Memories of The Farm – Effie’s Cupboard & Washing Machine

with No Comments

Heber & Effie Murdock my grandparents Taken from Memories Of The Farm Heber, Utah 1916-1930. My dad John H. Murdock recalls:

“it was a real neat cupboard, stained a brown colored wood.  It had kind of a roll top deal and it had where this kind of a thing came down and kept the flour in there and like a sieve in the bottom of it and you could turn that thing and the flour would come down into your pan you was cooking in that there cupboard was something different.


The washing machine had what they called a reservoir. It had to be pushed back in the bedroom so you could get in and out.  This old washer had a copper bottom to it and I liked to watch it, it had an arm that moved back and forth you know on the motor and this here thing had a rack and pinion gear in the center and as that thing would go back and forth it had ringers on it too, it was an old Maytag, it was a good washer for it’s day, hell Mother had that when they moved into town, she used it for years.”

Memories of The Farm – Cooking

with No Comments

Heber & Effie Murdock my grandparents -Taken from Memories of the farm in Heber, Utah 1916-1930 My dad John Murdock  recalls:

“Mother would make a cake every chance she got.  Some of them she covered with coconut.  It was a yellow cake inside and nice frosting.  She used straight cream for everything.  We had cream.  She would make her homemade bread and we’d dip it in the cream and sprinkle sugar on it and I’d go around eating that, it sure tasted good.”


Memories of the Farm – No Cash

with No Comments

Heber & Effie  Murdock, my grandparents – Taken from Memories of the  Farm in Heber, Utah 1916-1930 –  Uncle Mort Murdock’s recollection about Money:

“Things were pretty rough, there was never any ready cash.  We ate like kings, but no cash.  Dad would take his wheat and hay and that to the exchange and what they’d do is they had this little book and they’d say you tear out you know, it equaled so many dollars and cents, just like a little book, you would hand that to the clerk and he’d tear it out and you had to take it the the Exchange, that’s how the exchange got it’s name.  This was known as the Heber Mercantile. “

Heber Merchantile 1941
                Heber Mercantile 1941

Davis Drive In

with No Comments

Davis Drive Inn

Davis Drive In 1334 North Main, Layton, Utah (area currently Kohl’s Department Store)

Article – Deseret News November 28, 2015

Remembering the Davis Drive-In

If you lived in the Mala, Green Leaf or other Layton subdivisions just west of I-15, it was common 25 or more years ago after dusk to hear faint, almost ghost-like conversations outside, or through the window. That was one of the effects of the former Davis Drive-In movie theater, as the soundtrack noise fanned out.

Today the theater is gone, having had almost a 50-year-run, but going the way of many such outdoor theaters. Modern audiences favor the air-conditioned indoor theaters. Kohl’s Department store and other modern development now sits where the drive-in used to be.

The Davis Drive-In had opened in 1945, as World War II had just ended. It was the only drive-in found in north Davis County.

Charlie McElyea, Layton, had worked as a part or full-time employee at the Davis Drive-In for some 35 years, including 25 years as the manager. Back in its early years, the drive-in was the only business around, with open fields everywhere, McElyea once told the Deseret News.

Another Layton resident, the late Gail Strasburg, also worked many years in his youth at the Davis Drive-In. He once said he really enjoyed working there and that it was a tradition for many area families to go there – not just for the movies, but to be out in the evening air, socialize and be much more active/loud than indoor theater goers can be today.

In March 1958 the Davis Drive-In was the first theater bought by Tony Rudman, Sr., who later helped found the Trolley Theatres and Westates Theatres chains.

Two months after his father bought the Davis Drive-In, Tony Rudman Jr. was born.  As a boy, TJ’s job was to patrol the drive-in.  “Sneaky teens clambering out of car trunks would freeze in the beam from Tony’s flashlight,” Tony Rudman, Jr. recalled.

On the Fourth of July the Rudmans would also entertain audiences at the Davis Drive-In with fireworks. “We’d shoot ’em into an alfalfa field,” Tony Rudman, Jr. said. “We’d always set it on fire, and always had the fire department there to put it out. It was a great way to grow up.”

The prime years from the Davis Drive-In were probably from 1968-1980. During that 12-year span, Layton City didn’t have an indoor theater – the Davis Drive-In was supreme.

Soon the Davis Drive-In was located just across I-15 from the popular Layton Hills Mall, which opened in 1980 and also included an adjacent indoor move theater. That nearby movie complex expanded even more in 1990.

“Drive-ins are just a thing of the past,” McElyea had told the Deseret News. “Indoor movie attendance, dollar houses and videos are raising heck … Drive-ins are a lot more expensive to operate.”

The advent of video rentals in the 1980s also put pressure on Drive-In attendance.

While indoor theaters could gain considerable profit from selling concessions, there’s no way to stop drive-in patrons from bringing in their own food at a drive-in. In fact, that uniqueness became the trademark of a drive-in.

The Davis Drive-In used old carbon-type projectors, that would one day be very expensive to replace.  A theater’s movie rentals also became particularly expensive. By the late 1980s, theaters had to turn over about 80 percent of their gate profits back to the movie distributors on first-run movies. For second-run flicks, the figure was 50 percent, but such films attracted a lot fewer patrons.

In the 1950s, McElyea had said he could rent a new movie for only $150 a week. Vandalism and theft also plagued drive-ins — a stolen or broken car speaker costs more than $30 to replace.

The Davis Drive-In employed as many as 16 people in its heyday, with two screens, with a capacity of 800 to 900 cars each.

Some drive-ins started having expanded operations to include weekly swap meets, in order to make ends meet – and that was briefly tried at the Davis Drive-In. However, it didn’t work well and was not financially practical.

In the spring of 1991 the Davis Drive-In opened for its final season.  Believing that the 23-acre site was worth more as prime commercial property than as a drive-in, the Rudmans put the theater up for sale. In November of 1992 developers demolished the Davis Drive-In to make the site more attractive to a potential buyer.

However, Kohl’s didn’t open until 2004 on the former drive-in’s site. Today, the Motor-Vu Drive-In in Riverdale, some 9 miles distant is the closest outdoor theater to Layton. Only a handful of drive-ins remain in Utah today.

SOURCES: Deseret News Archives, personal interviews.

Davis Drive in Aerial View 2

Aerial View of Davis Drive In

The First Movies shown at Davis Drive In April 21, 1950

“Relentless & The Swordsman”

Relentless Starring Robert Young
Relentless Starring Robert Young

Stewarts Gift Shop

with No Comments

LeConte and Zipporah Layton Stewart opened the business “Stewarts Gift Shop” in 1941 as a place to sell his paintings. LeConte, who was essentially orphaned by the time he was a teenager, worked his way up to be a nationally known landscape artist and head of the art department at the University Of Utah.

Zipporah, granddaughter of Layton settler Christopher Layton, also wanted to put her knowledge as a graduate of the newly opened LDS Business College in Salt Lake to good use.  She was a very major player in the opening and running of the gift shop.  It was the combined passion of LeConte and Zipporah.

Initially the store was housed in a building north of the Kaysville Theatre, at 14 North Main. In the early 1950’s a new building was built at 149 N. Main.  They continued business there, the familiar black tile front. Besides LeConte’s paintings the shop had specialty items.  Girl’s growing up in Kaysville in the 1950’s and 60’s all wanted one of the coveted Madame Alexander Dolls on display.  As these same girls put their dolls away and dreamed of walking down the aisle with Prince Charming, Stewart’s Gift Shop was THE place to pick out the best china and silverware patterns.

John, LeConte and Zipporah’s son, bought the shop from his father in 1970 because he wanted to keep it in the family.  Shirley, his wife, was initially working full time and only worked in the shop as a favor to her husband.  But then she grew to love it.  In 2007 Shirley, had a vision of an even bigger and better gift shop. They tore the old familiar store down, and built a brand new “Stewart’s Gift Shop” a little farther north at 151 N Main.

After 70 years in business, June 2011 “Stewart’s Gift Shop” closed it’s doors.  Now it will be a memory of the two couples who worked so hard to make it grow and generations of shoppers that will always have memories of the small, but upscale gift shop.

Stewarts Gift Shop in 1950
Stewarts Gift Shop 1950’s











Inside Stewarts Gift Shop
              Inside Stewarts Gift Shop



Stewart's Gift Shop side view
             Stewart’s Gift Shop side view




with No Comments

1954 me cover dgby vol 1As I gather information, my brain becomes flooded with tons of memories.  The more I think about them, the more I realize I have so much to say. If my brain continues to spin as it is now, there is no telling what can happen.

I wonder how my youth slipped away so quickly. Seems like yesterday I was a little girl playing hopscotch, jump rope, bike riding and roller skating on the sidewalks of Kaysville. Knowing I will never be able to recapture those moments in time is very sad, being able to share and reminisce gives me a sense of contentment. My trips down memory lane have enabled me to gain a new insight on my life, my choices, and the people I hold dear to me.


1 2 3 4 5