Monday, February 8, 2010

I heart Daughters of Utah Pioneers!

I wanted to post about my love for the Daughters of Utah Pioneers!

I have been a member for almost 2 years now and I really do love it! I am part of a camp that meets once a month. The meetings are really quite interesting in that we sing old songs, say the pledge of allegiance, give a bit of personal history and then a lesson is taught.

I really enjoy these meetings because it is like eye candy when they show pictures or bring old items to show and display. The lessons are amazing!! They are to educate us about different parts of the pioneer life that we may not know much about.

Today's lesson was about the Wood Carvers and Wood work pieces, specifically those of Ralph Ramsay. Who is Ralph Ramsay? Well I will give you a hint.

He carved the wood tops of the tabernacle organ!

And he also carved the original Eagle for Eagle Gate!

He was an immigrant from England and was asked to carve the Eagle Gate which compromised an eagle, a beehive and a keystone with a 5 point star. Of this story, my favorite detail was that he asked his brother to shoot an eagle for him so he could study it for the carving. Which the brother did.

Originally Eagle Gate was carved out of wood but due to weather and small birds they copperized. In 1960, a large tractor trailer hit the Eagle Gate and damaged the original piece. They took that eagle down and replaced it with a copper and lead eagle. The original eagle is now on display at the Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum.

The eagle is 10ft long and has a wing span of 20 ft. It is a memorial for Brigham Young.

Ralph Ramsay was also the carver for the models of the oxen at the Salt Lake Temple baptismal font along with a few other temples.

An amazing man with an amazing talent! So glad I learned his history and how it has effected my life. I have always loved to look at the Eagle Gate everytime I am downtown. Now I know the story behind the creation and I am so thankful for my lovely time with "the ladies" to learn it!

Yay Daughters of Utah Pioneers!


Heather said...

I loved that you shared this. It was fun to learn about Ralph. He was amazingly talented. I love the story behind Eagle Gate. I knew it was originally the gate to Brigham Young's estates back in the day but I didn't know who craved it or that he had a real eagle shot for a model. I didn't know how large it was either. I would like to see the original some time. It is also cool to know he craved the oxen in Salt Lake Temple and the tops to the organ.

Queen "B" said...

My Mom and her Sisters are members too!!
it is wonderful to be a part of a legacy

Cherie said...

We have a group of DOP that meets in our building once a month. I am always SO jealous. I have no Pioneer Heritage but I have always been so interested. I love these stories and I want to be a pioneer ancestor too - ha ha!!

Thanks for sharing - that was very interesting. We sometimes take these things for granted without ever thinking about the workmanship and who created it. I love the gate and did not have a clue about it's history.

Together We Save said...

Wow - that is amazing.!!


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