Manti, Ephraim residents celebrate their ‘collective past’ on Facebook

The old UTOCO gas station on the corner of 100 N and Main Street where Dirks Farmhouse Restaurant now stands. Photo taken around 1948.


Manti, Ephraim residents celebrate their

‘collective past’ on Facebook


By Kristi Shields 

Staff writer



The Manti and Ephraim community has access to a special place to learn stories about their towns’ history and ancestry, and to connect with other families.

It’s a Facebook page called Manti, Ephraim – Families, History, Photos – Sharing our collective past.

It’s where over 3600 members may post various pieces of history of the two towns. They can also find and connect with their relatives.

Susan Petersen Dean, who created the page in May of 2017, wrote in the group page’s bio: “There are so many fun

Photo of Elliott’s Drug Store in 1944. A community member, Eileen Howe, commented that she worked at Elliott’s in 1970-1973. “Carol and Elliott were such wonderful people to work for!”

stories to be shared about our history and families that all have this small westward movement town at the heart of them. I thought it would be fun to have a place, open to the public, to share photos. You’ve probably got a box of old pictures you can scan and share. I know I have. I’ll be adding, but please consider this a Manti (and Sanpete, by extension) history page we can all contribute to and hopefully find other photos of our own families, too. Please invite anyone you know who will enjoy such history, and please POST often, before the stories are forgotten and lost. Thank you all!”

Dean said after her father passed away, she was working her way through the old family photos, history and documents. As she was going through them, she decided to start the page to share her family’s photos and history.

“In a digital world, maintaining community becomes more of a challenge, so it seemed like a good idea to drag the community together, all of us who’ve moved away but are still intimately connected to Sanpete,” she said.

The photos and stories shared consist of old buildings that were first established here in Manti or Ephraim, photos of the residents’ ancestors, and old group photos of citizens and church members.

Susan Dean photographed her great-grandchildren at Palisade in 2016.

Members even post photos of the town currently and from decades ago to compare the difference in looks.

Dean posted about her memories of Palisade. She uploaded a photo of her parents from 1946 and her own great-grandchildren from 2016.

She writes along with the post: “PALISADE memories. We all have them. Childhood, teens. My parents went to a dance out there on their first date, July 20th, 1946 (my mother’s birthday).

“I learned how to swim out there, and to water ski – and also probably to kiss. I got lots of beautiful tans out there; sluffed a lot of school. Great memories in my family for at least six generations or more.”

Members will post photos of their history, seeking help in identifying people in the photos or just to know more about the story behind the photos.

Natalee Christiansen posted a photo that was her Grandmother Otten’s and has not been able to label them. She posted it to get help in identifying the little children in the photo.

Other members of the group simply post historic photos to show people the pioneers that settled here and the ancestry of the towns. Through these posts, people are able to share historic stories with each other about the time that these photos were taken.

Dean said the page is fun because of the shared memories between the community members and seeing photos from other people’s box of photos.

“It’s been fun to stay connected with old friends, and to connect the dots on how we’re related,” Dean added. “Real treasures pop up here. Don’t let them just get passed on until the people and memories of them are all dead, gone, and we lose the history.

Colorized photo of Manti’s Main Street. Original photo by John R. Nielson.