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History still being made at Eldredge Manor
by LOUISE R. SHAW
Apr 04, 2014 | 3463 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Eldredge Manor - Photo by Louise R. Shaw | Davis Clipper
Eldredge Manor - Photo by Louise R. Shaw | Davis Clipper
slideshow

WEST BOUNTIFUL - History is everywhere at the Eldredge Manor.

It’s in the windows, the floors, the stair rails, the molding. It’s in the wall art, the fireplace, the furniture and the brick walls.

For more than 100 years, the Eldredge House has stood at the spot that is now between 500 West and I-15 along 400 North.

Just last week, the current owners celebrated 100 years since the first wedding took place within the walls of the historic building.

At the same time, they celebrated the hundreds of weddings that have taken place over the past 40 years, since it has had new life as a reception center, now known as Eldredge Manor Reception Center at Eldredge Square.

It was a Wednesday evening, March 25, 1914, when Afton Eldredge, the daughter of James Alanson and Jane Jennings Eldredge, wed Robert Alvin Moss.

The house was built for Afton’s parents in 1896 and at first, had a temporary railroad spur leading to it so they could entertain “in style.”

The spur was a gift from Jane’s father, who was in the railroad and mining industry and owned the Deveraux House that still stands in Salt Lake City.

Over the years, the home would come to incorporate many innovations long before they became generally popular.

Water from a nearby well was pumped to the attic to allow for pressurization.

Indoor plumbing and radiant heat were added when available.

And in a real splurge at the time of its construction, bedrooms had closets despite the extra cost they incurred because they were taxed as additional rooms.

The home was built for entertaining with an upstairs ballroom, according to its history as recorded on eldredgemanor.com.

Besides being the place for dances and gatherings, it was a retreat used by such local luminaries as Heber J. Grant and George Albert Smith. Other LDS general authorities would stay at the estate when visiting Davis County, according to the website.

 

“This place is authentic,” said Steve Williams, whose family purchased the home 40 years ago for a reception center. He began working there as a teen and after some years working out of state, he and his wife, Jonan, took over operations. They have since included their five children in the manor’s upkeep.

“The historic nature of this place is significant,” said Steve Williams. “We’ve given meticulous attention to every detail.”

He points out the pattern Jane Eldredge painted on the floor, discovered only recently and being preserved in one closet.

He tells of the armoir from Madrid, Spain, that traveled around Cape Horn to San Francisco and through the Sierra-Nevadas in 1907.

He shows how the transoms over the new wings were built to match existing transoms, and points out the original ballroom floor, preserved under carpet but more recently uncovered and found to be in ideal condition.

He shows where the front porch was restored to its original design as seen in a photograph.

Large new dining hall additions and gardens and grounds outside draw brides and grooms-to-be, and the Williams’ team helps with everything from catering to flowers to photographers, limousines, printing and tuxedos.

“Brides walk in and feel something different,” said Williams. “It’s more than a hall, it’s a home.”

 

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