Fairview Museum

When Mitchell and I were first married, funds were tight. We are pretty strict savers so at the end of the day there wasn’t much money for vacations together.  I’m kind of a time value of money person. I have a hard time burning money on things like travel while we’re young. A trip that costs $1,000 seems like a shrug of the shoulders now but if we were to take that same $1K and invest it, it becomes a great deal more with time. You get the idea.

We are really lucky to have family cabins and traditions on both sides so we’ve had a lot of fun vacations together BUT we felt like it was important to still try and establish some fun memories with our own little family, SO we created “Haller Adventures.” About every 6 months or so we take a day (usually Saturday) and leave early in the morning and go somewhere that we’ve never been.  We’ve had some hilarious times going to some strange little non-vacation places but we’ve had a lot of fun “seeing the world” around us at very little cost.

Last fall we went on a Haller Adventure to Spring City, Utah. Spring City is a cool little town with a lot of old history and has become a Mecca for artists and people interested in restoring old buildings.

Spring City Sheep.jpg

On our way down, Jane had a blow out right as we got to a little town before Spring City, called Fairview. One of the locals told us they had a museum so we decided to poke around.  Lo and behold we stumbled on a treasure trove of some incredible art and interior inspiration.


We discovered that Avard Fairview, a prominent sculptor of his day used this building as an art studio. This little forgotten museum now houses the largest collection, of Avard Fairview art, in the world. I’m not sure the history here because the museum guy kept calling him John so I’m not sure if that’s what he went by….? There’s not a lot on the internet about Avard Fairview except that his artwork was incredible. 

Much of his work is commissions from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and the United States government for monuments across the country. 


Please look at this relief sculpture. So beautiful.  I think I love art so much because if it’s good it can grab you and communicate to you in a way that words can’t.


When I first came into the museum and was trying to orient myself I glanced into this room pictured here, filled with Avard Fairview’s work. And it was like “aww.” I was entering sacred ground. Like Avard Fairview was there, somewhere nearby wanting me to feel the way he felt about these people and these events. And I felt it. A reverence for these people that gave so much for me and my family.


Some of the sculptures are almost 10 feet tall. This incredible depiction of Peter, James, and John conferring the priesthood on Joseph Smith was created in 1965 for the world’s fair. In 1995 the original plaster caste had been moved many times and had fallen into disrepair so that it was broken into 200 pieces. The Fairbanks family took on the project together and repaired the plaster cast and that is what is on display in the museum today. I thought that was really cool. 


The other rooms in the museum are filled with small town relics donated over the years by the people of Fairview. I am a big believer in spirit of place - that places hold a feeling according to what has happened there. And that neat quiet little old school house has it.


It tells you a story in the air, of a people that came here and really lived and died. I loved looking into their faces and seeing pieces of their homes and of their hearts and wondering who they were and the legacy they left.


That’s the thing about ordinary people that are good all their lives: Their contribution to the world is unsung but important and often widespread.


I think of my great-grandma Ardella Ottley Davis. She was a very ordinary person by the world’s standards.

I love this picture of her.

I love this picture of her.

She had 4 kids, 36 grandchildren, 102 great-grandchildren and her great-great grandchildren aren’t even counted, but it’s in the hundreds. Her eventual posterity will be thousands. The impact those 102 great-grandchildren are having alone is incalculable, not to mention the generations to come. Just this little old lady who lived on Kenwood street and planted Iris’s in her front yard.  She gave her very best to those four kids and look what became of it? It’s a good reminder about what truly matters in the day to day.

I think the people represented in Fairview were some of the same types of ordinary, extraordinary people.

Spring City.jpg

I love this room so. Look at the furniture and old portraits and flooring. I am on a mission to recreate these antique chairs and sofa. Aren’t they so cool? You never see black velvet on furniture. Super bold and yet they somehow camouflage in with all the loveliness around them. The coffee table. The rug. Everything about this living room situation is my favorite.


The guy at the desk told me to tell my friends about the museum. I told him I would. So this is me making good on my promise. I’m telling all my closest friends on the worldwide web. Go to the Fairview museum. Tell Dale Sara sent you. Just kidding that wasn’t his name but he was very nice.

I hope you get to see what I saw and feel what I felt.