This photo was taken in 1996.
This photo was taken just before the Forsgren Reunion in 2008 after some renovation was begun by David Ericson of Salt Lake City
THE PETER ADOLPH FORSGREN HOME59 South 100 East, Brigham City, Utah
The following information is extracted from a document labeled “Utah State Historic Preservation Office Structure/Site Information Form. It was prepared by Researcher Larry Douglass of the Museum, March 1987.
Name of Property: Marilyn P. Pierce home
Street Address: 59 S. 100 E. Brigham City, Box Elder County, [Utah]
Current Ownership: Private
Site No: [blank]
T. 9N R. 2W S. 24
Map Name/Date: Brigham City Quad/1969
Tax #: 03-121-0033
Legal Description with acreage: Beginning at the SW corner of Lot 4, Block 14, Plat A, Brigham City Townsite Survey, thence N. 6 rods, E 10 rods, W 10 Rods to the beginning. .375 acre.
Property Category: building
Evaluation: eligible/potentially eligible
Photo Data: prints, Mar 1987
Research sources: Abstract of Title, plat records/map, tax card & photo, Sanborn maps, obituary index, census records, biographical encyclopedias, newspapers, city/county histories; LDS Genealogical Library
Improvement Era v.II, p. 483; Also June 1950 p. 474-5
Deseret News: Mar 2, 1908
Box Elder Journal: Dec. 27, 1962
Box Elder News: Mar. 5, 1908
Brigham City Bugler: March 16, 1895
DUP Histories: Peter A. Forsgren; Christena Knudson Forsgren
The Peter A. Forsgren home is described in great detail in a Univ. of Utah College of Architecture & Planning Publication (#10) of 2005. "Polygamy in Lorenzo Snow's Brigham City: An Architectural Tour" wirtten by Lowell C. Bennion, Alan L. Morrell, and Thomas Carter. The book also includes brief biographical sketches of Peter A. and Christina Erika Forsgren. The publication is on sale at the Brigham City Museum and other locations in town. The following elevation sketches are from that publication:
The home is described in the publication as probably dating from the late 1860s. It is described as being very fashionable for its time and "one of Utah's finest Gothic Revival cottages." It was made of unfired brick, or adobe, which was light grey in color & durable. It was probably unplastered until at least the 1920's.
In Oscar Forsgren's short history of his father he makes this statement about the home:
"When they could afford it, they built an adobe house. It was a room about 14 X 16 feet square. Later a lean-to was built for the loom, Father being a weaver. Next they built a kitchen, then added a granary. North of the first room, separated by a hall, was the bedroom. There was an upstairs used as a bedroom and as a place where they kept silk worms."
In January of 2007 the Peter Adolph Forsgren home was in danger of being demolished. While away on our Senior mission in Chile I was contacted by Larry Douglass, Museum Director and Historic Preservation Coordinator for Brigham City Corporation, informing me of the death of Marilyn Pearce who owned the home and was its sole occupant for many years. She had left the home to her son and daughter who were willing to let Mr. Douglass see if he could find a buyer to preserve the home. He was inquiring if there was any possibility that the Forsgren Family Association might be able to purchase the home to save it since it has such historical significance. After a minor survey I was able to ascertain that we would not be able to come up with sufficient money.
Exterior side view from the South. Notice where roof lines have been changed to add to the original structure that would have been built by Peter A.
The original front door opens off a very warn threshold and stoop
Front door closed, taken from inside the entryway looking out.
Standing at the front door looking into the entry way back towards what was the kitchen. The indoor kitchen would have been added on in later years from the original structure. That is a coat closet just to the right. Large rooms open off just to the left (would have been the parlor) and to the right - later used as a bedroom.
North room and window taken from the entryway. The house looks particularly rundown because the work of removing old wallpaper and stucco has already begun. For some reason I could easily imagine an upright piano in this room. I don't know why that came to my mind when I entered since I have no idea if the Forsgren's owned a piano or not.
In the North room looking back towards the front entry
Three doors side by side. The left door leads to a bathroom, the door in the middle leads to the upstairs. You can barely note the opening of the door from the entryway at the right.
A view in the kitchen. Doorway from entry hall on the left; doorway on the right leads out into a utility/work room and stairs to a cellar. Beyond that room is the garage/carriage house.
Kitchen foundation and floor, original to the house, had to be taken up and re-laid for safety. Anyone but me remember this type of linoleum???
Another view of the kitchen looking at what must have been a pantry before it was torn down. Also note the two windows and the exposed floor beams. The bathroom & stairway doors are in the extreme right of the photo.
A door from the bathroom leads into the front South West facing room. Most of the window glass is original to the cabin
Another view of the South room. Note hole for stovepipe denoting that this room might have also served as a sitting room.
It was a fairly daunting task to go upstairs to see the three bedrooms up there. No handrail (nor evidence that their ever had been) Steps are quite high and ascent is very steep.
Whew! I made it! Upstairs looking back down. I am standing in a small entry by the door that leads out onto the balcony above the front door.
I hope none of the Forsgrens were tall! My husband, Victor is 6' 1".
And here I am standing at the same doorway. I am 5'6".
Upstairs South facing bedroom
We need to be glad the house never burned down! Some of the electrical wiring was a little scary!
Looking back to the front upstairs door and the stairway down - from the East bedroom. All the upper rooms were essentially the same with the slanted roof/walls. I felt right at home since my room in our family home in Boise was the same. I thought I was the only one in my group of friends who could lie on her bed and put her feet on the ceiling! There is a coziness to an attic bedroom. These rooms are now occupied by the Ericson children. Hopefully mom and dad don't have to go up and down the stairs too many times during the day.