Lehi Historical Society | Lehi Free Press
Last summer, the Lehi Historical Society got a call from Lehi Bakery that some treasures from the past had been unearthed in the cleanup after the old bakery at 164 W. Main was torn down.
“A whole bunch of old liquor bottles were found,” said Lara Bangerter, director of the historical society. “The funny thing is, many years ago, the owner of the beer joint in that location managed to convince a court he had no idea such activity happened at his place of business. We now have the evidence.”
Local plumber Leo J. Ball purchased the building at 164 W. Main in 1947 to open Leo’s Place, a beer joint. According to A Guide to Lehi’s Historical Sites and Places, “Lehi’s marshal at the time described [the place] … as a constant scene of rowdyism and yes, please gabrawls.
“After receiving numerous complaints, police officers Lee Marshall and Ray Edwards raided the place at 11:15 p.m. on Dec. 26, 1953. They discovered a host of liquor violations, including glasses of whiskey on the bar, liquor bottles in a trash can, a half-empty whiskey bottle on the premises and patrons consuming whiskey and mixed drinks.
“Following the raid, the city revoked Leo’s business license but lost the court case against the joint’s manager. The liquid evidence in the glasses had evaporated, and the city failed to prove intent, or that the defendant knew that liquor was being consumed in Leo’s Place.”
“It’s exciting to find bits of the past and connect them to their story,” said Bangerter. While many of the bottles appear to have dates from the early 1940s, more research needs to be done to truly understand the bottles. “We are so thankful the bakery reached out so that these items that help tell Lehi’s history can be researched and preserved.”
Swedish emigrant Carl J. E. Hertell purchased the property at 164 W. Main in 1928 and built the building that served as the home of Lehi Bakery until it was torn down in 2023. “Hertell was deaf, as was his wife, Amelia Comer,” according to the Guide. “Together, they operated several shoe repair shops and ice cream parlors in Lehi.” Hertell’s ‘Modern Shoe Shop’ remained in business until in 1930.
Barber Val Zimmerman, along with a series of beauticians, occupied the building until Ball bought it in 1947.
The first structure on the property, a frame building, was built in 1874 by goldsmith Gudmund Gudmundsen, who purchased the property from the Lehi Union Exchange and operated his business there until the early 1880s.
“His son Isaac retained ownership of the Lehi building [upon his father’s death], leasing it to the proprietors of the Lehi Drug Store—Dr. Calvin Seabright, then David Ellingson, and then later Bert Merrihew. In 1898, Gudmundsen sold the building to Hans Hammer. For a time, it served as a residence. Realtor Edward Southwick purchased it for a real estate office in 1908.” It served as such until Hertel purchased the property.
In 1955, Ball sold the controversial property to J. E. Strong, who opened a new beer parlor called The Roundup. In 1964, Melvin Anderson bought the place from Strong and maintained “Mel’s Kustom Karpentry and Supply” for two years.
From 1966-1969, Anderson leased the site to Abe Evans, and later his wife, who both managed a State Liquor Store on the premises. Anderson sold the property to Arden Tuckett in March of 1969. Tuckett, who a year earlier had opened his Lehi Bakery one door west, removed the shared well between the two buildings and opened a pizzeria at 164 W. Main.
Until 2023, both 164 W. Main and 172 W. Main housed the Lehi Bakery. In 2018, the Tucketts sold to David and Danielle Doty. They opened their two-story, state-of-the-art building covering both addresses in 2023.
For more information on the old bakery building or liquor bottles, contact the Lehi Historical Society at email@example.com or call 801-768-1570.