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Lehi treasure, Silver Band Wagon, lovingly restored—twice



In 1887, community-minded musicians formed the Lehi Silver Band organization. The original band members loved music and wanted to share their talents with various groups and communities, but they needed transportation to concerts. “William Goates, a shrewd financial advisor, talked a wagon company out of a specially finished Bail Wagon gear which had been on display at the Utah State Fair. With the mechanical parts, Gary Whipple, a local craftsman, built the famous wagon, and Elwin Evans painted it with unique design,” according to the Lehi Centennial History. 

The Silver Band, the Wagon and its design became a noted attraction at many events in the area for years. Over time, the wagon fell into disrepair and in 1976, Lehi City received a federal Bicentennial grant to restore and house the iconic wagon. Betty Fowler, chairman of the Bicentennial Committee, wrote the grant and the City was given $18,000 for the project. The result of the grant included purchasing a park and a student-designed building to house the aging Lehi Silver Bandwagon. For 30 years, the Lehi Silver Band and Wagon were a constant source of delight for audiences at parades and concerts.

Lehi’s Scott Sampson was involved with the bandwagon during his youth. He has many fond memories of the bandwagon and the excitement it brought to the residents of Lehi as his grandfather Ray Stewart drove the teams pulling the bandwagon. Sampson suggested to several Lehi craftsmen, including Mel Anderson, that the wagon needed to be rebuilt. Responding to the suggestion, Ken Greenwood and Mel Anderson agreed to spearhead the project. With money from private donors and Lehi City, the talented twosome spent hours building a brand-new wagon. 

After the new bandwagon’s nearly 22 years of use at many parades and events, it recently needed to be repainted and repaired. Since the wagon had been rebuilt, the Lehi Silver Band had grown in membership, and an official organization, the Lehi Area Music Association, was organized. The group approached the City for funds from the PARC monies to complete the renovation but didn’t meet the requirements to obtain the needed funding. 

During a recent PARC meeting, McKay Christensen, CEO of Thanksgiving Point, offered to finance the renovation. According to Kathy Russon, group treasurer, “The next day, we received a check for $6,800 from Thanksgiving Point.” It was the exact amount of money painter Mark Naylor had bid for the job. 

The painting and repairing are now complete, and the Lehi City Band is growing by leaps and bounds, according to Russon. “We are excited to have a new wagon, and interest in our organization is growing. I will continue to write grants for the group because we need new percussion instruments, music stands, etc. It is a group that people love to be part of, and I can see our group expanding even more,” said Russon.

Bart Peacock, who owns the draft horses that pull the Lehi Silver Bandwagon today, said, “The wagon is an amazing example of excellent craftsmanship. I was so impressed as I helped restore it the second time.”

The president of the current group is Tracy Price, who, incidentally, is the son of Dale Price, an original member of the Bicentennial Committee who established Bandwagon Park in 1976. 


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