When 80-year-old Kenneth Pearson stands in the middle of the last remaining acres of a family farmstead settled at the turn of the century, it's hard to believe him when he says most of it is no longer his.
Not the weathered barn, not the chicken coop and not the adobe house - each built by his late wife's maternal grandparents and each now a part of his own history.But as testimony to his words, Pearson points east. A swath of sand has replaced fields that once fed livestock and a pile of wood sits where a stand of trees marked the property's eastern boundary.
"It's slowly coming to an end," he said of the place he once reached by driving a horse and buggy down Seventh East. "It's not going to last forever, that's for sure. It's like us."
All Pearson still owns of what had been the home of one of Sandy's first mayors and founding father, W.W. Wilson, is a small brick bungalow he built for his wife in 1952 when they joined her mother on the farmstead.
The portion of the five remaining acres that he reluctantly sold to the city for the so-called "Ski Connect" road includes the adobe house built before 1900 along with the barn and chicken coop constructed around 1920.
The chicken coop will have to be demolished for the first two lanes of the road. The adobe house and the barn will be torn down later when the road is expanded to four lanes.
Pearson said he sold the approximately three acres of land because he knew that if he didn't, the city would condemn it for the road, and he didn't want to fight. Sandy officials, who paid him $203,200 for the land, said he got a good deal from them.
The road will begin at the nearby intersection of 90th South and Seventh East before winding its way toward 94th South near 1150 East through the farmstead.
It was dubbed the "Ski Connect" by proponents who say that besides easing commuter congestion, the road will make it easier for tourists to find their way to area ski resorts.
The Sandy Mall and other businesses located at the busy intersection of 94th South and Seventh East, however, have called the "Ski Connect" bad for business and took the Utah Department of Transportation to court.
They won an injunction this week halting construction on the $1.4 million road until a public hearing is held. The ruling will likely delay completion of the project until next spring at the earliest.
It is not clear what effect the lawsuit will have on Pearson, except that the injunction will give him a few extra months of peace before a steady stream of traffic begins passing 40 feet from his house.
Lawyers for the Sandy Mall and the coalition of business and home owners that sued UDOT have questioned whether proper procedures were followed in designing a road to go through a site that would likely qualify for the National Register of historic places.
A report commissioned by UDOT recommends that Pearson's property be left alone because it is one of the last small farmsteads standing in the Salt Lake Valley and is associated with a notable person in local history.
State historians, however, only were asked by UDOT for advice on preserving the property through photographs and other records rather than how it could be spared from bulldozers.
Since then, the Utah Division of State History has asked UDOT to let them offer suggestions on saving the farmstead. Whether to listen to such suggestions is entirely up to UDOT under state law.
And the Sandy Historic Commission, which is planning an Aug. 17 tour of the farmstead, doesn't have the money to move the old buildings out of the path of the road.
The still-spry Pearson seems resigned to eventually losing the buildings that represent the beginnings of one of the Wasatch Front's fastest-growing cities.
For now, though, he is busy tending a garden of beets, carrots, onions, potatoes and corn, watching his two cows slowly fatten and minding the neighbors' horses, which reside on his pasture, next to the beginnings of the new road.