Sunday, May 15, 2011

Antique bird print in the historic Beehive House, Salt Lake City, UT

The other day, my family and I took a quick little tour of the historic Beehive House in downtown Salt Lake City.  This was the home and office of Brigham Young, early LDS Church President and Governor of the Utah Territory.  He also happens to be my 5th-great-grand-uncle.  Both his sisters Nancy and Rhoda are my 5th-great-grand-mothers, who had children (1st cousins) that married each other (Explains a lot about me huh?).

Anyway, the home is a museum featuring many of the personal belongings of the Young family; among them I saw this framed on the wall:

I wondered if this might have been something added to the home later, but a little research online shows that it is possible that Brigham Young could have owned this print.  The Mormon Pioneers arrived in Salt Lake in 1847 and Brigham lived until 1877.  According to Lyons Limited Antique Prints this artwork was made somewhere between 1825 and 1833 by Prince Charles Bonaparte and was included in the revised Wilson's American Ornithology.

I was fascinated by the historic names used for the birds...
1.  Great American Shrike or Butcher Bird 2. Pine Grosbeak 3. Ruby-crowned Wren 4. Shore Lark
I don't know if I'll ever know if Brigham Young or one of his family members was interested in birds or if this bird art was among his personal home decor, but I thought it was cool to find hanging in his historic home now!


  1. I love looking at older bird books and discovering the "old" names for different species as well as the very precise descriptions in most older bird field guides

    This is a very interesting print and the bird names are cool. The Ruby-crowned Wren and Shore Lark? Hmm.

  2. @Larry - When I have some time, I'll have to explore the history behind some of those names and when they changed and why.

  3. Brigham Young is also my great granduncle