Scout project gives 1890s house facelift
By Linda Petersen
Jan. 25, 2018
MT. PLEASANT—An eyesore on Main Street in Mt. Pleasant has received a facelift thanks to the efforts of a local Boy Scout, Preston Condie, and his Eagle Scout project.
Larry Staker, a Scout leader in Preston’s LDS ward, lives two blocks east of a vacant house (at about 600 W. Main) which in recent years has fallen into disrepair.
“The house was a big eyesore. It’s been that way for years. I just wanted to do something about it,” Staker said.
So when Preston, who was age 14 at the time, was looking for an Eagle project, Staker suggested he fix up the exterior of the old house.
Preston said he chose that particular project because as he goes to Moroni to his orthodontist, he sees a house in similarly bad shape, and it detracts from the image of the whole town.
Staker contacted the owners, Marvin and Kathy Yazzie, who now live in Colorado, for permission to do the project.
The couple initially declined because they didn’t have any money for such an endeavor but agreed when Staker told them any funds needed would be raised by Preston and his Scout troop.
To help out, Staker reached out to Mayor Sandra Bigler. She put him in contact with Monte Bona, executive director of the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area (MPNHA). He agreed to having the MPNHA pay for paint for the project.
In late October of last year, Preston, members of his Scout troop and members of the basketball team at Wasatch Academy where his dad, Curtis Condie, is coach, began the project.
Over the course of a week, they removed the old front porch, which was crumbling. They hauled off the wood, along with several loads of debris from the front and back yards.
They then painted the building, repaired the fence, cleared the yard of weeds and cut down trees and bushes.
“The job was way bigger than I expected it to be. I didn’t expect to have to cut down the trees and to do so much yardwork,” Preston said.
He added, “I feel wonderful now that it’s done, though. Now, people can come to Mt. Pleasant from the west side, from Moroni, and see how great it looks and wonder who lives there.”
The job was made easier thanks to the donation of the use of a paint sprayer by Horseshoe Mountain Hardware.
“That house has the best paint money can buy, so the job is going to last a long time,” Staker said.
Staker has plans to send photos of the finished project to the Yazzies with the suggestion that if they ever sell the property, they donate the amount the paint cost back to the MPNHA.
“I was shocked at how well it turned out with a little help from a whole bunch of people,” Preston’s mother, Wendy Condie, said of the project. “The transformation was amazing.”
She expressed appreciation for everyone who helped make the project happen, especially Bona and Horseshoe Mountain Hardware.
Preston is currently working on the paperwork needed to get his Eagle Scout award.
According to local historian Tudy Standlee, the house was built by Thomas Braby (first wife Eliza Keddington) in the early 1890s for his family.
Braby (1864-1945) was two-time mayor of Mt. Pleasant and served as assistant postmaster for three terms.
The house stayed in the Braby family until 1995 when the Yazzies purchased it.