In February 2014, Nate and Rebecca Christensen purchased an old abandoned house in Manti. The property sat vacant for about twenty years on its original 1.06 acres. The prior owner, Donald Mackey, lived into his late nineties. The home was retained by his daughter who refused multiple offers from others who wanted to buy the home to tear it down.
Beneath the pink vinyl siding and under multiple layers of paneling was a forgotten gem. The original fireplace has a date stamp on the Oolite rock mantle with the inscription May 1851 making this one of the oldest homes in Manti.
The front door had been bricked over, then cover with stucco and hidden for over 90 years. The original rock portion of the home has been covered for at least the same amount of time. Most likely no one living has seen the rock on this home, until now.
On the exterior, the rock has been cleaned and repointed, but the work on the interior is what couldn’t be called less than a total transformation. The ceilings in the dining room, living room, and bedroom have all been restored to their original height and all the windows had to be replaced, having been ruined by vandals. Two doorways in the master bedroom were uncovered in the Master Bedroom, revealing two original exterior doors to the home that are now being functionally used. The downstairs bathroom, a later addition to the home, yet historic in its own right, retains its original depression era tile work.
Mechanical and structural improvements were necessary throughout the house and a porch was added to the rear of the home. An old lean-to garage built in the 1960’s was removed to show off more of the newly exposed Oolite stone.
The original fireplace now sits in its dignified setting in the living room-the center piece of a rediscovered historic jewel that will now tell its story to many passersby for another 163 years.