Elm Tree Corner – A visit to the past

Nestled on the corner of 4100 W. 400 S. in West Weber, underneath a beautiful, large Elm Tree, sits a colorful, English Victorian home, built in 1867, that resembles a gingerbread house. It’s called Elm Tree Corner and it’s a piece of past.

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“Anything that I’ve done to the home, I’ve tried to maintain the integrity of the Victorian look,” says Jerry Hancock, who purchased the home in 1972. “All of the gingerbread on the home is original and I usually change the color every seven years.”

To say the home is amazing would be an understatement. About three years ago, Hancock  transformed the home into a museum that is open to the public for tours.

“The interesting thing is about three years ago I got in a major car accident and I knew I wasn’t going to live forever,” said 80-year-old Hancock, who is also a local renowned artist. “A lot of this stuff has historical and family value but maybe not monetary value and I was afraid it was all going to be thrown away when I died. It dawned on me that I needed to start gathering all of the stuff up and labeling it. So much of the stuff was related and had so much historical value that the home eventually became a museum.”

Elm Tree Corner is a museum that shows the history of West Weber and Mormon pioneers, including polygamist Archibald Mcfarland who once owned the home.  Every room in the home, that Hancock also lives in, is filled with antiques, historical memorabilia and some of his own amazing paintings.

“All of the paintings that you see are mine, just to illustrate different moods in this Victorian home,” he said. “Anytime you see the old pioneers, even the farmers, they would wear suits and ties out to farm. If they went to a ball game you’d see the stands full of suits, ties and hats and because I knew Archibald was a farmer I did a couple of paintings showing him leaning on a shovel with bib overalls on.” The painting is propped up on the floor, on the Victorian rose carpet, in the first room of the home.

The tour of Elm Tree Corner is free and usually takes about two hours. Families and community groups are welcome to come and learn about this piece of history. The tour takes place inside the home and out to the backyard where the chicken coop has been transformed into pretend store fronts, along with a display of an old bright yellow convertible car, tractors and a buggy that makes for a fun photo backdrop.

“Everything has a story to it,” he said. “And I enjoy sharing those stories with my visitors.”

To schedule a tour of Elm Tree Corner, contact Hancock at 801-731-1613.


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