WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY (Washington County, Utah)
LOCATION85 S. Main Street
37° 10' 31" North, 113° 17' 13" West
Begin southwest corner of Lot 2, Block 19, Plat A, Hurricane townsite survey: N 76.5 ft; E 221 ft; S 76.5 ft; W 221 ft to Begin. Cont. 0.39 acres.
HISTORYBuilt in 1906-08, the Bradshaw House/Hotel is significant for its role in the settlement and early community life of Hurricane, Utah. It was the first permanent house built in the town, which was established soon after the Hurricane Canal (National Register) was completed to bring water to this previously dry benchland. In addition to its use as the Bradshaw family residence, the house served as the first school in the town, as a place for Sunday school, and for a variety of other public gatherings. The Bradshaws also operated it as a boarding house and hotel, the first in the community. It was one of the few hotels in the town and one of the longest-lived, operating for over 25 years.
Ira E. and Marion Hinton Bradshaw started construction of this house in early 1906 and had it sufficiently completed by the end of the summer for the family to move in. According to family and local histories, it was the first permanent house built in the new community of Hurricane. As such it served a variety of community purposes since it was the largest building in town. The northwest room, though at first unfinished, served as the town's first school, as a Sunday school room, and for other public gatherings. These activities were eventually shifted to other buildings as the town developed. These included a social hall (1908), a church (1907-08), and a school (1917).
Completion of the Hurricane Canal in 1904 opened up the Hurricane Bench for agriculture and instigated the formation of the town. Residents of neighboring communities first began constructing the canal in 1893. They continued under adverse conditions for nine years. By then only a few of the original canal stockholders still had faith to remain with the project. One of them was Ira Bradshaw, who served as president of the Hurricane Canal Company from 1901 to 1907. The group contacted the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) in Salt Lake City requesting assistance with their project. The church had directed the establishment of over 300 communities in Utah from 1847 to the late 1880s, so assisting with settlement efforts was not new. At this time, however, the church was no longer actively colonizing in Utah. The effort to build the canal and establish the town of Hurricane was a private venture. The church's decision to invest $5,000 in the project demonstrates the leaders' willingness to assist with community-building, though in a more business-like fashion than it had in the nineteenth century. Without the infusion of cash generated by the church's purchase of stock, the company may not have completed the canal.
Settlement of the town of Hurricane began soon after the canal was completed. Stockholders drew lots to determine their parcels in the new townsite. The town was laid out in five-acre blocks divided into four lots. Twenty-acre farm sites south of town were divided in the same manner. Many of the early settlers built cellars or granaries that could serve temporarily as homes and later be used as auxiliary structures. Only one of those granaries is extant: the George H. and Annie C. Isom granary located at 274 W. 100 North, where it was moved in 1945.
Ira Bradshaw's house is credited as the first permanent home in the town. Others were apparently built at approximately the same time. A Washington County News article from January 1908 noted that, "Lewis Campbell is finishing off the Ira Bradshaw house. It will soon be ready for the painter. Jesse Lemmon expects to have his house painted soon. Jesse Demill's house is almost completed." Though Bradshaw's house was not completed until 1908, it was, according to numerous local sources, being used in an unfinished condition as early as the fall of 1906. Of the three houses mentioned in the article only the Bradshaw house remains standing.
Both Ira and Marion Bradshaw were lifelong residents of southern Utah. They were married in 1883 and had five children. They made their home in Virgin until moving to Hurricane after the canal was completed. Ira held a variety of jobs, including farmer, canal worker, and hotel operator. He served six years as president of the Hurricane Canal Company and twenty years as a member of the school board.
In addition to its community uses, the house also functioned as a hotel. Marion Bradshaw was an industrious homemaker and managed to accommodate traveling salesmen, known as "drummers," and other travelers in the house. She also boarded teachers. From 1910 to 1923 the house became known as the Bradshaw Hotel. A c.1912 photograph shows the house, complete with a balustraded front porch and a "Bradshaw Hotel" sign over the front window. Thus it was the first hotel in the town of Hurricane. In 1917, The Hotel Monthly magazine gave a description of the clean rooms and sumptuous meals at the "little Bradshaw Hotel." After Marion Bradshaw's death in 1924, a daughter and son-in-law, "Mack" and Juanita Bradshaw Naegle, helped run the hotel and take care of the family still at home. Ira Bradshaw transferred title to the property to Juanita in 1929. Mack and Juanita decided to construct a new hotel just to the north. They operated that hotel only from 1930 until 1932. The economic decline brought on by the Depression forced them to close it down. They resumed taking boarders in the old home as before. Soon after Ira Bradshaw 1 s death in 1934, the loan company that held title to the property sold it, forcing the family to close down the hotel and move.
Other owners since 1942 were: the J. H. Ridings, the Golden Taylors, the Kenneth Gublers and Leah C. Adams and Miriam L. Cochran. The last two (who were joint owners) sold the property to Washington County in 1976. In June of 1989, Washington County leased the property to the City of Hurricane, who then leased it to the Hurricane Heritage Park Foundation in July of 1989. It is leased for a 25 year period, for a $100 per year lease with an option to renew. The foundation is in the process of the rehabilitating the hotel.
The Bradshaw House/Hotel, completed in 1908, is a one and one-half story, Victorian Eclectic style house with a cross-wing plan. It has a stone foundation and frame walls with 1" x 8" drop siding exterior. Additions to the house include a c.1912 front porch and a 1922 one-story, hipped-roof section on the north side. These were constructed within the historic period and are compatible with the original house. The current rehabilitation of the house has involved a variety of repairs and minor changes, most of which enhance, rather than detract from, the historic integrity of the house.
The house has a total of 1,610 square feet on the main floor, approximately 400 of which are in the 1922 addition, and approximately 630 square feet on the second floor. There is also a partial basement or fruit cellar beneath the eastern portion of the house. It has sandstone walls and is accessed from an outside stairway. Those stairs were possibly concreted in 1922 when the addition was built on the north (which has a concrete foundation). At that time the stone foundation of the original house may have been covered over with concrete. The interior of the house has been modified some over the years and is currently in a state of partial rehabilitation. The gable ends, sheathed in fish-scale and diamond-pattern shingles, exhibit most of the decorative features on the exterior of the house. There are original dormer windows at the east and north slopes of the roof.
As part of the current rehabilitation, asbestos siding was removed from the exterior walls, exposing the original wood siding beneath, and new asphalt shingles were installed on the roof. New windows have been installed to replace the windows that were removed a few years ago when the house was slated for demolition. The new windows have more muntin divisions than the original two-over-two windows seen in historic photographs, but they are of the same overall dimensions. Overall, they do not seriously compromise the historic integrity of the house.
Put on the National Register of Historic Places (#1991001443) on September 26, 1991.
BIOGRAPHYIra E. & Marion Hinton Bradshaw TBD.
From the J. L. Crawford Collection (1910)
Front looking eastsoutheast (May 1991)
Southwest corner looking northeast (May 1991)
Other photos on the web:
Photos from the National Register of Historic Places nomination form
REFERENCESPoster from the Hurricane Pioneer Museum
National Register of Historic Places, Inventory - Nomination Form