Lehi man creates hand-carved pens from the old Lehi High gym floor
Since the renovation of Lehi High School, many people have purchased a piece of the historic Lehi High School gymnasium floor, including many former athletes who have made their mark on the memorable hardwood. These pieces have become priceless memorabilia for generations of Lehi families. Recently, longtime Lehi resident, and former LHS athlete, Darin Kirkham, has turned segments of the old gym hardwood into works of art. He makes beautiful custom pens made of maple, and many in Lehi have ordered a one a kind pen from Kirkham.
Darin Kirkham, a former Lehi High basketball player, has been woodworking for over six years. When he attended the annual Scottish Festival in Payson, Utah, Kirkham was inspired by seeing custom handmade wood pens that a vendor was selling at the event. Darin’s wife, Jarris Kirkham, encouraged him to pursue this recent project. He immediately ordered the needed equipment, turned a garden shed in his backyard into a woodworking shed, and started making wood pens as a hobby. Darin has made hundreds of pens through the years of all styles and materials.
When Kirkham discovered that the Lehi gymnasium was being renovated and pieces of the historic floor were for sale, he knew he wanted to get pieces of that beloved hardwood maple and create custom pens. “I played on the wood floor, my son did, my brothers did, and there is just so much history there,” said Kirkham. “When I make pens, I try to look for the story behind it. If there is a story with a pen, it is so much more meaningful,”
Kirkham reached out to current Lehi High School principal Doug Webb and told him about the idea of turning the wood pieces into pens and selling them. Principal Webb encouraged Kirkham to consider donating to the Lehi Alumni Scholarship Fund. Kirkham loved the suggestion, so he donates a portion of the amount to the scholarship fund for every pen he sells.
To create the pens, Darin glues two of the wood floor slats together and drills a hole through the center, which allows for ink refills. He creates different styles, including a more vintage-looking pen to match the Lehi Pioneer theme. Each pen comes with a certificate of authenticity, signed by Principal Doug Webb, sharing the gym’s history and the years the floor was in use (1959-2019).
Kirkham’s pens are in high demand and make a great gift or keepsake for any LHS alumni or former athlete. Kirkham can be reached at email@example.com.