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Draper Journal

Draper Historical Society celebrates local history with annual Heritage Banquet

Jun 30, 2022 09:04PM ● By Katherine Weinstein

By Katherine Weinstein | [email protected]

Once again, Draper Historical Society will host its annual Heritage Banquet and Historical Presentation  in conjunction with Draper Days. The event, which will take place July 13 at Draper Elementary School, actually has its own interesting history.

“It goes back to Old Folks Day,” explained Draper Historical Society board member Luana Guymon. Guymon, who has been involved with the Historical Society in different capacities for over 20 years, referred to a special celebration that was a Draper tradition for nearly a century.

Draper’s first Old Folks Day celebration was held in 1898 and was the brainchild of Willard L. Snow, a  pioneer who came to the Salt Lake Valley with his family in 1847 when he was just 5 years old. Snow thought it was important to honor the pioneers who had founded Draper and given so much to the community. Longtime Draper Historical Society board member Esther Kinder explained, “They wanted to celebrate and recognize the old timers.”

The first Old Folks Day was a day-long affair in which the elder pioneers enjoyed a choir performance and talent show as well as a hot dinner. Members of the younger generation served as waiters. Conversation flowed amid photographs of the pioneers which decorated the walls of the Old White Meetinghouse where the event took place.

Old Folks Day was so successful that it became an annual event for over 90 years. Over time, the event became a way for the community to celebrate not only the town elders but the rich history of Draper itself.

The Draper Historical Society, which was founded in 1981, began hosting their annual Heritage Banquets in the early 1990s. The evening involves a dinner as well as a presentation on a topic related to Draper’s history given by a member of the community.

The presentation topics vary widely from year to year reflecting the multifaceted story of Draper’s past. Early on, presenters spoke about the men and women who were instrumental in the city’s founding. Presentation topics in more recent years have included the fine art collection that students at the Park School began in the 1920s, Draper’s poultry industry, Draper residents in the history of aviation and the history of Draper’s July 24th celebrations.

This year, former Draper City Councilman Lyn Kimball is focusing his talk on a more recent piece of Draper history, how Juan Diego Catholic High School came to be located on the Kimball farm. The high school, as well as the other parochial schools on the property, opened for the 1999-2000 school year.

“The Heritage Banquet celebrates and recognizes Draper’s pioneer heritage,” said Lynne Orgill, president of the Draper Historical Society. Everyone in the Draper community and beyond is encouraged to attend.

The Draper Historical Society Heritage Banquet and Draper History Presentation will take place on Wednesday, July 13 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Draper Elementary School, 1080 E. 12660 South in Draper. The menu will include a choice of chicken or beef with mashed potatoes, salad and dessert. Tickets are $15 per person and may be purchased from the Draper Historical Society, Draper City Hall or from any member of the Historical Society. Seating is limited. For more information, contact the Draper Historical Society at 801-495-3476.