The Peteetneet Museum has been very fortunate to have a number of local gentlemen volunteer their time at Peteetneet. One of them, Ivan Haskell, volunteers three hours each Friday afternoon as a Tour Guide.
Since Ivan is an accomplished author of numerous books of local historical information, we will let him tell his own story this week.
“To me, Peteetneet is a hallowed memory, a journey f life! I went to school here in 1938. I put many miles on my roller skates on the front sidewalk going back and forth from the road to the building.
It was an exciting time in my life, going to school and learning the alphabe, spelling and read. Then there were numbers, then arithmetic and writing, the solar system, and of course, recess. I was the Peteetneet artist until third grade.
It was a great happening if the Orem electric train happened to be starting a journy to Salt Lake City. Everyone rand to the fence by the cut north of the building to watch the train pass by. We were taught the various outdoor games; softball, baseball, basketball, marble games, football, skiing and sleigh riding on the hill in the winter. Never to be forgotten was the competition with Taylor School.
I passed the monthly show bills for the old Star Theater for an extended period of time. This was a great experience because I was given a pass to see all the movies as many times as I wanted during the month.
I have the distinction of having the only Grand Champion Quarter mare at the Utah State Fair in 1965. I was a charter member of the Wakara Riding Club. I also raised and showed Polled Herefords. One of my heifers was the Reserve Champion at the Utah State Fair in 2000.
A grand, noble building is Peteetneet. It is a building that initially began construction in 1897 and was completed in 1901. It taught our family members for more than eighty years. It is a building that is now considered “Payson’s Identity.”
Payson had three outstanding features that it was known for: (1) the Nebo Stake Tabernacle, which originally served, Lake Shore, Benjamin, Salem, Spring Lake, Santaquin, Genola, Spanish Fork, Genola, Goshen, Payson and Eureka.; (2) the Payson Race Track, which was a drawing card of horse racing throughout the state and attracted many to the grandstand to watch the races. They were held at various times during the year including the Labor Day weeked. and (3) the Peteetneet, a grand old building that served as a school and gave a foundation to many people in the area.
Two of these identities are now only memories, razed, because someone want the change and felt they were no longer viable to the community. Peteetneet too, was on the chopping block, but a group of people rose up and formed a groupd called “People Preserving Peteetneet.” This group, through hard work and effort turned the run-down building into the beautiful facility we see here today.
The musem and culural arts center house items as ancient as 2500 B.C., but most are from the 19th and 20th centuries that covers the pioneer period to current times. Changes have take place, ingenuity was used, improvments have been made that can be seen in this building. History is here for all to see, learn from, and contribute to a person’s education.
We are getting stagnant when we don’t make the effort to take advantage of these opportunities. I might mention, there is no cost to tour the museum, it is free. The museum is a 501(c)c tax exempt facility. That means that all donations are tax deductible. There is a container located in the main hall where donations can be made if you feel the desire to help cover the cost of operating the building.”
Ivan has been a volunteer at Peteetneet for many years. He has served as vice-president of the Payson Historical Society and the historian. Is is continually researching and writing to record local and family histories. He has completed several historical books. The following books are some of his work: Payson Pioneers–Volume 1, 2 and 3; The Haskells for 400 Years; and Life and Times of Ivan. I also completed a book on the Payson City Council meetings that convered almost 70 years. He is also the author of a number of pamphlets.
Be sure and stop by the museum and get acquainted with this man who is a storehouse of Payson history and other historical information.