WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY (Washington County, Utah)
CERTIFICATE OF COMMENDATION (April, 2007)
to Bruce Jenson and Louis Sylvester along with their architects Bill McMurrin and Ray Gardner
for the restoration of the historic Samuel Miles Home
Bruce Jenson and Louis Sylvester along with their architects Bill McMurrin
and Ray Gardner are recognized for the restoration of the historic
Samuel Miles Home at 306 South Main St. in St. George.
Most people in Dixie drive down St. George's Main Street. When they reach Third South, they see a handsome, small pioneer home at 306 South Main Steet, on the southwest corner. It is noticable, partly because later owners have build an addition next to it that is the same size and shape as the original. The two buildings are linked by a connecting structure.
This building was originally built by Samuel and Hannah Miles and their family between 1865 and 1869, not long after St. George was founded. The Miles family reportedly made the adobes right on the site. They initially lived in a tent on the lot and then moved into a leanto adjacent to the building while they finished the small, two-story home.
That adobe building has survived for 140 years and has seen many families raised there. Recently two successive owners have undertaken to restore it to its original historical authenticity. In 1993 Bruce Jenson purchased the home from Marie Bee. He knew that Bill McMurrin had some experience in historical restoration because architect McMurrin had helped Mark and Barbara Greene with their many efforts at Greene Gate Village. Bill studied the building and presented Jenson with some drawings. They undertook the project. One of the elements was that they replaced the interior staircase to its original spot. They tried to do everyting historically correct.
Late in 1998 Louis Sylvester purchased the home. He needed more room but he did not want to intrude on the original structure. He had another building designed to be a close match to the original one and located it a few feet west of the Miles home on Third South. Ray Gardner of Cedar City did that design, including a connecting building that made it possible to use both buildings as one residence. The new building is built of wood, not adobe, but the exterior finish is the same as the Miles home. The careful design has resulted in a fine preservation of the original building and a matching one that honors the original. It is one of the best possible adaptations of a pioneer home.
The Washington County Historical Society applauds the work of Bruce Jenson and Louis Sylvester and their architects Bill McMurrin and Ray Gardner. The whole community is enhanced by their contribution and respectful restoration of a fine pioneer home. All citizens are invited to notice it, right there on Main Street.