On a warm July afternoon, descendants of the Bunnell family and other guests gathered on the south side of the Utah Valley University campus to commemorate the Bunnell Pioneer House, which stood on the Orem campus for decades. Bricks from the original Bunnell house were used to build a replica about half the size of the original, and additional bricks with commemorative plaques were given to Bunnell family members as keepsakes.
Helen Bunnell Weeks, who was born in the Bunnell house in 1926, was the first to receive a commemorative brick. Helen was a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in her younger days and is married to Clyde Weeks, a journalist and historian who served as Orem’s postmaster for 40 years.
Built in 1892 by Stephen and Mary Bunnell, the Bunnell house was part of a 60-acre farm and orchard that could be reached off 800 West via a lane flanked by grape vines. The property was purchased by the state of Utah in 1966 when construction of the new Utah Valley State College campus began. Through the efforts of Carol Reed, then associate dean of student services, and Edward J. Norton, then head of the cabinet-making department, the house and surrounding trees were spared from the bulldozer.
The Bunnell house was used for many years as a restaurant for the Culinary Arts Institute. Until recently it stood where construction is now underway for a new Student Life & Wellness Center.
The UVU Foundation furthered the Bunnell family legacy by establishing a scholarship to assist UVU students. Britnee Watson, a senior majoring in elementary education, is the first recipient of the Bunnell Family Scholarship.
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