The home of Farmington's founder and the city's first hotel - including a bed that the owners say Brigham Young once slept in - is for sale.
Ella Rose and Clair DeLong have put on the market the Hector Calob Haight home, a two-story adobe at 208 N. Main. The home has a history that includes visits by early LDS Church officials and a tale about a traveling lion tamer, "Madam Pianca," who never returned to claim her trunk when she lost her head in a lion's mouth at nearby Lagoon.The trunk and Madam Pianca's elaborate costumes have since disappeared.
The DeLongs, who have owned the house for 21 years and have extensively restored it, said the home's two-story double-cell construction is unique to Utah's early history. The double-cell architecture has an entrance to each room, and the upstairs and downstairs rooms are exactly the same size.
"It has taken many years and lots and lots of work," said Mrs. DeLong, who first bought the house after moving to Utah from New England. In a story reminiscent of Brigham Young's choosing to settle the Salt Lake Valley, two decades ago an ill Clair DeLong raised up out of the back seat of the family car and said,"If there's a house in Utah, this is it."
The DeLongs are asking $136,000 for the home, and Mrs. DeLong admits it may be a little tough to find a buyer.
"People find it a little too expensive. I suppose if they want to spend $150,000 on a home they want it in the woods some place with a bathroom in every bedroom. We knew when we put it on the market we would have to find a special buyer," she said, adding that some have even considered buying it to operate as a bed-and-breakfast inn.
The oldest section of the four-bedroom house is believed to have been constructed about 1852. It was later expanded and used as a boarding house - the Union Hotel - which is thought to have been opened to help support the Haight family while Hector Haight was away on a mission. It was during this period that LDS officials including Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, Wilford Woodruff and Brigham Young dined and slept there.
The Union Hotel was one of the few places where travelers could eat or sleep between Salt Lake City and Ogden. Famous entertainers, who often appeared at nearby Lagoon, slept there. Tradition has it that even Tom Thumb stayed at the hotel.
The bed that Brigham Young supposedly slept in is still in the home along with an extensive collection of period antiques that the DeLongs say they would like to sell with the home.
The home where the DeLongs raised six children is more like a museum. It has the original pine floors, some covered with rag rugs. The cherry-wood banister was carved by William H. Folsom, the Manti Temple architect. Local historical architects Steven and Richard Baird, who are consultants to LDS restoration efforts in Nauvoo, Ill., assisted in the restoration work.