About

Reminiscent of our area’s past heritage and much like a miniature Lion House in Salt Lake City, our communities will now be able to host special events in a beautiful, wholesome and peaceful setting.   

This venue will be a great addition for those in the area who desire to marry in the picturesque Monticello, Utah Temple, as well as those of other faiths, who desire to have their reception or wedding dinner in a peaceful, attractive and antiquated setting.

As part of the National and State Historic registries, A Heritage Event Center offers differing packages for receptions or family reunion celebrations as well as business dinners and other events.  They may include anything from a simple rental of the facility to having an event planner, professional photographer, florist and catering.

The owners envision this event center and vacation rental will bring an added awareness toward preserving the unique Mormon Pioneer heritage, and culture, as well as greater appreciation for the men and women who first settled this area.

Those who are employed at this center will often wear period costume and engage in conversation and story telling that is relevant to the turn of the century.

In keeping with the beliefs of the original owners, no alcohol, tobacco or other addictive substances will be allowed on the premises.

A Heritage Event Center will be closed on Sundays (though guests may stay over at no extra charge on Sunday, yet without maid or meal services provided.)

 


Our Story

Frederick Isaac (more commonly known as F.I.) and Mary Mackleprang Jones built this home in 1896.
It was the first brick home in Monticello and is now on the national and state historical
registries. They waited many years for a home of their own. When they decided to marry, F.I. worked hard to save enough money to build Mary the home of her dreams. The first year after they had made the decision to marry F.I.'s crop failed. They were disheartened but not discouraged. He was determined to work hard and not marry until he could provide a home for his beloved sweetheart and bride to be. They waited until the next year to see if F.I. could earn enough money. The Jones family had an unusually fine crop of early wheat the second year and F.I. and his brother excitedly journeyed from Cedar City, Utah to Pioche, Nevada, selling their wheat for a very good price. When they went to the bank to each get their share of the payment they did not notice the men that were watching them. F.I., excited to return home and share the good news with Mary started home ahead of his brother and he was robbed.  

As you can imagine, this was very disappointing to F.I. and Mary and they decided to postpone their marriage for another year. Time past and F.I. finally acquired enough money to realize their dream of their own home. He was finishing making the brick when the Bishop came by and said that perhaps he should not work so hard any more on their house. He and Mary soon learned the reason why when they received a call from the prophet asking them to help in discovering or forging a route to connect the southwestern portion of the land of "Deseret" to the southeastern. Of the many called to this mission, few accepted, Frederick and Mary being among them.

 
 

Mary said, “Again my dream of a home was shattered…There was land enough at Cedar City so
that if I had had a hundred children a home could have been built for all. Now we must forsake
all this, journey into the wilderness, and live in a log cabin with a dirt floor, instead of the home I
had so longed for!”

At the end of their second year in the Bluff Fort, Mary traveled home to Cedar City on a visit. She records how it was most discouraging for her to note the prosperity of her family and friends who had refused to accept the call from the Lord to sacrifice to extend the borders of His kingdom upon this earth. It took great faith to travel into the unknown wilderness – much like faithful missionaries do today. They enjoyed all the comforts of life while grandma was living in a log cabin with a dirt floor and a leaky mud roof. They had beautifully fashioned furniture, tables and chairs, while grandma Mary’s were hewn from logs. They had comfortable beds with springs. Grandma slept on corn husks. And they had lace curtains while grandma and grandpa hardly had windows. Their family and friends fruit trees were bearing beautiful fruit while their’s were often washed away by the high waters of the muddy red San Juan river.

From the Bluff Fort settlement, there were families called again to start a new settlement beneath the beautiful Blue mountains. F.I. and Mary answered yet another call to forge onward. Grandpa was the first to complete a log cabin and Grandma was the first among the women to reach the area in May of 1878. Grandpa Jones was made the presiding elder and three years later was set apart as Bishop, serving in that office for twenty-five years. The Relief Society in Monticello was also organized, Mary acting as president which office she held until 1911.

“Ten or eleven years after settling in Monticello, the dream so long in my heart came true.” Mary writes, “My husband built me a fine, two-story brick home in town!” Grandpa was particular in his building – even a perfectionist. When the lath and plaster was removed it was plain to see that his labor was a work of art. Not only were F.I. and Mary were thrilled, but the entire community rejoiced with them, for now they all had a beautiful place to hold their special holidays and celebrate their sacred marriage, home and family events.

Though grandma Mary became blind and could not read or sew and could only feel her way about the house with a cane, she still got her own meals, and waited upon herself as best as she could, refusing to leave the brick house her husband had lovingly built for her and to live with any of their adult children. She had longed for and waited for this house for too many years that she wished to enjoy it to the very end of her life. When she needed help she would put a white tea towel, most likely made from a Cortez Bluebird flour sack on the wild rose bush in the front yard. The children, coming home from school would see the towel and race home to tell their parents that grandma needed help.

Years ago, President Gordon B. Hinckley invited the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to preserve their pioneer heritage. Answering that call Frederick and Mary’s great grandson, Norman [Sandy] Nielson acquired this home. He and his wife Mary, pondered upon what the Lord, and great, (great) Grandma and Grandpa would have them do with it.

The idea was settled upon to restore this lovely home and make it into a miniature “Lion House” – a place that could serve those who honor marriage, home and family and remind all who enter of the joys of keeping sacred covenants that provide for loving and peaceful family living. It has taken many years of planning, sacrifice and hard work to make this vision become a reality for this community and the surrounding areas. Much opposition and adversity had to be overcome. Yet, that is not much different from great- great-grandpa and grandma Jones. They forged their living from this raw and rugged earth and left this place better than they found it. We desire to honor them and all of those who have gone before us, turning our hearts to them for all they have suffered for turning their hearts to us. We hope all who visit here will be willing to follow in their footsteps.

It is hoped that this picturesque pioneer setting will serve as an extension to the temple and that many beautiful experiences and memories will be made and recorded here. It is hoped that the community will join together to preserve this unique property as a place for reflection. We desire all who come here to take time to ponder upon the sacrifices required of those who have gone before us, likening them to our own. May we learn from the past, live in the present and prepare for our future as the current modern day prophet, President Monson has invited us to do. 

This should give all of us hope - hope that things will all work out. 

Our family hopes that this lovely home will be used to preserve the heritage of the people of this land. We hope that this will remain a place of beauty and peace, a place to celebrate all that is good about life.

We hope that as grandma and grandpa Jones look down on those who visit here they will be pleased that this community honors the many sacrifices of our pioneering heritage that so many made on our behalf. 

We hope they are happy with what we have done with their lovely home and that they are happy to see the lace curtains at their windows.