DUP museum covered in dust, closed for remodeling

Sharon Johnson the director of the DUP museum shows how they covered some of their collection with plastic to prevent construction dust from ruining their historic relics.

LOGAN – The Daughters of Utah Pioneer Museum located in the old Federal Building at 160 North Main St. is getting a major face-lift. Northern Title purchased the old Post Office from the Cache Valley Chamber of Commerce. The title company is going to make the historic building into their corporate office.

Sharon Johnson studies a sign covered with glass that shows the old Post Office on Main Street was once used as a Federal Building.

As a result of the remodel, the space where the museum was located will look more like a museum than a converted courtroom.

Sharon Johnson, the director of the museum, said COVID-19 gave them a chance to take a hard look at what they wanted in the years to come.

They are putting in an entrance to the building on the north side of the building so people can use Federal Avenue to access the museum from there,” she said. “Patrons will also have an elevator to use, making us more ADA compliant as well as a staircase to find us.”

During the remodel, the contractors have uncovered a lot of historical puzzles that have intrigued Johnson. Some of the pieces are revealed and others become questions with no answers yet.

This building was originally built in 1911 and the courthouse was added to the back in 1933,” she said. “The judge’s chambers were just outside of the courtroom and there was a holding cell for prisoners somewhere downstairs.”

The remodel includes cutting through two brick walls in some places. The original brick has a yellow appearance when the addition was added, they rebricked the building using all the same red brick so they could tie it all together and make it look the same.

“It has been interesting to see how the building was used over the years,” Johnson said. “If anyone has any information or photographs of the building I would sure like to know.”

The museum is an asset to the community, she said.

Halie Francis and her husband Spence walk past the Old Post Office on Main Street Tuesday afternoon, The building is gong through some extensive remodeling inside.

“DUP had to pay for all of the upgrades to their space,” she said. “Northern Title is paying for the elevator and some of the things we will both use.”

The group has applied for grants and held fund raisers to help pay for their share of the construction.

“It takes money to run a business and it takes money to run a museum,” she said. “The difference is the museum does not bring in any money.”

The organization will not have enough to paint or finish the floors.

DUP members come from all over the valley and their membership is critical to the DUP’s mission,” Johnson said. “Northern Title is also interested in preserving history and being good neighbors.”

It seems the more construction they do the more issues come to light, but the hope is it will all come together by early fall.

“Andrea McCullough of Milieu Design has been great to work with,” Johnson said.” She is interested in giving the interior of the building a historic look instead of the 70’s look it has now.”

The construction has taken a lot longer than they thought, but they hope in the end it will be worth the wait.

“It will be exciting to have it done,” Johnson said. “We are hoping it will all come together and be great.”

Sharon Johnson the Director of the museum shows where the new elevator will go and the entrance to the museum when it is completed.

Daughters of Utah Pioneers was organized solely for historical, educational, and public purposes and is completely non-political and non-sectarian. They are dedicated to honoring the names and achievements of the men, women, and children who founded Utah.

The organization is known for preservation of historic landmarks and the education of school children and adults about Utah’s pioneers.

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