Son­sofU­tahPioneer­schap­ter re­or­ga­nized­inSpringville

Serve Daily - - BUILDING COMMUNITY - By Don Olsen

On Sept. 8, the newly com­mis­sioned Springville Chap­ter of the Sons of Utah Pi­o­neers met to re­or­ga­nize the chap­ter. Jake Smith was elected pres­i­dent, Don Olsen as vice pres­i­dent and Ja­cob Maughan as sec­re­tary. The orig­i­nal Springville chap­ter was or­ga­nized in 1935. The pur­pose of the chap­ter is to not only memo­ri­al­ize and com­mem­o­rate the her­itage of early Utah pi­o­neers but also to keep pioneer-era skills and ca­pa­bil­i­ties alive.

“We want to be liv­ing, breath­ing his­tory. We want to help peo­ple con­nect with the past by do­ing the very things, and prac­tic­ing the same skills, that our pioneer for­bear­ers knew and prac­ticed ev­ery day,” Maughan said. When asked about his vi­sion for the newly re-or­ga­nized chap­ter, Smith said: “There are el­e­ments of the past that can only re­ally be com­mu­ni­cated through talks or lec­tures or pre­sen­ta­tions of some kind. So those things are al­ways go­ing to be an im­por­tant part of what we do. But we think there is also an op­por­tu­nity for our mem­bers and their fam­i­lies to con­nect to the pioneer her­itage in a deep way through ex­pe­ri­en­tial learn­ing. In some ways, it is sim­i­lar to the ex­pe­ri­ence of go­ing on a pioneer trek. Walk­ing through the sage­brush and sleep­ing on the ground gives a con­text for the life and ex­pe­ri­ences of th­ese pi­o­neers that is hard to get with­out liv­ing it. Sim­i­larly, learn­ing to cook or con­struct or farm the way th­ese peo­ple did con­nects you to their ev­ery­day ex­pe­ri­ence and con­nects you to them in a real, tac­tile kind of way.”

Fu­ture chap­ter meet­ings will in­clude train­ing on Dutch oven cook­ing, black­smithing, wood­work­ing skills and pioneer-era con­struc­tion tech­niques along with pre­sen­ta­tions re­gard­ing Springville area pi­o­neers.

Chap­ter mem­ber Doug Holm com­mented on the value of study­ing pioneer-era men and women. “They ac­com­plished some­thing truly ex­tra­or­di­nary. There were so many odds against them and chal­lenges they faced. We’ve be­come fa­mil­iar with a lim­ited num­ber of well-known pi­o­neers, but I think learn­ing some of the lesser-known sto­ries about rank-and-file pi­o­neers who over­came enor­mous odds helps us in the here and now over­come mod­ern chal­lenges.”

The Springville Chap­ter of Sons of Utah Pi­o­neers meets on the sec­ond Thurs­day of the month at 7 p.m. For more in­for­ma­tion on the Springville Sons of Utah Pi­o­neers, visit the group’s Face­book page or call Jake Smith at 801-885-7244.

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