Writing from a small home in the hills above Berkeley, California, in February 1923, Ruth Harwood described to her father how she had commemorated her mother's birthday. James Taylor Harwood—Utah's most prominent artist—had lost his wife, Harriet Richards Harwood, the previous April. Bereft by the death of his wife, James had returned to Salt Lake City with his two younger children after having relocated the Harwood household to California three years earlier.1 Despite the loss, Ruth's letters contain a celebratory tone, one that reflects her belief that the presence of their mother remained in the family. “You will want to know all the celebration we did for the little mother's birthday,” Ruth wrote. “Mostly I felt in a mood of rejoicing that she had had a birthday and such a beautiful life and that she had given the gift to me. . . . Somehow I felt the benediction...
Ruth Harwood: Utah's Spiritualist Prodigy
ELIZABETH EGLESTON GIRAUD is an architectural historian and independent scholar living in Salt Lake City. She has had a long career in historic preservation, working at the Idaho State Historic Preservation Office, Salt Lake City Planning, and the Utah Department of Transportation. She currently works for a private firm, Avenue Consultants. In 2010, she authored Twin Falls, Idaho for the Images of America series (Arcadia). She holds graduate degrees in historic preservation from Cornell University and history from the University of Utah.
Elizabeth Egleston Giraud; Ruth Harwood: Utah's Spiritualist Prodigy. Utah Historical Quarterly 1 October 2023; 91 (4): 315–333. doi: https://doi.org/10.5406/26428652.91.4.05
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