Emily Buckley, editor in chief
14 years ago, Richard and Karen Eversull of Nibley wanted to give Cache Valley a non-denominational worship opportunity.
Richard, the caretaker of the historic Morgan Farm in Nibley, felt The Morgan Farm Barn was the perfect backdrop for a Nativity. He believed it would help people have a more realistic view of what the holy Christmas night might have looked like 2,000 years ago.
Over the years, hundreds of volunteers and thousands of visitors have walked through the barn and felt love, peace, and a great appreciation for what they consider the true meaning of Christmas.
“It has always been a very spiritual experience for me to watch people come through and observe the nativity,” Richard said.
Richard Eversull has been the caretaker of Morgan Farm in Nibley for the last 14 years.
Last year, in consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was changed to a drive-through experience. Volunteers, including Richard’s daughter Adria Eversull and family friends Sabrina and Joshua Olsen, created an artistic and musical presentation that visitors could take part in from the comfort and warmth of their vehicles. Live animals and inspiring, hand-painted scenes are displayed around the farm and coordinated to a YouTube video of music and narration of the Biblical Christmas story.
“We received a lot of positive feedback from the community about how it was done last year, and since there are still concerns [regarding COVID], we are having a drive-through Nativity again this year, although I hope we can return to a walkthrough again in the future,” Richard said.
Richard says all are welcome to attend the event. Visitors are invited to leave a $5 or canned food donation to benefit the Cache Community Food Pantry if they can, “but if you don’t have any money or food to spare, you are still welcome,” Richard said.
Adria and Sabrina are lifelong friends and are now both professional artists. You can see their work on Instagram, respectively, at @adriaeart and @thabusart3.
More than 5,000 cars drove through the event last year. This year’s Nativity Journey will be held on December 10, 11, and 13 from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
The staging point for the Nativity Journey is in the Logan Coach parking lot at 2990 South 800 West, Nibley. Vehicles should enter from the south. As visitors enter, there will be large signs with a QR code to scan and access the audio portion of the experience. They’ll then drive past Morgan Farm and Elkhorn Park where scenes and animals are set.
The barn at Morgan Farm was built in 1921 with the help of a local lumber company. At the time, it was a state-of-the-art, privately owned milking barn. The property changed hands over the years and was eventually acquired by Nibley City, who hired Richard to bring his animals and care for the farm which is home to three horses, six goats, a steer, two donkeys, 100 chickens, three foal cats, and a goose, and is now open to the community as a petting zoo of sorts.
“People are welcome to visit the farm anytime,” Richard said. “I love having the kids come by and see the animals.”
Richard, who has been wheelchair bound for over 30 years since sustaining injuries in an automobile accident, says he enjoys taking care of the grounds and property. “It reminds me of my time growing up in the country in Cheyenne, Wyoming.”
Adria says her dad has been an inspiration to her throughout her life. “He has been in a wheelchair since I was 3,” Adria said. “And he never let it stop him from doing the things he loves, whether it was driving Clydesdale horses in a Fourth of July parade or skiing. Taking care of the farm and putting on the Nativity is another one of those things. He loves the story of the Nativity and loves that he can serve the community. It gives him purpose.”