Uncle George Graff began hauling rock for the foundation of the home soon after his marriage to Bertha Stucki in January 1906. He traded a 2 year old bull calf to Will Marshall for the fired adobe brick for the front and sides, but he made all of the adobes himself for the inside walls and back of the home using the red dirt in the yard and sun drying them. He hauled rough lumber from different areas of Southern Utah but the finished lumber he purchased in St. George. He hired Frank Prisbey to frame the house and act as mason, but Uncle George was the mason’s tender. He put the floors down, lathed the ceilings and shingled the house. The low southwest corner of the house was roofed with galvanized steel to provide a deck for drying fruit. It took him until 1908 to finish the house.
Most everything inside the home and out is original including the chandelier in the parlor. The floors had to be replaced because of termite damage to the joists underneath.
*You can see where Uncle George ran out of fired brick on the west side of the house and had to use the brick he made.
*The screen door on the west side is original.
*Part of the rock foundation is exposed in the back.
*In the attic, workers found a couple of small limbs of trees serving as cross beams to help support the roof.
*The white shelf in the kitchen is attached to the adobe with wooden dowels and lath and plastered over so it stayed through the renovation.
Uncle George’s mother, Barbara Staheli, was the 1st baby girl born to the Swiss Immigrants in Santa Clara. As a two week old baby, she and her mother were saved by Jacob Hamblin in the great flood of 1862.
Aunt Bertha’s father, John Stettler Stucki was a member of the Stoddard Handcart Company, the last handcart company to cross the plains. He was nine years old at that time.
George & Bertha Graff Family
George & Bertha had one daughter, Thelma. She married Leroy Condie. They had two children, Carol and George Roy.
Life At The Graff Home
Like most families in Santa Clara, life at the Graff home was one of self sufficiency. They raised livestock which they sold at market, keeping enough for them at home. They raised fruits, vegetables, and nuts. They peddled their produce or sold it to the Santa Clara trucking firms.
George kept honeybees in their orchards and sold the honey.
Aunt Bertha bottled all their fruits and vegetables as well as drying them. She also bottled and dried meats. She made all of their bread, noodles, butter, ice cream, and desserts. Bertha sold their excess cream, milk, butter and eggs. They were a very resourceful couple and worked together as a unit although they were capable of performing each other’s duties.
Growing Up Next Door
The Landon Frei Family had the privilege of growing up next door to Uncle George and Aunt Bertha. They were like grandparents to the young Frei children and they loved to go to “Uncle & Aunties house”. There were many fond memories of the player piano in the front parlor which was used to entertain the people of Santa Clara. Homemade bread and sugar cookies were a regular treat from Aunt Bertha.
Due to deterioration over the years, and the concern over the house being torn down, Loretta and Vicki (the Frei girls) asked if they could restore it. Restoration began in 1997 and was completed in 1998 and was listed on the National Historical Registry that year. A gift shop was opened in August of 1998 by Loretta and Vicki. It was appropriately named, “Uncle & Aunties”.