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Murray Journal

Bake on! Murray gingerbread competition is back

Dec 09, 2021 03:25PM ● By Shaun Delliskave

The Historic Murray in Gingerbread Show returns this year. (Photo courtesy HMFF)

By Shaun Delliskave | [email protected]

If you’re looking to show off your holiday baking and decorating skills, the Historic Murray First Foundation (HMFF) wants you to participate in the second annual Historic Murray in Gingerbread Show.  

“We are asking that each entry be modeled after an actual building—demolished, or still standing—built within Murray City’s current boundaries any time before 1970,” HMFF representative Kathleen Stanford said.  

Participants will build their edible gingerbread recreations to be on display at Bakers C&C Cake Decor and Bulk Chocolates (44 W. Vine St.) through the holiday season. The exhibit will open on Dec. 15 and remain on display through Jan. 1.

Historic Murray First Foundation has a three-fold purpose: Advocate for Murray’s historic resources, fundraise for Murray’s historic resources and educate people about the importance of preserving these historic resources.

“The purpose of this gingerbread show is to educate people,” Stanford said. “We hope that as people look around their city, they will begin to appreciate the legacy of historic buildings. As they look at photos and read and talk to people, they will learn about people in the past. As they put details into their gingerbread structures, they will appreciate architecture and architectural details.”

Historic buildings can be classified into general eras. Pioneer structures were simple and built in the 1800s. By the late 1800s, many Victorian homes and buildings were built. In the 1910s and 1920s, Craftsman and Prairie-style homes were built. In the 1930s, the Tudor style was popular. After World War II, post-war cottages were typical. In the 1950s and 1960s, the world entered the Space Age, and there were rapid advances in science. Along with that came mid-century modern homes, churches, and schools. 

“We can gain insights about the ways people saw the world by studying what architects were designing,” Stanford said.

Murray has notable buildings ranging from the pioneer cabin preserved at Vine Street and 5600 South to the Victorian Wheeler Farmhouse to the newly created Hillside Historic District (between 5300 South and 5600 South, and 235 East on the west side, and Kenwood Drive on the east).

“Last year’s event was a great success. We had depictions of the historic Murray First Ward, which was demolished in March 2020, and a family home of a Murray resident. In the children’s division, the child’s great-great-grandparents’ home is still standing, now occupied by a great-grandson. This year will be even better as we are partnering with a local business, Bakers C&C Cake Decor and Bulk Chocolates, situated in our downtown area, to display the creations,” Stanford said. 

Judges for this year’s competition will review entries for homes, churches, and public/commercial buildings; children’s creations have their own category. 

“We are hoping people will find a building that means something to them—perhaps the home they live in, the church they attend, or the school a parent or grandparent attended. Maybe it is a building they have noticed in downtown Murray that they are curious about,” Stanford said.

Stanford notes that people can access photographic archives via the Murray Museum digital collection housed at the Marriott Library ( ) and the Murray Library. In addition, the historic Murray First Foundation has had an active year advocating for preserving Murray’s landmark buildings at city council meetings amid pressure to redevelop downtown Murray.

According to Stanford, “We are educating citizens about the naturally occurring affordable housing we have in the Harker and Murray Mercantile buildings on State Street and such funds as the Utah Housing Preservation Fund. We have a Facebook page and a website. We are planning a lecture series for the spring.

“We are currently writing a proposal for a grant administered through the National Park Service to highlight some of the buildings tied to Murray’s historically underrepresented communities, which included smelter immigrants and their descendants in the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. Some of the structures could include Japanese and Italian truck farms, smelter worker housing, immigrant entrepreneurs that supported the growing population, and descendants buying into the suburban dream in the 1950s. We would love to have anyone share immigrant stories (post-1869) with us at [email protected].”