National Register of Historic Places in Grand County
John Henry Shafer, the son of Mormon immigrants was born in Salt Lake City in 1851. In 1878, he arrived in the Moab area with other settlers colonizing the upper Spanish Valley.
The Shafer House is one of only four adobe houses in Moab. It is the oldest of the seventeen Victorian residences in Moab and one of six Victorian Eclectic style residences in with a cross-wing plan.
The cross-wing house is common in Utah. Mormon town planning was based on Joseph Smith's Plat of the City of Zion which led to villages laid out as grids. Lots were large enough to accommodate a homestead which included a residence, a garden and a small family farm. The houses was usually placed at the corner of the lot nearest the intersection of the streets, leaving two sides of the house as potential formal facades.
With symmetry being a principle concern in the design of a house, this ambiguity of placement was often disconcerted architects and carpenters.
Adapted from the NRHP nomination submitted in 2001.
Historic Adobe Buildings