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LAYTON'S TREASURE CHEST--Joseph "Cap" Hill cabin

Article Published 09/08/2017

The Heritage Museum of Layton is filled with hundreds of priceless antiques--each artifact having its own unique and fascinating story.

For example, there's the Joseph and Ann Marsden Hill cabin.

On September 6, 2017, the Joseph Hill cabin got a new home.  On that day, it was moved from West Layton to the Layton Commons Park next to the Heritage Museum of Layton.  This building will now become part of the museum's historical preservation effort.  With time, the cabin will be furnished with pioneer relics and programs aimed at keeping the past alive will become part of the cabin's unique charm.

Joseph and Ann Marston Hill built the cabin between 1851-1856 and the cabin is a rare example from the early Utah settlement area formerly know as Kay's Ward.  The cabin is important to Utah history for three very important reasons: 1) the building is a rare example of log cabin construction from the earliest white settlement of the Salt Lake Valley; 2) the Hill cabin is the only settlement-era cabin in Davis County that sat in its original location for over 161 years and 3) its original location on the Bluff Road was associated with the westward movement of California gold seekers during the Utah settlement era.

The cabin was built by Joseph Hill Sr. and his son Joseph Hill Jr.  Both families were prominent early settlers of the area that was then called Kay's Ward Big Field.  This settlement area was near the banks of Kay's Creek and very near the shores of the Great Salt Lake.  The Hill family raised cattle and sold beef and other commodities to westward travelers.  The family also represents the small minority of LDS settlers who were lured to California by the promise of gold and silver.  Joseph Hill Sr. and his family left Kay's Ward in 1860 and returned to Utah in 1862 after an unsuccessful and tragic journey, which resulted in the death of Ann Marsden Hill.  After returning to his original cabin, Joseph Hill lived in what is now West Layton until his death.

The cabin was occupied by Hill family members for many years.  It then suffer a brief period on neglect but was restored in 1990 to its current condition by Jay and Odessa Hill Harris.

Upon the deaths of Jay and Odessa Harris in March of this year, the cabin was deeded by the Harris children to the Heritage Museum/Layton City.  The West Layton location of the cabin was in the direct path of the proposed Legacy Highway so in order to preserve this rare piece of Layton history the cabin was moved to its new home in Layton Commons Park