The Henry Hug family came to Santa Clara with the original Swiss Company in November of 1861. The Hugs and other members of this group lived in their wagon boxes and hillside dugouts until more adequate shelters could be built. The Hugs built this home in 1870. The original structure consisted of a dirt cellar, with two rooms overhead on the main floor and an attic room with a tiny, twisting staircase. The original walls were sandstone block and adobe brick. Original bricks are still visible in the attic along with the beams that are said to be from timber taken from Pine Valley Mountain. The Hugs stayed in the Santa Clara Valley until they sold the home to John and Anna Gubler in 1880. Sometime in the 1920s-1930s, the home was remodeled to include a modern kitchen and bathroom. The house was stuccoed at an unknown date, presumably to reinforce the original adobe brick.
The architecture of this home represents the Greek Revival, Temple-form. This is a style popular during the settlement period in the Utah territory. The swag-like pattern of the "gingerbread" trim is common to Gothic Revival, or Carpenter Gothic as it is sometimes called. Although the trim seems a bit unusual for this type of house, early photos indicate that it was part of the original home. The trim, however, did not seem to be used as extensively on the original house as it appears today. During the restoration of the home, a piece of the trim was taken to a craftsman who duplicated it to be placed as you see it now.
The Hug-Gubler Home stands as a landmark for Santa Clara City. Restoring the home was the beginning of a resurgence of community pride for the Swiss heritage of the founders of Santa Clara who came to the area as a result of being "called" to the assignment by Brigham Young, governor of the Utah Territory and prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When plans to tear down the Hug-Gubler Home surfaced in the early 1990s the Santa Clara Historical Society spoke loudly and clearly to declare the need for saving such structures. Their rescue efforts succeeded in restoring the dwelling into a small museum and home for the Society. Further efforts led to the establishment of Heritage Square, which encompassed the house, the Historical Relief Society Building, and the surrounding grounds.
Temple Form, 1847-1875
Temple-form houses may be one-and-a-half or two stories high and are almost always associated with the Greek Revival style. Different floor plans may be employed, and wings may also be present on one or both sides.
The temple-form house was an early nineteenth-century product of the Greek Revival stylistic movement. Seeking to capture the spirit of monumental buildings of ancient Greece like the Parthenon, American architectural theorists championed gable-front, pedimented structures with columned porticoes. Utah's Historic Architecture 1847-1940, Copyright c1988 by Thomas Carter and Peter Goss.