Monday, April 7, 2014

Cheer on a Champion

Battle of the Books

The other day I received an email request from a student named Jordyn who is participating in Battle of the Books. She is doing her project on ....Drum roll please...The Great Brain. I am excited to help her out. As she goes along, I will keep you updated. 

Go Jordyn

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Updated FindingFitzgerald Website

While most of the content remains the same, we've update the look of our home on the web. Much of the activity still occurs on Facebook, but we welcome you over at as well. Please stop by and let us know what you think.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Flash Floods in Utah

I posted this video on the facebook group, but decided it needed a place here. When JD and TD get caught in a flash flood while rafting, John does a fantastic job of describing it, but if you want a live action shot, click on the link below and enjoy. They really are remarkable. They do come on fast.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Should John D. Fitzgerald be "Utah's Author"?

Our one day Great Brain event ended Friday night in the Price Library. The walking tour had been a great afternoon activity, but the focus was really about learning about John Dennis Fitzgerald, and that is what our evening event was all about. 

One of our Facebook fans is Aaron Nelson, head librarian at Nightingale College,in Logan Utah. He is a world traveler (he has been everywhere - Greece, Russia, Switzerland), and hobby historian. He has access to many early Utah documents and is a great fan of John D. It was a privilege to welcome him as one of our speakers. 

Aaron believes John Dennis Fitzgerald should be considered as "Utah's Author". I agree. He supported his premise by what I think is a great and important concept. That John D, used an unbiased presentation approach to presenting Mormonism in contrast to how most Utah authors treat the religion. In Aaron's view,  the usual tendency of Utah authors is to let their biased feelings about Mormonism be easily seen in their fictional writings. I have not seen any other author from the region approach religious tolerance and community fellowship the way that John D was able to.  

In addition, he also explained how accurate John's portrayals of Adenville matched Price's history. It is rare to see a fictional author represent small-town Utah in such an accurate way. So much of the history of Adenville is accurately represented in the actual history of Price Utah. 

Last of all Aaron shared with us some news clippings from John's life. This was a clipping I'd never seen before and I was excited to get a copy. Thanks Aaron!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Facade's of Price

The town of Price has changed considerably over the years, but remnants of it's past are still very vivid. 

Norma, our impromptu guide, led us through town pointing out all of the historic fronts of buildings that remain. She graciously pointed out the old brothels, saloons, and other delicious tid-bits. Unfortunately I didn't have paper with me to write down all her of her insights, but I did take pictures and wanted to share. Next year, more of us can see them in person and I'll hire a real photographer. 

Mahleres-Siampenos Building

Built in 1913 and one of the oldest commercial buildings to retain most of its architectural features.

This is the current "Silver Dollar" bar that is in operation. I wish I could see what the facade was in the bricks above. 

Current home of the "Silver Steakhouse". I loved the features in the facade above the restaurant name. I will do some more research on the history of this one. 
Star Theater
Built in 1924 and later named the Carbon Theater. Used as a theater until 1964. Outstanding example of the Classical Revival style. 

The 2nd story is original in the facade. There are masks that represent muses and figures from Greek Theater. 

This is the outside of a current day auto-repair shop. I am trying to find out the history of the sign and original use of the building. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Once Upon a Time

Following the amazing Price Cemetery tour, we drove to the beginning of Price City's historic walking tour. Norma, the Price City Librarian, took the reigns becoming our impromptu tour guide. Norma knew more about Price's construction and style than even the National Registry. For the next two hours we walked, photographed, talked and learned about the homes, churches, and structures that inspired the world John wrote about. 

Our first stop was the Moynier House. The Moynier house was built in 1909, roughly seven years after Papa built the Fitzgerald's first home.  

I selected the Moynier house for our visit because the descriptions sounded very similar to the Fitzgerald home in John's books. 
The Moynier house is Classical Box...constructed during the first decade of the 20th century. A broad hip-roofed porch extends across the first floor of the facade. The inside of the house has simple dark wooden frames around all opening and the original six in baseboards are still intact. The house was built with four bedrooms on the second floor and a living room, front parlor, kitchen and large walk-in pantry on the first floor.
Though I loved the exterior of the Moynier house I sincerely wished it had been John's childhood home. For comparison here is the Papa Married a Mormon photograph of John's home. 

The caption below ran in The Sun- Advocate newspaper on June 19, 1902. 
 Thomas Fitzgerald will begin work next Monday on a six-room, frame dwelling house on his lot east of the Weeter Lumber company's.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Brave Buffalo Fighter

This post is thanks to two friends Cherie and Charles, both of them asked about the book.

Brave Buffalo Fighter was written by the same John Dennis Fitzgerald of Great Brain history.  One of the best brief descriptions I could find was at Bethlehem books.  They write

This powerful story, presented in the simple language of 10-year-old Susan Parker, really centers around the characterization of Jerry, Sue's 12-year-old brother. The Parker family, unused to any kind of pioneering life, leaves St. Joseph, Missouri, in 1860, part of a westward-bound wagon train. Each family member is challenged by the hardships of a difficult journey in which a jumble of classes and types of people must learn how to pull together. Jerry thrives on the life, and is prepared, when the call comes, to sacrifice much for the sake of the common good. Here is an unusually realistic and moving tale of pioneer spirit.

I read it a couple years ago, when my husband bought for me as a surprise.  Like all of John's books it is a great escape to another time.  It looks as if the publisher recently re-released the book with the cover seen in the picture.  If your interested in it you can buy it at or  

Enjoy.  Thanks Cherie and Charles.