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Historical Perspective: Hubbard House

Article Date: 
23 March, 2012 (All day)

Hubbard House continued from last week

Wesley and Janet Grandsen bought the house and the property from the Ostlers, according to Bob Huerta who worked and roomed with the Grandsens for five years.  County records verify they bought it from the Ostler Land and Livestock Co. in 1952. The Gransden’s ran cattle on the land which extended all the way to Snow Basin.  The Huertas said Gransdens had Arabian horses, and Carol Ralphs said they also grew hay for their cattle. There was an irrigation ditch where the Highlands office now stands. Mr. Hubbard said he was told the property was 3500 acres or more at that time.

The property, excluding the house and about 1 and ½ acres was sold to Utah Mountain Land Corporation, and they began to develop roads in preparation to develop the land into residential property.  The company apparently had some financial difficulty, and the land was sold to Kent Smith Construction and Dale Smedley Development partnership in the 1960’s, about 1964 or 1965, and it was developed into the Highlands subdivision.

In 1965, Verland and Joan Jacobsen bought the house from a Lucile Snyder of Great Falls, Montana, so apparently she had purchased it from the Grandsens before that.  I didn’t find that record at the county (I’m sure it’s there.  If you haven’t ever looked at land deeds, they are rather interesting, but you need to know surveyors language to really know what’s going on). They sold some land to Highlands Inc. around 1965.  The Jacobsen’s built a log cabin on Highland Drive and lived there for some time.

The “Ostler” house and adjacent property –with a barn--was then sold to William and Diana Whitten in August 1976.  During the 1980’s, about 1982, the old, original barn blew down or collapsed in a wind storm, and the Whitten’s erected a new barn.

In 1993, the property was bought by the current owners, Don and Gloria Hubbard. They were living in Roy and wanted a more rural environment for their four daughters.  They bought the house and the adjacent 1 ½ acre lot.

The house, according to research that Don Hubbard has done and information people have told him, was built in the Craftsman/Stickley style of homes.  The house is brick, but there is some stucco work on the outside; the original stucco work was done in 1928. Some of the interesting features are the double-brick walls, which is the outside layer of bricks, followed by an inside layer, approximately an inch apart, the two connected with bricks going perpendicularly from the inside layer to the outside. The floor joists have to go into the original brick wall, built in somewhat of a Tudor style. The house has its original oak tongue and groove flooring.

To finish the inside of the house, a separate layer of plaster was put on.  A wood lath frame was erected, about 1 ½ inches wide and ¼ inch thick, and a layer of plaster was put on to seep or adhere into the frame and then the top layer of plaster was applied over that.

Don stated that there are 28 stained glass windows in the house.  They are beautiful when the sun shines through them and add to the charm of the house. They were built with the old method with little lead strips that hold the glass loosely in them.  He says that the down side is that traffic noise will come right in, and it takes some getting used to.

Originally, the house had a coal fired furnace which was converted to gas at a later time.  It has now been replaced by an energy efficient furnace by the current owners.  Don and Gloria have owned the house 19 years now and for 17 of those years, they ran a bed and breakfast known as The Hubbard House.

Prior to and during that time, they did some remodeling of the house:  widening the stairs to the basement and putting in a bathroom and 2 more bedrooms downstairs.  One of those rooms was the original coal room.  They have the framing completed for another bathroom and 2 more bedrooms downstairs.

One of the chores they have accomplished is taking off layers and layers of wall paper and painting the rooms. They have also turned a main floor bedroom into a multi-purpose room.

They retired from the bed and breakfast business May 2011.  The insurance for bed and breakfasts has gotten prohibitive and many companies do not handle that type of insurance anymore.  Don said, too, that the original interpretation of a bed and breakfast was travelers staying in a home and, of course, getting breakfast the next day before they left.  However, the newer meaning is theme rooms and glitzy accommodations.  They said, however, they thoroughly enjoyed their years of giving hospitality to strangers.  His wife loves to cook and they enjoyed meeting new people. 

Two of the more interesting experiences Don remembers were the arrival of two couples who were traveling by bicycle.  One of the couples was from Denver, Colorado, and they were visiting their daughter in Ogden.  They were in their 60’s and had biked all the way from Denver, arriving in a downpour and wearing their all-weather gear.

Another couple was from the Netherlands.  They were biking to different areas in the U.S. When they left the Hubbard’s, they headed to Yellowstone National Park and then on to Montana.

Another sidelight, originally 31 trees surrounded the house.  Don estimates that they were planted in the 1940’s because he counted the tree rings when many had to be removed.   Shortly after they bought the property, the trees were dying from drought and bark beetle infestation.  He and George Pate had to cut down the first 6 trees, hoping to save the others.  But the trees continued to die and had to be removed. Only 3 of the original trees are left.

The Hubbards love the area and the people and say they now feel like they are part of the old guard and feel protective of the extraordinary beauty of Mountain Green.  The house is a landmark and reminds the community of the long and diverse history of the area.  As you drive by, wish this mature lady a happy birthday!