This is a story that may never have an ending. I started out simply trying to develop a timeline of Balsam Hill Cabin, its construction, modifications and improvements. When the question was asked, "Who built this place, anyway?" the flood gates opened; the venture quickly opened into the arena of genealogy as well.

My cousin, Kif, for years, had been soliciting my attention toward pictures, letters and diaries stored in the deep recesses of her closets on East 3900 South, a home our great aunts lived in for many, many years. They had kept suitcases and boxes full of windows into the past. The task was to simply filter out all that had to do with Brighton and Balsam Hill Cabin and I would have my story.

The project has become more than that. It has been an introduction to my ancestors, people I never had the opportunity to know, relationships I never understood, names I had heard of, but personalities I knew nothing about. Because of the intimate nature of letters and diaries, I have peeked through the curtain to the past and learned more than just how days were spent in Brighton in the early part of the twentieth century. My perspective has changed. What have always been just distant, irrelevant historical events to me were current, relevant events for them. For example, in a letter of April 21, 1912 my great grandmother, Leoline Brown, writes to her husband of an event just six days prior: "Dear Jim, Scarcely any one thing has been spoken of for any length of time but the Titanic disaster. How appalling it is!"

Sickness and disease, which we now simply wave off with the back of our hand, shaped and ended their lives. Leoline, her sister Sylvia and a son Creighton, all relatively young, died of pulmonary tuberculosis, a disease easily treated today. They saw and experienced technological advancements as we do today. Those that amazed them are those that we take for granted and don't give a second thought to. They saw the introduction and wide-spread use of the automobile and the telephone. Just think of it, actually speaking to someone in Salt Lake City while you're in Los Angeles!

I suppose the most profound realization was that I was reading their story knowing when it would end for them and knowing that they did not.

I regret not having pursued this story when those that lived it were still alive and able to relate it. I missed opportunities to truly capture and embrace the life and times of my parents and grandparents and their siblings, especially as it related to Balsam Hill Cabin and Brighton. So much more would have come to light had I been aware that their intimate knowledge had a life as well. Perhaps that is one of the few disadvantages of youth -- a single minded vision for only the future instead of a three hundred sixty degree view of our own timeline. I'm hopeful this story will encourage a curiosity in those that follow to inquire into their heritage, and the events and personalities that have molded them, before their sources can no longer tell the story.

Rod Morris