in Samaria, Idaho
Michael De Groote, Deseret News, May 3, 2010
Idaho About six miles southwest of Malad, Idaho, a girl was born
in a log cabin on May 4, 1925. Eighty-five years later, seven of Olive
Davis Osmond's nine children walked into the restored cabin. "This
is so surreal," Donny Osmond said. "You can feel her presence
Osmonds were in town for the dedication of the "Olive May Davis Osmond
Cabin and Museum." The cabin sits on property donated by Samaria
resident Luke Waldron, a local high school teacher and history buff. It
is only about 200 feet away from its original location.
carefully took the decaying cabin apart about 20 years ago numbering
every log. The buyer of the logs never reassembled it and eventually it
came back into Waldron's possession. Two years ago, he began restoring
the cabin hoping to have it done in time for a local visit and
musical performance by The Osmonds Second Generation.
cabin didn't get finished by then, but a new goal to have it done by Olive
Osmond's birthday this year was achieved with "a lot of community
involvement," said Waldron involvement that included seven
Eagle Scout projects by local youths.
so before noon on May 3, Virl, Tom, Alan, Merrill, Jay, Donny and Jimmy
Osmond walked through the small two-room cabin. (Wayne and Marie were
unable to attend.) Meanwhile, outside, Alan's son Nathan was singing a
medley of Osmond hits to warm up the crowd.
Donny touched the old sewing machine stand that he and his brothers had
carved their names into in the 1960s.
reverential spirit inside the cabin changed suddenly when it was suggested
that Donny give his nephew outside a hard time. Waiting for just the right
moment as Nathan sang Donny's trademark song "Puppy Love," Donny
jumped out of the cabin door and shouted, "Someone help him!"
In a moment he was back inside, almost doubled over in laughter with his
Merrill, the thing that touched him the most was the little red baby shoe
that had been found at the original cabin site. "My mother, no doubt,
wore this," he said.
was a table that belonged to their grandmother. The original stove was
in its place. Donny stopped near a piano. "This piano. This is the
one where I learned how to play," Donny said. "I played chopsticks
cabin is restored to what it looked like in the 1920s and '30s when Olive's
grandparents lived there. Her parents had a home in the foothills and
they would visit often. A large rock from her parents' home was relocated
in front of the newly restored cabin. On it is a plaque dedicated to "Olive
the cabin, Donny was sharing a joke about the small size of the cabin:
"You can't say, 'Go to your room!'?" Donny said, laughing with
Morse Suttlemyer, 93, remembers the cabin. She also remembers the day
Olive, about 2 years old at the time, was lost. Everyone in the community
looked for her. "My brother Rich found her in the cornfield,"
she said. "I don't remember if she had fallen asleep or was just
quilt covering the bed impressed Alan. It was made by fans and
he was touched by the love its making expressed. "She was like a
mother to the fans," Alan said.
cabin was built in the 1870s by Olive's great-grandfather, Thomas John
Davis, a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from
Wales. His son (Olive's father) was also born in the cabin.
time approached for the Osmond brothers to walk outside and express their
thanks to the communities of Malad and Samaria for restoring their mother's
birthplace. But brothers being brothers, they couldn't decide who was
to greet the crowd, who would give the opening prayer, who would dedicate
crowd cheered as the brothers came out and then spoke in turn.
the speeches, Virl walked over to the boulder where his mother played
as a child. His brothers joined him and rested their hands on the rock.
Virl then offered a prayer in dedication of his mother's birthplace.
for more information about Olive Osmond Historic Cabin publicized in December
for more information about Olive May Davis Osmond's family history.
You can contact
the OFO through its email address at: firstname.lastname@example.org