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The City Journals

Have a Blast Learning About the Past

Aug 10, 2015 10:33AM ● By Bryan Scott

The Pioneer dugout is a replica of an original homestead built by South Jordan City and is located next to the Gale Center of History & Culture.

By Rachel Hall

All it takes is a matter of time before things start to change. Life will never be as it once was, but the coming years are sure to be full of countless possibilities. 

The future of South Jordan City is something residents can look forward to while holding on to traditions and memories rooted in the area’s past.

The Gale Center of History & Culture in South Jordan is committed to preserving and sharing the rich history of the city and the prominent families who helped establish the area in 1859. 

“I think it’s important that kids learn what life was like back then and appreciate some of the values,” said Jana Kochevar, a volunteer docent at the Gale Center.

Children and families are welcomed to tour the museum and experience another way of life by playing in interactive exhibits such as a schoolhouse, homestead and general store.

“You come here to learn something [new] each time you come,” said Nedra Sproul, who is also a volunteer docent.

Families’ original homesteads, called dugouts, were built into the sides of hills and the community had a one-room schoolhouse. Life in the late 1800s and early 1900s seemed to operate at a different pace, which was much slower than modern society.

“It wasn’t about what was fun and entertaining all the time [back then]. Although, they did have fun,” said Kochevar about how children spent a great deal of time doing chores and helping to care for brothers and sisters.

 “In the 1870s, the mail for the whole end of this valley was delivered once a week to Sandy, and then one person would go and take the mail and drop it off [to the towns]. Before the 1940s, they didn’t deliver mail to people’s homes. They [families] would come to the post office and pick it up,” said Kochevar. 

The learning opportunity to discover the past extends beyond the Gale Center with historical markers located throughout the city. Statues, plaques and other sites provide a guide to honor and remember significant people and events.

The Gale Center of History & Culture is located at 10300 South Beckstead Lane. For more information, visit or call 801-254-3048.