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DUP’s Sagwich Camp works to preserve Paradise history

September 14th, 2013 Posted in Arts and Life

Story and photo by Christopher Farnes

PARADISE – Behind the Cracker Barrel restaurant sits the old Paradise Tithing Office, which is now used as the Sagwich Camp Museum, one of the museums run by the Daughters of Utah Pioneers. The Sagwich Camp Museum has been giving tours to the public since 1976 when it was first turned into a museum.

The building housing the Sagwich Camp, Daughters of Utah Pioneers museum in Paradise, was originally used as a church tithing office. Photo by Christopher Farnes.

“We’re proud of our little museum,” said Sandra Sorensen, one of the curators. “We usually give tours to people who set appointments as well as local Boy Scouts, church groups and third-graders who come here for a Heritage Day at the park just behind the museum.”

Tours are open to the public and can be set up Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. In addition to scheduled tours, the museum is open all day each Memorial Day and during Trout and Berry Days, the city celebration.

“We get people from all over the place,” Sorensen said. “We get people from all over Utah and Idaho and I even gave a tour to a couple of gentlemen from Alaska who came to Paradise to see where their mother grew up.”

The museum displays artifacts from more than a hundred years in Paradise’s history. Artifacts include items that belonged to Chief Sagwich’s Shoshone tribe and the Mormon pioneers who settled in Cache Valley.

“All of the items in the museum have been donated to us, mostly from residents of Paradise and the surrounding towns,” Sorensen said. “This teakettle here came across the plains. It can whistle but it can’t talk, but if it could I’m sure it would have some great stories to tell.”

Each item in the museum is property of the DUP. The DUP has 82 museums throughout Utah, and helps to oversee and maintain the museum.

“About 10 to 15 years ago we had substantial water damage to the building and it was flooded in the basement, and the DUP threatened to move our items to the Logan museum if we didn’t fix it,” Sorensen said. “But through bake and quilt sales we were able to make the repairs to the building as well as replace things like the carpet, curtains and the windows.”

The museum is located at 8970 S. 200 West in Paradise. It sits across from the other historical sites in Paradise —  the David James house and the old post office and grocery store — which can also be toured.

Tours of the museum are set up by appointment by contacting one of the three curators or Brandy Ensign, who is captain of the museum.

“We are happy to open our doors to anyone who wants to learn more about the history of Cache Valley,” Ensign said. “We are doing our best to preserve the history of this amazing place and love to share it with anyone who will listen.”


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