hyrum Smith (an older brother of LDS Church-founder Joseph Smith Jr).
At the time of World War II, the home at been turned into 4 apartments. It is a 2 1/2 story building, built of brick. The house is built on a granite foundation that are 3 bricks thick and go all the way to the attic. Built before electricity, it had gas lights. Wallpaper and painted walls and ceilings are original plaster.
Ben Meek was a sheep man and this was his “commodious home in Draper.”
Restored by Clinton L. & Carma Cutler in 1980-1981.
This house is a good example of a Victorian Eclectic Cottage with the Crosswing plan. The projecting front wing has Greek Revival style cornice returns. A period carriage house lends to the architectural integrity of the site. Notable owners of this property include C. W. Reid, (1906–1910) who was a member of the BYU Music Department faculty, then joined the Mccune School of Music in Salt Lake City and continued private instruction in San Francisco. Robert D. Snow acquired the property in 1940 and the property has remained in the Snow family ever since then. Mr. Snow worked at Columbia-Geneva Steel Works for 31 years before passing away in 1961.
Constructed c. 1910 for James Simpson, the walls of this double-cross-wing, symmetrical home are three bricks thick. Its facade eclectically combines classical formalism and details, though it is neither fully Neo-classical nor entirely Victorian.
Builders Brandt and Jacobsen used a cement foundation filled with rock, the first in Mt. Pleasant. Locals stood around watching and speculating that it would never last, but today no cracks can be found. The second story is unfinished; the front is unchanged, except for replacing doors on the front porch with windows.
Mr. Simpson died in 1918 during the flu epidemic. Local residents, fearing the ravages of the flu, wanted nothing to do with anything that had come in contact with the disease. Simpson’s body was passed from the back bedroom through the window and laid out on the front lawn, then placed in a coffin and the lid nailed shut. Just at this time, James Monsen was passing by. Unafraid, he went into the house, took Simpson’s nine-year-old daughter Dorothy on his lap and comforted her by explaining what was happening.
In 1932 Willis N. and Louise F. Madsen Purchased the house from Simpson’s daughter Eva and added a screen porch to the back. After Willis’ death in 1932, Louise married Justus O. Seely, then the mayor of Mt. Pleasant.(*)
Built in 1898 by Antone Nielson, the granite rock for the foundation was brought from the temple quarry in Little Cottonwood Canyon.
The first floor was built 3 feet above the ground because of high ground water and possible flooding from the south willow creek.
This built is a Folk Victorian, 2 1/2″ story structure with a brick exterior. The intricate parquet wood floor was entirely hand cut and layed, then nailed in place. The remaining wood moldings were all carved from redwood.
Restored by Peter & Tatiana Lawson and Carl & Kim Clark from 1988-1993.
The Nielsen-Sanderson House is a 2½-story brick Victorian Eclectic residence built in 1898. The property is located at 12758 S. Fort Street (950 East) in Draper, Utah. The Nielsen-Sanderson House is an elaborate Victorian Eclectic mansion with an unusual variation of the central-block-with-projecting-bays floor plan. The house sits on a granite foundation with a contrasting string-course and sills. The walls are red and yellow brick masonry. The facade is symmetrical with two octagonal projecting bays with simple gable roofs. The recessed front entrance features elaborate Victorian and Eastlake-influenced woodwork and the gable trim has a latticework screen and shingles. The floor plan is roughly square with four rooms arranged around a central foyer and staircase.
In 1926, the house was remodeled and divided into four apartments. In 1942, the house was returned to a single-family dwelling, but in the subsequent remodels lost many historic features such as some of the Victorian woodwork and the original upper-level windows. Between 1988 and 1990, the house underwent a comprehensive exterior rehabilitation that restored much of the original facade decoration based on historic photographs. The most substantial alteration was the construction of a one-story rear addition that nearly doubled the main floor square footage in 1988-1990. Despite the size of the addition, it remains virtually invisible from the street frontage due to the height of the original house and an abundance of mature foliage. Much of the lost Victorian elements of the interiors were replaced and the previously unused attic space was converted to a master bedroom in the early 1990s.
The Nielsen-Sanderson House faces east to Fort Street on a 3.22-acre parcel. There are numerous mature trees and a large lawn in front of the house. The rear of the property is semi-rural with three contributing outbuildings (barn, milk house and shed). There are also three non-contributing buildings (garage and two sheds) and two non-contributing structures (swimming pool and gazebo). The tree-lined neighborhood contains a mix of housing stock from the Victorian-era to the present. Many of the former farm parcels have been divided into new subdivisions, but the Nielsen property retains a semi-rural setting. The Nielsen-Sanderson House has good historic integrity in all seven qualities of integrity. The Nielsen- Sanderson is one of three landmark Victorian Eclectic mansions on Draper’s historic Fort Street.
The footprint of the original Nielsen-Sanderson House as built in 1898 is a roughly a 45 by 45 foot square with a notch at the southwest corner. The facade (east elevation) is symmetrical with a recessed entry porch between two projecting octagonal bays. The house was built on a raised foundation laid in ashlar courses of rock-faced granite blocks. On the facade, there is a string course of sandstone along the water table line. The brick is different on the facade and the secondary elevations. The east elevation features a high quality red face brick laid in a running bond with light-colored flush mortar joints. The north and south elevations are faced in yellow brick with three courses of red brick at the water table. The original west elevation, now partially obscured by the addition, is also faced with yellow brick, but without any contrasting brick. Basement window openings are only found on the south elevation.
The main roof is a truncated pyramidal roof. There are intersecting simple gable roofs above the two front bays and one rear extension. The three corbelled red brick chimneys were repaired at the same time the roof was installed. The roof was sheathed in dark blue asphalt shingles during the 1988-1990 remodeling. During that time, the widow’s walk and decorative wood along the front gable ridgelines (missing since the 1950s) was recreated. The life-size wood sheep sculptures also recreated and placed at the end of the gables. The front two sheep silhouettes were an original feature that gave the building its nickname the “Sheep House.”
About half of the wood work on the facade was lost during a series of remodels between the 1930s and the 1970s. The surviving elements on the balcony include the full and engaged lathe-turned posts, balustrade, and lattice porch frieze. Two corner sections of arched wood on the front porch also survived. The original porch had three bays of arched woodwork, similar to the Eastlake style, but not as elaborate as a true Eastlake-style house. The arches and the lathe-turned posts and balustrade were recreated in 1988-1990. Missing jigsaw-cut and lattice arched screens that were originally suspended in front of the extant gable trim imbrication were also a nod to the Eastlake style and were recreated. The gable trim was altered slightly when lunette windows were installed to light the attic master suite. A semi-circle attic vent was also added to the facade. Due to the amount of ornamentation, the newer windows and vent have a minimal impact on the overall design. The porch’s wood deck was replaced by concrete in the 1960s or 1970s. The steps are newer and the rail was not replaced.
The front door and sidelights were altered in the 1950s with a screen and panel infill. A compatible Victorian-era door with sidelights was recreated for the front entrance. The balcony door was extant and rehabilitated. In the octagonal bays, the original fixed windows featured leaded and colored-glass transoms with a floral design. The transom bar has a pattern of square panels. These extant features were rehabilitated and storm windows were installed to protect the leaded glass. The main level side windows are one-over-one wood sash. The upper level facade windows were removed in the 1960s and replaced with small aluminum sliders and infill panels. These sliders were removed in 1988-1990 and replaced with wood sash windows to match the main level. The secondary elevations have one-over-one wood windows similar to the façade, although four are paired rather than singles. All of the windows feature contrasting lintels and sills. One rear window dates from the early 1950s.
There was a one-story frame lean-to addition on the rear (west) elevation (date unknown). In 1988-1990, this lean-to was removed and replaced with a one-story family room addition. The addition is frame and covered in clapboard. Two porches at the rear corners of the original house were incorporated into the addition. The addition features a wrap-around porch on the west and south elevations. These porches have wood details similar to the facade. A third decorative gable screen was added to the rear of the house. The addition is compatible, but distinct from the original house, and not visible from the street.
On the interior, the Nielsen-Sanderson House has 2,606 feet of space on the main floor (approximately half original), 1,348 square feet on the second floor, and 320 feet of finished attic space. The cellar space is small and unfinished. The house has undergone three major periods of interior remodeling. The first occurred in 1926 when the house was converted to four apartments with one common bathroom. The second began in 1942 when the house was converted back to a single-family dwelling and extended into the 1960s as both the exterior and interior were modernized. The third and final remodel took place in the early 1990s after the interior was nearly gutted and abandoned for two years after the 1988-1990 exterior remodeling.
Some historic features survived these building phases, mostly in the front parlors where each room has a different pattern of redwood baseboards, and door/window casings. The parlors and the foyer feature elaborate original parquet flooring. The main floor plan is divided into four main spaces surrounding a foyer and a partially open staircase. The fireplace in the north parlor is original, but the pocket doors to the dining room were removed during an early remodeling. The mantel in the south parlor is not original. The south parlor is currently being used as an office. A second office space is in the southwest corner of the original house (former kitchen). The dining room in the northwest corner is the largest room in the original house and features a built-in cupboard. There are rear doors to the corner porches on the north and west elevations.
The addition is divided into several spaces: hall, office, laundry, bathroom, and second staircase. The kitchen and family room are found in an open floor plan at the west end of the addition. Some of these spaces have Victorian-style woodwork, but the design is dominated by the modern-style stone fireplace and state-of-the-art kitchen. The second floor has a central hall with stairs down and up to the attic, and access to the front balcony. There are four bedrooms and one full bath on the second floor. The attic was finished in the early 1990s into a master bedroom suite with full bath and exercise room.
The property includes three contributing outbuildings that date from the property’s use as the Sanderson Dairy farm in the 1940s and 1950s. There is a hipped-roof frame barn (circa 1942), a frame simple gable animal shed (circa 1942), and a concrete block shed (milk house, 1956). The barn may have been remodeled from an earlier horse barn used by the Nielsen family (circa 1898). The rear of the property is an open field that angles along the route of the East Jordan Canal. There is a swimming pool (built in 1995), a gazebo (circa 1995), both non-contributing structures, and two non-historic sheds. The two sycamore trees on either side of the house were planted during the original landscaping.
A three-car garage faced with materials compatible with the house (built in 1994), is a non-contributing building, but is setback from the south side of the original house. There is no extant historic fencing. Despite some newer residential construction, the Fort Street neighborhood retains its historic semi-rural feel. The exterior of the Nielsen-Sanderson House has historic integrity in the qualities of design, location, setting, materials, workmanship, and feeling. The property is in excellent condition contributes to the historic resources of Draper’s historic Fort Street neighborhood.
The Nielsen-Sanderson House, constructed in 1898, is a 2½-story Victorian Eclectic brick mansion on Fort Street in Draper, Utah. The house is locally significant under Criterion A in the area of Agriculture for its association with the rise of sheep ranching families in Draper at the turn of the twentieth century. The first owners, Anthon “Tone” and Elizabeth “Ettie” Nielsen, represent both the prosperity of Draper’s early sheep ranchers and the subsequent losses for the ranchers when agricultural prices dropped after World War I and the Great Depression. The Nielsen home was sold in 1926 to a bank and converted to apartment units when no single family could afford to own it. Renters during this period included day/farm laborers, school teachers, and Japanese truck farmers. With the rise in agricultural prices during World War II, George and Scerinda Sanderson acquired the former Nielsen property, where they raised chickens and started a successful dairy farm. The rise and fall of the fortunes of the Nielsen-Sanderson House represent the historical development of agriculture and livestock in the history of Draper.
The Nielsen-Sanderson House is also significant under Criterion C in the area of Architecture as a substantial central-block-with-projecting-bays house type in the Victorian Eclectic style. The prosperity of Draper’s sheep ranchers is represented by three Victorian-era mansions along Fort Street, but the Nielsen-Sanderson House stands out in several ways. It is a rare example of a symmetrical central-block house and its façade is the only example with modest Eastlake ornamentation. The architectural ornamentation is particularly impressive and expressive: the ornamental sheep silhouettes advertised the occupant’s ties to the sheep industry. In a time before address numbers, Tone Nielsen would advise his business associates to look for the “Sheep House” on Fort Street. The home’s characteristic Victorian Eclectic and Eastlake details include a combination of original elements and replications from historic photographs completed during the 1988-1990 rehabilitation.
The community of Draper was established in 1849 just two years after the arrival of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon Church) to the Salt Lake valley. The Draper settlement was originally known as South Willow Creek, but sometimes called Sivogah, the Native American name for the southeast corner of the Salt Lake Valley. In 1876, a town site was surveyed for the community, by then known as Draperville, after William Draper, the presiding church elder. The name was later shortened to Draper. The farming and ranching community grew steadily, particularly after the Utah Southern Railway was constructed just west of the settlement. A thriving mercantile district was established on Fort Street soon after the Denver & Rio Grande Railway reached Draper in 1881. By the early 1900s, several Draper ranchers had made a fortune in the sheep and wool industries.
As the sheep industry grew, several ranchers kept their herds on large ranches in rural Utah, Idaho, Nevada and Wyoming, but their families remained in Draper. The Nielsen-Sanderson House is significant for its association with the “Railroads, Mercantilism, and Farming and Ranching Period, 1877-1917” in the Draper MPS. On January 5, 1897, Anthon “Tone” J. Nielsen and Benjamin R. Meek purchased a parcel of land from John E. and Fannie M. Brown. John Eckersley Brown was the grandson of Ebenezer Brown, the first homestead patent holder for 160 acres south of the Draper Fort. Tone and his wife, Ettie, took possession of the north half of the property when their house was completed in 1898. The Benjamin and Olivia Meek home was completed the following year.
Anthon James Nielsen was born on October 20, 1866 in Draper, Utah. He was the oldest child of Peter Anthon Nielsen and Olivia Jensen Nielsen, Danish immigrants and early settlers of Draper. Anthon went by his nickname “Tone” for most of his life.1 At the age of ten, Tone went to work for George Beckstead, herding sheep in Riverton, Utah. He also herded sheep for Will Turner in nearby Bluffdale. Tone asked for lambs in lieu of pay and eventually accumulated his own herd. Tone married Ettie Steele on December 30, 1890. Esther “Ettie” Elizabeth Steele Nielsen was born on March 15, 1871 in Pine Canyon, Tooele County, Utah.2 The Nielsens purchased a small brick house across the street from the Draper Cemetery, where a son and two daughters were born (house demolished in 2014). Tone spent much of his time tending his sheep herds in Idaho while Ettie took care of the home and children. After eight years of marriage, they were able to build their dream home on Fort Street. They had five more children: two sons and three daughters. All of their children lived to maturity and were raised in the house on Fort Street.
The Nielsen’s dream house was a large eight-room mansion with wide halls, closets, and pantries. It was the first house in Draper with hot and cold running water. The exterior featured a glazed red brick façade, stained-glass windows, and decorative woodwork. Chris Tolboe of Provo was the builder, Ted Crowton of Salt Lake City (Tone’s cousin) did the plumbing, and the yard was professionally landscaped by Jorgen Nielsen (Tone’s cousin). The two sycamore trees that currently flank the house were planted by Nielsen as “matrimony” trees to represent the union of Tone and Ettie. The decorative element that was absolute unique to the house were the two life-size wood sheep silhouettes attached to the front gables. Visitors to the Nielsens were advised to look for the “Sheep House” on the west side of Fort Street. Tone Nielsen and Ben Meek were partners in the sheep business until 1913 with ranches near Preston and Pocatello, Idaho. Tone took over the Pocatello Valley ranch when the partnership was dissolved.
Tone Nielsen later owned ranches in Emery County, Utah, and Arco, Idaho. He was instrumental in organizing the Draper Land & Livestock Company, the Draper Creamery Company, and the Bear Canyon Pipe Line Company. Tone loved raising and racing horses and built a large barn on the Draper property. He was often away from home looking after the sheep herds and his children remember gathering around him when he returned with gifts in his pockets. With Tone out of town so much of the time, the widow’s walk may have been a symbolic request from Ettie (there is no evidence it was used). Ettie and her children managed the household and took care of the family farm where feed was raised for the livestock.
She was known for her love of flowers and her beautiful gardens. Ettie was also famous for her delicious cinnamon rolls that she kept in her pantry. She served as the Relief Society president in the Draper First Ward of the LDS Church during the First World War.
The sheep ranching industry peaked in Draper in the 1910s. After the First World War, agricultural prices dropped steeply and the sheep industry was decimated. None of Draper’s sheep ranching families were able to keep all of their herds. After a series of crop failures, market depressions, and overextended credit, the Nielsens lost their Draper home in 1926. With most of their children grown, the Nielsens bought a house at 967 E. Simpson Avenue in Salt Lake City. While Tone spent more time on the ranch in Arco, Idaho, Ettie lived in their modest Salt Lake bungalow until her death on June 23, 1941. At the age of 77, Tone Nielsen retired from ranching. He spent his remaining years with daughters in Salt Lake, Draper, and Boulder City, Nevada, where he died on December 6, 1955 at the age of 89.
The second owner of the property on Fort Street was the Utah Savings & Trust Company of Salt Lake City. The bank and estate management company held the title until 1949. Between 1926 and 1942, the large house was divided into four apartments. In the early years, the units had one common bathroom. Because the rural community of Draper was not using addresses in the 1920s to 1940s, it is difficult to pin down renters/residents. However, the 1930 and 1904 census enumerations give us some information about renters in multiple-family housing on Fort Street during the period.
The majority of renters were young couples with small families. The occupations were mostly farm laborers or day (odd jobs) laborer. Several teachers are renters during a period when Draper was known for its advanced public school system. Other occupations include miners, truck drivers, road workers, and employees of the local poultry plant. Also in the area were several Japanese families who rented farmland for raising fruits and vegetables on truck farms.
Some of the laborers worked in Draper’s emerging poultry industry, which began in 1918 when eight Draper farmers began to work co-operatively to buy feed and market eggs. This event started the second associated historic contextual period, the “Twentieth-Century Community Development and Poultry Industry Period, 1918-1954.” The venture was so successful that by World War II, Draper was known as the “Egg Basket of Utah” and local farmers gained national fame shipping eggs to servicemen overseas. When George and Scerinda Sanderson moved to Draper in 1936, they started a small-scale poultry business. The bank tenants and the Sandersons were part of this second phase of agricultural growth in Draper.
The rental tenants left when the George and Scerinda Sanderson family moved into the house. Ardelle Sanderson Ware remembered that the family was delayed moving because the house was not yet empty in the spring of 1942. The Sandersons likely purchased the property on contract because the deed was not transferred until March 1949. According to Ardelle Ware, the upper apartments had separate bathrooms and kitchens by the 1940s. George Iven Sanderson was born on August 29, 1895 in Fairview, Utah. Scerinda Rasmussen was born March 14, 1892 in Fairview. George Sanderson served in a medical unit during World War I. George and Scerinda were married on March 26, 1919. George worked in mines, road building, and cutting timber. He was also sharecropping in hopes of owning his own farm someday. The Sandersons had six children, including one infant who died from whopping cough. They rented a farm in Indianola in Sanpete County where they started a dairy.
In 1936, the family bought property and moved to Draper, Utah. George and Scerinda Sanderson felt the move to Draper was not only a good farming opportunity, but also provided better educational opportunities for the children than their remote farm in Sanpete County. They lived in a bungalow on Draper’s east side and like many Draper residents started a poultry business. Unfortunately, although business was good, George’s asthma was aggravated by the chickens. The Sandersons were delighted to buy the former Nielsen House and fifty acres of land on Fort Street in the 1940s. The extra land allowed George to re-establish his dairy farm. George and Scerinda Sanderson bought the house and its remaining fifty acres from the bank in 1949. The Sanderson Dairy operated on Fort Street until the late 1950s. Although the home was returned to use as a single-family dwelling, four out of five of the grown Sanderson children lived in an upper floor apartment during their early married years. Sometime between the late 1950s and 1963, George Sanderson sold the dairy herd and rented out the farmland, equipment and outbuildings. George and Scerinda moved to Murray, Utah, where George worked at Hunt’s Food Inc. until his retirement in 1960. In 1963, George and Scerinda deeded the house to their youngest daughter, Ardelle, and her husband, Max Ware. The Wares sold the former Nielsen house in 1970; however, the family retained a smaller house on property to the north. George Iven Sanderson died on October 31, 1970. Scerinda Sanderson lived in the small house in Draper until her death on October 18, 1983. The Sandersons are buried in the Fairview Cemetery.
The Nielsen-Sanderson House, built in 1898, is significant under Criterion C in the area of Architecture as an usually large and ornate example of the Victorian Eclectic, 2½-story central-block-with-projecting-bays house type. The house is also a rare example of a symmetrical central-block, a house type that is more commonly associated with irregular massing in the residential architecture of the Victorian era. While the cross wing introduced asymmetry into Utah’s domestic architecture, the central-block house with its projecting bays produced the desired external irregularity while making the principal rooms larger and brighter (i.e. more window area). The grander, two-story examples of the building type, such as the Nielsen-Sanderson House, usually have the rooms arranged around a formal entrance hall. The symmetrical facade of the Nielsen-Sanderson House masks a slightly asymmetrical arrangement of rooms on the main floor. The Nielsen-Sanderson House, built in 1898, was among a number of two-story mansions constructed in rural Draper that rivaled homes found in upper class neighborhoods of Salt Lake City.
With the exception of the façade symmetry, the Nielsen-Sanderson House exhibits many of the characteristics of the Victorian Eclectic style: projecting octagonal bays, decorative porches, patterned imbrication in the gable trim, leaded-colored glass transoms, and a variety of surface materials. Materials include ashlar-coursed granite blocks, sandstone stringcourses, concrete lintels and sills, wood ornamentation, and two colors of brick. The decorative elements of the Nielsen-Sanderson House include a modest nod to the Eastlake style, primarily in the jigsaw-cut cornice screens in the gable trim, and the arched and patterned porch friezes. The widow’s walk, the jigsaw-cut ridge boards, and the sheep silhouettes were unique to the Nielsen-Sanderson House in Draper for the time period. It was the first house in Draper to have hot and cold running water. The two front parlors each had a fireplace, but there was also a heat source in each room. Each principal room on the main level had high ceilings and different carvings for the moldings and casings. The foyer and front rooms featured an elaborate parquet floor. The granite foundation was built three feet above grade to protect the house from high ground water and flooding.
The Victorian Eclectic central-block-with-projecting-bays house was popular in Utah between 1885 and 1915. While one and 1½-story examples are ubiquitous throughout the state, the more opulent two to 2½- story examples are found mostly in affluent neighborhoods along the urban Wasatch Front corridor, with most rural communities having only or two examples, if any. At the turn of the twentieth century and an estimated population of 1,000, Draper was an exception. Of the eighteen Victorian Eclectic central-block houses identified in a survey of Draper, six are two or more stories.
Three of the six are clustered on Fort Street and were built for children of Peter and Olivia Nielsen, early settlers of Draper. The Meek, Benjamin and Olivia, House (NRIS #01001282) was built in 1899 at 12782 S. Fort Street for Tone’s sister, Olivia Alfreda Nielsen and her husband, Benjamin Rodgers Meek.around porch is a more typical example of the Victorian central-block in Utah. The house at 12825 S. Fort Street, built in 1901 for Tone’s brother, Joseph S. Nielsen and his wife, Christiania May Bickley Nielsen, is similar in scale and materials to the Nielsen-Sanderson House because the two homes shared the same builder.
According to family tradition, Christian Tolboe, was the contractor for both homes. Christian Ahart Sommerfeldt Tolboe was born in Denmark in 1870 and immigrated to Utah in 1885. Chris Tolboe married in 1897 around the same time he started work on the Nielsen-Sanderson House. On the 1900 census, Chris and Hattie Tolboe are living in Draper with two young sons. His occupation is carpenter. Within a few years of completing the Joseph and May Nielsen House, the family left to live in Alberta, Canada, before settling in Provo in 1907. Until his death in 1947, Chris Tolboe was the owner of Tolboe and Company, a general contractor in Provo, working for residential, commercial and institutional clients. It is not known whether Chris Tolboe designed the Draper homes (no architect is named in historic and family records), but he does not appear to have built similar dwellings in Provo.
The Joseph and May Nielsen House is nearly identical to the earlier Nielsen-Sanderson House in materials (granite, brick, wood, sandstone) and scale. The general floor plan is very similar. However, for the Joseph and May Nielsen House, the south bay was a full octagonal tower and conical roof, giving the house a Queen Anne-style asymmetrical facade. Historic photographs show the Joseph and May Nielsen House with more ornamentation than is currently extant, but less ornamentation than the Tone and Ettie House. The Joseph and May Nielsen House is eligible, but not currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Joseph Nielsen was a school teacher, but also participated in the family sheep business.
The prosperity of Draper’s sheep ranchers is represented by the Victorian-era mansions along Fort Street. All are considered landmarks, but the Nielsen-Sanderson House is unique. It is a rare example of a symmetrical central-block house and its facade is the only example of Eastlake ornamentation. Nicknamed the “Sheep House”, visitors were directed to look for the ornamental sheep silhouettes to distinguish the house on Fort Street from its neighbors on Fort Street.
Although there has been some loss of historically associated farm acreage, the house property retains a large enough parcel to have integrity in the qualities of location, setting, feeling, and association. The front yard of the Nielsen-Sanderson House was originally landscaped by Tone’s uncle, Jorgen Christian Nielsen. Jorgen Nielsen was born in Denmark in 1842 and was trained as a horticulturist by an uncle who worked for the Danish royal family. After immigrating to Utah in 1865, Jorgen settled in Provo where he started a nursery and one of Utah Lake’s first pleasure garden resorts. Unfortunately, only the two “matrimony” sycamore trees flanking the Nielsen’s house have survived from the original landscape plan.
The Nielsen-Sanderson House has lost some original materials and workmanship integrity, but nearly all of the lost elements were replicated in 1988-1990 following the original design as seen in historic photographs. The outbuildings, a barn, milk house, and shed, built between the 1940s and 1950s contribute to the historic integrity of the setting and its association with the Sanderson Dairy.
Ardelle Sanderson Ware and her husband, Max Ware, sold the property to Joyce R. and Glen B. Cannon in June 1970. The Cannons lived there until 1984 when they sold to Richard and Oakley C. Young. Because of its relative isolation at the south end of the Salt Lake Valley, Draper did not experience a post-World War II construction boom. However, by the 1978 when the city was incorporated, Salt Lake’s suburban sprawl had begun to reach Draper. The population of Draper grew from 5,521 in 1980 to an estimated 50,000 persons in 2018. During this time, people moved to Draper to buy large lots and build big houses. A number of new residents became interested in the historic properties on Fort Street and throughout the city. Richard and Oakley C. Young sold the house to Peter Lawson in 1987. Peter Lawson began an extensive restoration of the home’s exterior 1988. Unfortunately, Peter was unable to complete the restoration of the interior when he had to put the project on hold in 1990 without ever occupying the house. The house sat vacant until July 1992 when it was sold to the current owners, Carl and Laura Clark. The Clarks finished the interior restoration in the 1990s, in addition to the pool and the new garage. The Clarks remain committed to maintaining the integrity of the house and the historic outbuildings.