Contents

My Grandfather, Stemboat Olsen

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Title Saga of the Sanpitch Vol 27
Subject Pioneers
Description Stories and poems about early Southern Utah Pioneers
Publisher Snow College
Date 1995
Type Text
Format image/jpeg
Language eng
Rights Management Snow College
Holding Institution Snow College
ARK ark:/87278/s60863fm
Setname snowc_sts
Date Created 2005-03-01
Date Modified 2005-03-01
ID 326335
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s60863fm

Page Metadata

Title My Grandfather, Stemboat Olsen
Description From the time he arrived in Sanpete, his career and interests were focused primarily on his carpenter shop next door to his home It was a large two-story clapboard structure with a store-front facade Here he initially operated a furniture manufacturing business, but he gradually convened it into a specialty shop for the construction of burial caskets and hearses His records show that he sold children's caskets for seven dollars and adult caskets from thirteen to forty-seven fifty His hearses were sold for five hundred to eight hundred dollars (5) (6) A large room on the main floor housed several long wooden work-benches and an incredible range of wood-working tools, from five-feet-long hand planes to foot-powered routers and jigsaws, plus an intimidating array of draw-knives, chisels, saws, sanders, shapers and vises When I first visited this shop at about the age of four, it was being used by a non-English-speaking Danish carpenter whom we knew simply as"the old man " The only two things I knew about him for sure were that he knew how to produce shavings and sawdust that had an incredible fresh wood fragrance and that he didn't like small children under foot while he worked The word he most commonly addressed to us kids was "skat." The cavernous room over the shop was used to display his caskets on a series of stepped racks They were made of wood selected for the beauty of the grain and were built in a variety of of sizes and shapes They were displayed along with samples of linings available in plush, velvet and satin A small room near the front of the building beyond the casket display was convened into a summer bedroom for my brother and me when 1 was seven or eight years old We slept there for al least ten seasons, but 1 never became completely comfortable walking past those rows of caskets at bedtime The worst part of it. though, was that in the still of the night they creaked A large enclosed shed adjacent to the shop housed one of Grandfather's beautiful white hearses It was glass-enclosed with white satin drapery and tasseled velvet cords It featured burnished brass kerosene lamps and hand-carved fluted corner posts ornamented with gold leaf The driver's seat in front was like a upholstered open-air throne A favorite possession of mother's was one of the many gold medals Grandfather had won for "Best Hearse" in competition at the State Fair He held patents on many of the design features of his carriages As children we were free to play in and around the hearse, and Grandfather left a plush-lined display casket inside This provided the setting for my brother. Ted. to call me into the hearse one evening at dusk to see what had happened to our visiting cousin, Beth After we had crawled in beside the casket he solemnly and slowly opened the lid 10 reveal our cousin with powdered face and hands as quiet and pale as death My heart skipped a beat before he began to laugh and the "corpse" came to life 19
Format image/jpeg
Identifier 029_My Grandfather, Stemboat Olsen.jpg
Source Saga of the Sanpitch 27
Setname snowc_sts
Date Created 2005-02-23
Date Modified 2005-02-23
ID 326285
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s60863fm/326285