The Benson Grist Mill is a rugged monument to a dynamic pioneer past

By Ray Boren

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, May 17 2012 5:33 p.m. MDT

"When we started, we didn't know how anything worked," Anderson says. They've learned about the working parts of various wagon types, absorbed the technical names — and add to their understanding of the nomenclature with every project.

Among their current productions is a lacquered wooden bucket, to be presented to the Tooele County Commission. They are also working on wagons for the nearby Donner-Reed Museum.

Anderson is busy applying paint and lettering to a sideboard that reads, "Twenty Wells Livery" — Twenty Wells being a pioneer-era name for the Grantsville area along the trail to California.

At the center of their work area is a doctor's buggy, still early in its transformation. The wagon's one-person seat is off getting new leather upholstery, and much more work needs to be done, such as deciding if it's going to get a little fringe on top, the men say.

The carriage doesn't have much storage space, just a box to hold a physician's bag. The wagon obviously is built to be light, for "speed."

After all, Anderson notes, "He was the first responder" of his day.

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