If These Walls Could Talk

By Emily Sanderson

SPRING CITY–“You could kill me, but they will just send someone else.”

That’s what Judge Jacob Johnson said to Butch Cassidy one night as they shared a beer on his bedroom balcony when the infamous 1800s train robber came through town one night.

The original tile on his living room mantle still includes squares dedicated to each of Johnson’s two dogs, Sensation and Black Prince, complete with their names and illustrations.

Once called the “pink mansion” because of its rosy exterior paint color for many years, the Judge Jacob Johnson House in the 300 South block of 100 West was believed by some to be haunted by Johnson’s first wife, who some have imagined that he killed. However, history records that she died shortly after childbirth.

Teenagers loved to break in through the coal shoot and explore the house around Halloween when it stood vacant for a time.

When Chris and Alison Anderson purchased the home in 2000, the couple found a plaster-faced doll in the basement that was covered with spider webs. A ruined eye that was always open startled Alison when she first found her. Their kids named it “Creepydoll” and wrote a song about it.

However, the couple has never seen a ghost.

“If there are any,” Chris says, “they know we’re here.”

Judge Jacob Johnson

Jacob Johnson and his mother arrived from Aalborg, Denmark, in 1854. Johnson studied law in California but returned to Spring City, where he served as the City Attorney and later as a territorial judge, according to the Friends of Historic Spring City website.

Johnson built the stone, A-frame portion of the house for his first wife in 1875. He built the two-story Danish rotunda and Victorian stained-glass entrance in 1896 for his second wife. The Johnson House was the first in Spring City with indoor plumbing and electric lights.

Johnson never converted to the LDS Church, but he was friendly with the early Saints that settled in the area, many of whom were Scandinavian like him.

The Property

The home, cottage, barn, and granary have been well-preserved over the years, Chris Anderson says. Each of the previous owners had seen to its upkeep. However, the floor of the upper level of the main house sagged when the Andersons purchased the property, but that was because ceiling supports had been cut out when the modern heating system was installed. Gratefully, not too much damage had been done, and the couple was able to fix the problem during their four-year restoration process.

Chris, a business attorney from Salt Lake City, initially purchased the property because of his interest in a painting that hung on one of the walls in the home. An art collector, Chris negotiated with the previous owner that the artworks inside would come with it.

The Andersons sold their home in Salt Lake City, an older house in the community that they had also restored. They then made the Johnson home their primary residence. Chris continued to work in the city as Alison directed the restoration process during the week, and Chris stepped right into the hard work during weekends.

“We were interested in the rural experience,” Chris says. “The kids were out of the house, and we wanted to keep life interesting.”

The Cottage

Of the five buildings on the property, the Andersons began work on the cottage first. Doing so would give the couple a place to live while they worked on the other structures.

The cottage, originally used as Johnson’s courtroom and office, was built as a two-room structure with a steep staircase that jogged awkwardly to an upper room. A cinderblock room was added on to that building later that has been used as a bedroom.

Renters had done drugs in the cottage in recent years, so the Andersons had to completely gut the place to remove the dangerous chemicals that still lingered in the drywall and insulation. The Andersons removed the staircase and added an attic door. They removed a false ceiling and restored the two-door main entrance that had been cheaply modified to strut one door. In addition, they altered the windows in the bedroom to match the original windows’ tall dimensions, and they added stucco to the extension’s exterior to make it appear like period adobe.

The Andersons now use the cottage to house friends or family who come to visit over a weekend. The cottage is a great get-away that the couple often use themselves.

“It is the perfect place to watch period British movies like ‘Downton Abbey,’” Alison says, as the building seems to transport you back to those times.

Main House

The original two-story A-frame consisted of a kitchen and sitting room on the first level and two bedrooms on the second level. The addition includes a majestic entrance and porch, a staircase to the second level and a hallway to the back, a parlor room, two utility rooms in the back, and two bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs. The master bedroom includes a large balcony that extends along the southwest corner of the house.

The A-frame portion was built with pine wood, where the addition was built with fir. A common practice unique among the Mormon settlers was to paint the readily available pine and other plainer woods to look like a prettier wood. The sliding door to the parlor was carefully painted to look like oak on one side and mahogany on the other.

Alison has carefully painted the window framing boards to match the painted woodwork in the home. She also removed the carpet in the house and restored the original wood flooring.

“It is mostly cosmetic what we’ve done,” Chris says about the main house. Because the house was in such good condition, they were able to preserve much of what they found there, other than fixing the ceiling supports. The couple also removed the rickety servant’s staircase in the northwest corner.

They removed a wall that split the kitchen, but they split the large servant’s bathroom upstairs into three separate bathrooms including the master bathroom, a guestroom bathroom, and a hall bathroom.

The Andersons also took out the large, wrought iron coal stoves in each of the rooms.

“We had to make a decision between historic preservation and usability,” Alison says. The stoves took up such a large portion of the rooms and made it difficult to do much with their interior designs. They also removed the wash basins.

Alison took considerable care to design the kitchen for usability. She needed a place to store all their dishes, but she also wanted to work with the existing architecture. She removed the Formica counters that had cut right across the tall windows. She then installed modern cupboards and counter space along the walls. Underneath the two windows, she added cushioned sitting areas with built-in storage space below. In addition, she built a large center island that provides additional counter space and storage.

The Barn and Yard

The couple now uses the barn and yard to host outdoor parties in the summer. They have added stone walkways, flower gardens, and a chicken coop to the yard and have replaced the picket fence. They also built a garage for their cars that they designed to look like a red barn.

The Andersons removed truckload after truckload of weeds and junk from the yard and from inside all of the buildings on the property during the restoration process. The largest and most expensive tasks during the process were building five new roofs and adding three furnaces. The cottage uses one furnace, and the main house has two. The couple completed the restoration process in 2004 but continue to improve the property with little projects they pursue.

The couple has made every effort to utilize local artists during the restoration process and prominently display local paintings throughout the home and cottage. Upon their arrive, the couple soon learned that Spring City residents care very much about the Jacob Johnson House.

“People drove by the house each day to see all that we were doing,” Chris says. He recognizes that the house is an important resource in the community that has historical value.

The house was awarded the Utah Heritage Foundation Award for its superior workmanship.


Vegetable Masala

I found a recipe for vegetable masala on the internet, and I have modified it for two reasons: I wanted it to taste more like what I tasted at Honest Restaurant in Ahmedabad, India, and I also wanted to take advantage of the fresh spices that are available in American supermarkets. Masala simply means “spicy,” and in Ahmedabad, you can expect your nose to water within seconds of taking the first bite. This recipe is probably not as hot — adjust as desired. I will also note that I am not a vegetarian, but after trying vegetable masala for the first time, I realized that I could become one.

Make the garam masala spice beforehand and use it for several dishes of masala. In India, they roast each of these whole spices all day and then crush them altogether, resulting in a more potent, flavorful masala than what we will get out of bottles we buy from the store. But as an American, I use the spices in bottles from the store.

4 TB coriander
2 1/2 TB cumin
1 TB black pepper
1 TB white pepper
1 1/2 tsp. dry ginger
3/4 tsp. cardamom
3/4 tsp. cloves
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. crush bay leaves

Combine in a sealed container and store in a cool, dry place.

4 raw potatoes, washed, peeled and cubed
2 TB raw ginger root, peeled and chopped into pieces
1 bag frozen vegetables, snowpea and green bean mix
1/2 cup raw or frozen cauliflower, cut into medium pieces
2 tsp. salt
2 TB olive oil
2 tsp. mustard seeds
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 white onions, chopped
2 jalapenos, chopped with seeds removed
1 Anaheim pepper, chopped with seeds removed
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
4 tsp. garam masala
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 can coconut milk
cilantro leaves to taste

Combine the cubed potatoes, cauliflower and ginger in a medium sized pot and add 1 tsp. salt and fill with water. Cover and boil until tender. Drain and set aside. Place the other frozen vegetables in a separate pot, and add 1 tsp. salt and fill with water. Cover and bring to a boil. Drain immediately and set aside.

Combine the olive oil, cumin and mustard seeds in a large pan on medium heat. When the seeds begin to pop, add the onions, garlic and peppers and cook until tender, stirring regularly. Stir in the cumin, cayenne pepper and garam masala. Add the tomatoes with the juice and cilantro leaves. Then stir in the potatoes, cauliflower, ginger, and other vegetables. Finally, add the coconut milk. You can let this simmer for 10 minutes or for up to two hours on low heat. Serve with yogurt and rice. For the rice, choose a high-quality, long-grain rice such as Indian-grown Basmati or Thai-grown jasmine rice. Indians make their own yogurt, and I find that plain Greek yogurt is a pretty close substitute.

I will note that coconut milk is not traditionally used in vegetable masala from Ahmedabad, but I think it works as a nice thickener that compliments all the other spices. Coconut milk is used more prevalently in other regions in India. I will also note that I recommend using organic vegetables, especially the ginger root, which produce a better flavor.

You can also substitute the apples and cilantro with grapes and cashews, a recipe you may be more familiar with. However, the apples and cilantro combination are my favorite.

4 or 5 chicken breasts (check to see that they don’t have any preservatives that contain gluten)
1 quart limeade
2 large and crisp apples, sliced into small pieces
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, sliced into small pieces
2 sticks of celery, diced into small pieces
1/2 red onion, diced into small pieces
1 1/2 cup gluten-free mayonaise (Kraft Mayonesa with lime works great)
1 1/2 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp. curry powder
juice of half a squeezed lime
salt to taste
pepper to taste
gluten-free bread

On the night before, thaw raw chicken breasts in cold water for about 4 hours. Drain. Place in a sealed container and add limeade. Marinate overnight. The next day, place chicken and limeade in a 13×9 pan and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake chicken at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes covered with tin foil. Remove tin foil and turn breasts over. Then bake for an additional 15 minutes uncovered. Let cool.

Chop apples, cilantro, celery and onion and place in a medium-sized bowl. Chop them into small enough pieces so that combined, they’re easy to eat between two slices of bread. Set aside. For the sauce, in a separate bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, honey, curry powder, lime, and salt and pepper.

Slice chicken into small pieces and add to the medium-sized bowl. Then add the sauce and blend everything together well. Chill for about two hours and serve cold. Serve with gluten-free bread as sandwiches or on top of one slice. For an extra something special, toast the bread. Mmmm

Apple Crisp, gluten free

I found this recipe at glutenfreeonashoestring.com/apple-crisp-again.

10-12 apples, cored and cut into thin slices
1 tsp. ground cinnamon, plus more for dusting
1 cup sugar, plus more for dusting
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups rice flour
1/2 cup gluten-free oats
1 cup pecans or walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13 glass pan. Place sliced apples inside pan and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. In a separate bowl, cream the sugar, cinnamon, butter and vanilla. Blend in rice flour, egg, and oats. Then blend in nuts. Spoon mixture on top evenly. Bake uncovered for 45-50 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm with gluten free ice cream of whipped cream.

Note: It’s best to make this in the fall when the apples are in season and are the crispest.


By Emily Sanderson

Many auditors use more than a checklist to review an organization’s accounting activities, according to “The CPA Journal.” With the amount of high-level fraud cases in recent years, auditors, both internal and external, are held to higher scrutiny if problems are detected. Prepare for an audit throughout the year by establishing and maintaining your organization’s accounting policies, from how petty cash is handled to the methodology used to report quarterly and annual earnings.

Establish an Accounting Policy
In your organization, establish policies for handling petty cash, reimbursement request documentation, the calculation of payroll checks and disbursements, reporting profits, bank statement reconciliation, and what reports should be generated on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis. See the references section of this article for a link to a sample checklist.

Whether your organization is small or large, any policy established should involve all the necessary decision makers, such as the CEO, CFO or board of directors.

Refer to Existing Policies
Use existing policies from other organizations as a guide. The more research that is conducted, the better chance you will cover all your bases. Then modify your policy to meet your specific accounting needs.

Existing policies may be found online through a simple search. Accounting policies for local governmental agencies can be accessed through GRAMA (Government Records Access Management Act) by submitting a written request in person or by mail. Many accountants have knowledge of general accounting policies for companies in which they have worked. In the United States, generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) also provide helpful guidelines.

Reduce Liability
Reduce liability by requiring your managerial staff, accountants, internal auditors, and in-house counsel to sign contracts that require them to be honest and accurate in company dealings, essentially transferring some of the liability to them if your company is ever faced with charges of a white-collar crime.

Update Policy Regularly
Update your policies to meet changes in laws and the accounting standards that you use. Do this by maintaining the certifications of your organizations’ CPAs, and subscribe to accounting and other business journals. For example, the interpretation of the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation has been a subject of debate since it calls for additional checks and balances that may require a company to hire more accountants.

If your company issues stock, staying up to date in such changes is particularly important, as your accounting methods affect those individuals and organizations that purchase shares of your stock. Publicly traded entities in the United States must provide timely and accurate quarterly and annual reports (10-Qs and 10-Ks, respectively) to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which are then available as a public record.


By Emily Sanderson

If you are ready to go to college but aren’t sure what to major in yet, consider taking general education coursework (GEs) first. By taking general education classes early in your college experience, you can get a taste for a variety of career paths, and this can help you decide which field interests you most.

General education, or liberal arts, classes are required in most associate or bachelor degree programs, whether you attend a traditional university, trade school, community college or enroll in one of many online degree programs. These GEs include classes such as English composition, college algebra, psychology, biology and a foreign language.

Often general education classes are also prerequisites for undergraduate or graduate programs, so if you get a good grade in a course, you may qualify to enter a particular major at a traditional university. These classes may serve as prerequisites for more than one major. For example, both medical students and veterinary science students must complete GE biology coursework. Physics classes are required for information technology and most engineering programs.

You must often determine your major upfront when you attend an online or trade school, but many schools will accommodate you if you later decide you would rather pursue another program the school offers. In this case, coursework you completed in your first program may be applied towards your degree as GE credits instead.

Some programs require you to choose an emphasis in the more advanced coursework you complete, and deciding which emphasis to pursue may require taking a variety of classes to give you an idea about what each option entails. That coursework may either apply towards your major or be counted as GEs.

Traditional universities emphasize that the wide range of general education courses they offer will give you a well-rounded education that will benefit you throughout your life. Many online universities and trade schools also recognize the value of GEs and offer a variety of classes as well. Ideally, you will be able to apply the knowledge you gain in GEs directly to your career. The classes you’ve taken may also help you understand current events in the news, or they may simply help you relate to others’ viewpoints in polite conversation.

General education classes you’ve taken can provide you with transferable skills that will be beneficial when you are changing jobs or pursuing a career change later in life. Even if a class simply gives you a basic understanding of a discipline, it will often give you an advantage over other job applicants.

General education can also help you grasp the work performed by your coworkers or the employees you supervise in a management position later in your career. For example, if you’ve taken an accounting class, you will know that the bookkeeper or controller of your company likely maintains balance sheets that help show the state of the company’s finances.

General education courses may teach very different information than the classes in your degree program, but the knowledge you gain from them will help you in your career and throughout your life. At minimum, they will give you a well-rounded perspective on various fields of study and will help you understand what role your field of study plays in the larger picture.


By Emily Sanderson  

The Holland Code theory of determining the right career path for you is a theory that is incorporated into many of the best career tests available online. Originally developed by John Holland in 1957, the theory identifies your personality type and your ideal work environments.

The Holland Code consists of six General Occupational Themes, including Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising and Conventional (RIASEC). Your Holland Code is usually represented by two or three letters – the themes in which you score the highest. For example, if you score the highest in Artistic but score moderately high in Investigative and Social, your Holland Code will be AIS. The following is a list of characteristics associated with each personality type.

  • Realistic individuals like to work with tools and are mechanically gifted. They are practical and value things that you can see, touch and use.
  • Investigative individuals are gifted in math and science. They are precise and intellectual.
  • Artistic individuals are creative and may have gifts in drama, music, art or creative writing. They are expressive, original and independent.
  • Social individuals like to be around people and are gifted in teaching, counseling, nursing or providing information. They are generally friendly and trustworthy.
  • Enterprising individuals are good leaders and persuaders and they are natural salespeople. They are ambitious and sociable.
  • Conventional individuals like things to be orderly and prefer to do things in a set plan. They are good with numbers and maintaining records.

The relationships between the Holland Code’s six personality types are represented in a hexagonal diagram. Realistic personalities are most closely associated with Investigative and Conventional personalities. On the other side of the diagram is Social, which is most closely associated with Artistic and Enterprising personalities.

Generally, you should avoid careers associated with the personality type that is on the opposite side of the diagram from your dominant personality. “Investigative persons generally avoid leading, selling or persuading people, whereas, Enterprising people are just the opposite,” says Lawrence Jones, professor emeritus at North Carolina State University. He is also the director of The Career Key, which administers a test based on the Holland Code.

It is rare for people to score high in personality types that are on opposing sides of the diagram from each other. Opposite personality types include Realistic and Social, Conventional and Artistic, as well as Investigative and Enterprising. Professor Jones says he has what he calls an inconsistent personality pattern himself. He is very strong in Realistic and also Social.

“Patterns like these are not seen very often. The theory (and common sense) would predict that people with patterns like these have more difficulty making career decisions and, possibly, ‘fitting in’ to a particular work environment,” Jones says.

However, inconsistent personality patterns can provide unique benefits. “At times, I did not feel as if I fit very well in this job. The students rated me as a good teacher, but not outstanding,” he continues. “Fortunately, there is an Investigative side to my personality. This, together with my Realistic side, motivated me to do research directed to practical outcomes: ‘How can I use counseling psychology to help people?’ My personality has led me in direction and has given me opportunities in my work and life that my Social co-workers did not have or were not interested in.”

Some career assessment tests that use the Holland Code theory include Jones’s The Career Key, My Career Profile, the Career Planner and the Strong Interest Inventory. Some of the tests are informal and some are formal. Richard Bolles includes an informal version of a Holland Code test in his book “What Color is Your Parachute?” Called the Party Exercise, the test has only two questions, but it still provides fairly accurate results.

You will do best to work in an environment that is consistent with your Holland Code. Career tests that properly use this theory offer profound information that can direct you in a career path where you will be more likely to achieve success.

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The writings of Lawrence K. Jones on The Career Key’s website and CPP’s website were used as sources in this article.