15 December 2023

Action Alert - Help Save Alpine's Carlisle House

The Thomas and Fanny Carlisle House located in Alpine, Utah is now under threat and is planned for demolition by the adjacent Mountainville Academy 

The Carlisle House at 129 S Main St Alpine, Utah.  Photos from Carlisle House Photo Studio.

Interior images of the Carlisle House at 129 S Main St Alpine, Utah.
Photos from Carlisle House Photo Studio.

BUT, this historic home has a real chance of being saved!  There is a cash buyer for this house and no reason to lose it as the city of Alpine has said they would sell another lot for the school to build upon. Demolition of this important community place is not needed as there are alternatives available that are feasible and make sense for all involved.

The house is noteworthy because it was the first to be constructed beyond Alpine’s “Old Fort Wall,” which was expanded in 1855 from a smaller fortification called “the Wordsworth Fort.” The house stands as one of the last remaining pioneer homes in Alpine.

It was built in several stages from around 1855 to 1910 and is associated with the early settlement and development of Alpine. The various building periods are noticeable externally due to the different materials that were used.

Carlisle House construction history, from USHS, colorized by author.

Carlisle House construction history, from USHS, colorized by author.

 Fanny and Thomas were famous inhabitants of Alpine who were friendly to everyone. They were renowned for their generosity and often had indigenous people camp on their property and dry their blankets after storms passed through the area. The Carlisle house was a symbol of friendship and a community hub for those in need.

Images from familysearch.org

The house remained in the family for many years until it was recently sold and transformed into a photo studio. Hundreds of families visited the studio and had their pictures taken inside the house and on the property. 

The Carlisle house is now under threat and is planned for demolition. Help us save this important community asset – post a comment and tell us your stories and memories of the Carlisle house.

Image from Google, modified by author.

Contact the Mountainville Academy and tell them why it is important to you and the Alpine community, and ask them to accept the offer to purchase the Carlisle house.

Contact the Alpine City Council and tell them to preserve the Carlisle house.

Also, fun fact, Thomas is my 8th cousin 4 times removed. I had to trace my ancestry back to the 1500s in jolly old England but we are related!

A selection of comments posted on my Instagram:

  • Thank you for sharing! I'm an Alpine resident and I love this old house!
  • Thank you for sharing the story wow!
  • My family’s been in Alpine for a few generations, and my grandma worked at the old Bank of American Fork that sits right next to this house. Alpine as I remember it doesn’t exist anymore! Losing another pioneer home in Alpine would be a tragedy.
  • Fanny was the oldest person in Alpine at the time of her death.
  • Growing up, I moved a lot and didn't have a real "hometown." But my grandparents lived in Alpine for most of my life, so the drive past this house and up the hill toward Moyle Park is forever etched in my brain. It's the only place the feels like home to me. I'd buy that house immediately if I had the cash myself! Please, please save it.

Update - 4 Jan 2024
Mountainville Academy does not want to sell the Carlisle house to the private buyer who has submitted a cash offer.  Mountainville Academy has not been listening to the community and they are demanding Alpine City initiate a land swap with stipulations as the only way they will not demolish the historic home. Which now puts the burden on the Alpine City Council to facilitate their demand or face the loss of this important community gem. 

Update - 17 May 2024
Mountainville Academy has rejected an offer by Alpine City and the Friends of the Alpine Library to purchase the house for preservation and to use it for a children's library.  Rather than easily designing around the house, Mountainville will demolish this Civil War-era home for a parking lot and STEM Building. More here

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