Built by Nielson in the late 1880′s or early 1890′s, this brick house was
originally similar in design to the stone house built by Nielson in the same block.
Nielson’s first wife, Elsie Rasmussen Nielson, lived in this house. Elsie Rasmussen
was a quiet, unassuming woman, she lived to make others happy and comfortable.
She was responsible for the planting of the mulberry trees which can still be
found in Bluff. She was known to be industrious, careful, and sensible.
Prior to pioneering in Bluff, Jens Nielson built homes in Parowan, Paragonah and
Cedar City, Utah. Nielson built a stone house on the same block for Kirsten
Jensen Nielson, his second wife.
The Nielson House and Mill was significantly altered in the 1950′s when the second
story was removed. At this time, the front porch was also enclosed and transformed
into a bathroom. It appears the materials from the second story were reused in
the building of an apartment onto the lower story’s south side. The remodeled
building was then entirely stuccoed, and a simple gable roof was added. A shed
roof was built over the apartment.
In 1991, the present owner restored the original cross-wing, two-story form with
the four gables. The lower story stucco finish was retained. The upper story
is sheathed in ceder shingles laid in a staggered pattern, and the restored
second story roof reproduces the original steep pitch of the gables. Originally,
the lower story featured windows on all four walls. The window on the south
wall is now obscured by the present-day southern apartment building. Each wall
has two windows; one single double-hung, and one coupled double-hung window.
Red brick arches adorn each window. The doorways, one on the north porch, one
in the west wall, and one in the south wall, have transoms over their lintels.
Existing major alterations to this building are the new, upper story and the
attached apartment on the south side. The upper story exhibits architectural
elements and materials that are consistent with the local vernacular architecture.
The apartment does not contribute to the character of the building.
The house has had several owners in recent history, and after serving as a
restaurant and an inn, the Jens Nielson gables house is now a private residence.
Source: Bluff History Tour