By Becky Ginos Davis Clipper – | Jun 6, 2019
KAYSVILLE — For many years residents have donated a variety of things to the city. City Recorder Linda Ross has been collecting and storing these items, many of them in the old Kaysville Library. Now those historical artifacts have been turned over to the Kaysville-Fruit Heights Museum of History and Art (KFHMha) for safekeeping. “An independent committee formed to preserve history,” said Mayor Katie Witt. “They’ll catalog all the items saved by the city. The city council is gifting these things to the committee for safe keeping with the stipulation that they would be returned if it was disbanded, etc. It’s called the Linda Ross collection and we’re signing the paperwork to hand it over.” The collection was previously stored in the LeConte Stewart Art Gallery at the Old Rock Building. At one time the building served as city hall and more recently as the Kaysville Library. It is recognized as a state historical building and has been nominated to receive a national historical designation. KFHMha is looking for a museum space and is considering the historical building as an option. “We’ve been trying to decide what we are going to do with the old library,” said Witt. “We had thought we might use it for additional office space but in 2017 we discovered there was mold and that it was not structurally sound. So they halted work at that time.” Last year, the city asked for public input on what to do with it, Witt said. “The city decided it was not financially a great idea to renovate it and decided to shift gears and renovate this building (current city hall). The committee can fundraise to renovate the old library building and the city would lease it to them very inexpensively.” With the renovation taking place in the current building there will be room for some display cabinets, she said. “It spurred a lot of people who are passionate about the history of Kaysville/Fruit Heights to come together and formalize a wish for a museum. A lot of people ask us about the LeConte Stewart Gallery. That is stored in a vault at Zions Bank so it’s in a safe place. We’re not donating those.
Photo by Becky Ginos
Mayor Katie Witt shows a section of wall filled with mold at the old Kaysville Library Building.
While KFHMha is trying to raise funds to either restore the Old Rock Building or find another museum space they will start digitizing the artifacts to be viewed in a virtual museum. “We want to do that so they’re not just sitting,” said Cricket Longaker, public relations specialist for KFHMha. “We’re also taking digital photos from the public and all the elementary schools and recording people for an oral history to get insight on Kaysville and Fruit Heights. We don’t want to just focus on the past but also incorporate new residents as well.” “We’re supportive of the committee and won’t tear down the old library,” Witt said. “It’s salvageable but it would take $2 to $3 million. Rather than do that and renovations on the current building we decided to concentrate on one site. We’ve been deliberately slow to action on what to do with the old library. People have strong feelings about it because they spent many happy days there.” Witt said the old building could accommodate a museum and meeting rooms for scout groups or other events. “Our dream would be a café/restaurant that would draw people back downtown again.” For more information about museum visit www.kaysvillefruitheightsmuseum.com.