The Jacob Hamblin Home

West of St. George, in the beautiful little city of Santa Clara, stands a home built in 1862 by Mormon craftsmen for Jacob Hamblin. The home is constructed of Ponderosa timbers from Pine Valley and local red sandstone. The building was home for Jacob Hamblin and his family and was also headquarters for his missionary work.

Jacob Hamblin was sent by Brigham Young as a missionary to southern Utah and became a noted Indian agent, colonizer and peacemaker. He worked out treaties with the sometimes hostile Indians and was called to mediate whenever trouble arose. He always wore a red neckerchief so that he would be recognized by the Indians for his honesty and trust


This room was the Family Dining Room. The Latter-day Saints believe in a strong family life and in living their religion day by day. The table is set in pioneer style. It has the plates upside down and the chairs turned with their backs to the table. All is in readiness for family prayer, which preceded the evening meal. After Jacob lad led the family in prayer, they would sit up to the table and then one of the children would ask a blessing on the food.


In the back rooms are cool storage areas built into the hillside. One of them served as a pantry for food storage. Here could be found Jacob's popular dried York peaches and sweet-pit apricots. Also stored were potatoes, turnips, and other vegetables and grains such as wheat, corn and buckwheat.  



The bedrooms of the two wives have matching fireplaces which provided warmth for the home during the mild winters and doubled as kitchen "stoves" for cooking. The bedrooms are also similar in that each one has a stairway leading up to the weaving room and children's bedroom.


The west bedroom belonged to Priscilla, who was the youngest sister of Dudley Leavitt, another prominent Mormon missionary to the southern Utah Indians. She and Rachel raised their families as one, in peace and harmony. Each was typical of Latter-day Saint women, dedicated in her role as a mother, and also contributing to the betterment of her community. Besides her busy life at home, Rachel served the town of Santa Clara as the first school teacher, and was on call when needed as a nurse and midwife. Priscilla was known locally as "the Herb Doctor".


This large upstairs room served many purposes. The family called it the loom room, but it doubled as a social hall and conference room. Jacob Hamblin and his wives had lived in much smaller homes and in the cramped quarters of the old Santa Clara fort. Therefore, they were pleased at the prospects of a home large enough to entertain Church leaders from Salt Lake City and big enough for local entertainments. The children had their own imaginative uses for the room. They loved to stage home theatricals, especially comedies, and made their own dough-faced masks to use in acting out their stories. But the principal activity of this room is suggested by the spinning wheels and the loom. During her lifetime, Rachel supervised the operation, which saw the transformation of the raw product into shirts, pants, dresses, and blankets.

The small spinning wheel with the foot peddle was for wool and cotton. The larger and older wheel was used for spinning flax into linen cloth. The family's Indian girls were especially talented in the art of weaving, but the entire family contributed to this home industry. The Mormon couch was a prominent feature of many pioneer homes, and doubled as a bed at night.

 This lean-to at the rear of the upstairs floor was added on as a dormitory when the size of the family increased. During his lifetime, Jacob Hamblin had 24 children, but with the older ones getting married, and the younger ones born after the family left Santa Clara, only about half of them lived here at any on time

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