A major milestone and first step to becoming famous cheese makers has occurred. We took a family trip to Utah for the 24th of July festivities. For those who are unfamiliar with the Utah customs, I will give a quick history lesson to bring you up to speed. There is a special holiday set for the pilgrimage that started in Illinois in 1846 and and ended in the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847. The Utah pioneers walked for nearly 1300 miles and for the first group it took over a year to accomplish. My great-great-great grandfather Edwin Whiting came with the first group and once they made it to the valley, he was asked to move on and establish another city due south. He obliged and headed out with a group of 180 people, including a man named John Lowry. They traveled along the mountain ranges and came to a small valley. When it was all over, the little town of Manti was established. Edwin Whiting was the 3rd mayor of Manti and had to handle the Indians and the anti-Mormon US soldiers, he was even shot at for trying to protect the members of his town... but I digress. Joel and I had been looking very diligently in California for our first home, for the last 10 years we have been living in a two bedroom apartment with 5 kids, so this was our big chance to become homeowners. The months passed by and nothing came about, we had offers on two homes that never amounted to anything. We tried looking closer to Huntington Beach but all we could get was a 3 bedroom condo with a grass patch and competing with 10 other offers all of which were higher than the listed price. Frustrated and ready to move on we looked at a few places in Manti, like we do every year and came across this little number.
I knew it was older and that it most likely didn't look like this in its current state but bringing an old home back to life was something Joel and I have dreamed about for years. Long story short, we got into town on the 23rd, looked at the house on the 24th and put an offer in by nightfall. It took 2 long months but on October 2, 2009 we were officially deemed, homeowners... of a home built in 1850 by a well known, colorful character named, John Lowry. One step down, many to go.