Something Old, Something New


By Jeanette Bennett

As a 7-year-old, Paul Maxfield delivered newspapers in downtown Pleasant Grove. When he tossed the paper on the steps of the historic Alexander K. Thornton House on 200 South each morning, he always paid attention to the unique architectural details.

Life moved on and Paul married Marilyn Swenson and stayed in Pleasant Grove. In the late ‘90s, Marilyn learned that the historic Thornton home was going to be for sale. At first she didn’t tell Paul.

“I knew he would want it, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to move into an old home,” Marilyn says.

But she did eventually tell Paul, and the couple moved into the old home — with a list of ideas of how to make it new again.

But one restoration project wasn’t enough for Paul. He soon purchased a cabin built in 1850 on 200 West and Center Street in Pleasant Grove. After moving it to the west of his home, he restored and furnished the cabin. Now he rents it as a bed and breakfast house, with complimentary chilled beverages, a modern shower and a loft bedroom. During the 2002 Olympics, the Battlecreek Inn housed visitors from England, Norway, France and New York.

He wants to keep this part of downtown Pleasant Grove preserved. His next project? To recreate an old milk house and bring a second log cabin to his property.

Paul’s philosophy is “live for today but preserve for tomorrow.”


The upstairs loft bedroom in the cabin is decorated with an antique, outdoor theme. Paul installed a window in the loft area to bring added light to the bedroom, which includes a TV, air conditioning and modern plumbing.

cabin cabinold couple

Paul and Marilyn Maxfield restored their Pleasant Grove home. Paul owned Maxfield Meat Processing for 33 years and now drives a school bus part-time and operates an antique shop on his property. Marilyn works for her son who is a dentist in Pleasant Grove. Below, Paul wanted the furniture to be from the same period as the house. He found this turn-of-the-century furniture for $50 and then had the couch recovered. “Furniture brings back memories of times gone by,” Paul says.



The original banister has been refinished in this 1905 home. The window is one of three in the house made of leaded crystal. The upstairs includes three bedrooms and a bathroom,


Alexander K. Thornton built this home in 1905. He was a prominent businessman in Pleasant Grove. The home, which is just east of the railroad tracks and across from the Post Office, was used as a boarding house for several years. Paul Maxfield, an admitted “history nut,” purchased the home in 1997 and has restored the house inside and out.

frontold maxfield-sign spinning-wheel-in-cabin\

The Maxfields furnished the interior of the cabin with antiques such as this spinning wheel.


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