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*These are Ogden's original walking tours, landmarks may be different than the ones described in the tour*
Click for a printable version of the Walking Tour: Historic Walking Tours Of Ogden
These tours are presented in the hoped that people of Ogden City and Weber County and visitors to the area will become more acquainted with the historical and cultural sites that exist in the City of Ogden and Weber County. The Ogden area has a rich history that started with the Indians who roamed the streams and mountain lands. Weber County was a place that was frequented by the mountain men, trappers who came in search of fur-bearing animals. In fact, it was after these men that several places in region were named – Ogden City after Peter Skene Ogden (who probably never came to the city location) and Weber County probably named after John H. Weber, an early trapper, and it was one of these mountain men who made the first settlement of white civilization here – Miles Goodyear who built a stockade settlement on the Weber River in 1845.
In 1848 Mormon settlement came to Ogden when James Brown bought out the Miles Goodyear claim which included most of the present-day Weber County for $1,950. After that settlement began to grow along the Weber River, but in 1850 it moved to higher ground on the bench south of the Ogden River. Over a period of time nine forts were built in the County area and after the threat of Indians was passed the community began to spread out and grow.
The early community was based on agriculture, but in 1869 the transcontinental railroad line turned Ogden into the Junction City of the railroad system and the region became significant for railroading, manufacturing and commerce. By 1920 Weber County could boast of canning factories, meat packing industry, and nine major continental and local railroad systems. Ogden claimed three automobile and motor truck body plants, nine bakeries, three bottling works, three brick and tile companies, two broom factories, one car manufacturing plant, four candy factories, 18 canneries, five product plants, three chemical and drug manufacturing plants, three cigar factories, six coal mining companies, four construction companies, eight foundry and structural iron works, one garment factory, two knitting mills and elevators, three meat packing plants, one shoe factory, three stock food factories, twelve sugar factories – a total of 170 industries in the Ogden area.
These industries built Weber County into an important center. As time went on Ogden would change as the passenger rail peaked out in 1941, when as many as 119 passenger trains a day passed through the Ogden yards. World War II brought major federal government installations to the region – Hill Field, Ogden Arsenal, Defense Depot Ogden, and later the Internal Revenue Service. As the railroad industry declined Weber County shifted more to the government service industries, and today many new businesses of great variety have been drawn in the Weber area. Leaders in the development of Ogden as a manufacturing and commerce center included people - such as David Eccles, David H. Peery, Charles Woodmansee, John Scowcroft, Thomas D. Dee, Edmund 0. Wattis, William Wattis, W.W. Corey, Peter Boyle, Fred J. Kiesel, J.G. Read, Lewis Shurtliff, and John M. Browning.
The change of od industry and commerce had an effect on the local culture also. What had started out as a Mormon community began to change in 1869 with the coming of the railroads and a new mixture of population. At first there were some difficult adjustments, but in 1889, when the non-Mormon citizens were elected into the city leadership, the Mormon control was broken and from that time on a compatible mixture of Mormon – non-Mormon culture and politics existed.The community has had a rich history and Ogden and Weber County have produced some national personalities such as Bernard Devoto (populist silver advocate), John. Browning (gun inventor), Marriner Eccles (New Deal financials leader and businessman), Ernest Wilkinson (lawyer for Indian claims and President of BYU), J. Willard Marriot (founder of Marriot Corporation), Fawn McKay Brodie (Biographer and Pulitzer Prize winner), David O McKay (President of the Mormon Church), Brent Scowcroft (General of the Army and Chairman of the National Security Council), T.H. Bell (Educator and United States Commissioner of Education), Robert Walker (Movie Star), and Richard Richards (National Chairman of the Republican Party). Others who live in Ogden or have lived here and have gained national exposure through the media include: Melvin Dumar (claimant to the Howard Hughes fortune), Dick Motta (former basketball coach at Weber State College and Coach of the National Champion Washington Bullets), Osmond Family (musical entertainers), and the Hansen twins (Siamese Twins that were successfully separated).
The buildings and historical sites reflect this important story of community. In these tours are seen the “Visions for Creative Change” on which many of the early settlers and developers of Ogden built their dreams and accomplishments. It is hoped as the participants visit these various areas they will reflect on those important events and places in the history of Ogden and Weber County.
The tours are divided into two walking tours of Ogden City. The tours are designed so that they might be completed at one time or be done in segments. One walking tour centers on Ogden’s 24th Street and the northern center of the city, and the other walking tour emphasizes 25th Street and the southern center of the city. Both tours start at the Union Station at 25th Street and Wall Avenue.
It is important to realize that most of the sites presented in the tours are private residences and the tourist is not encouraged to make inquiries or to bother the resident of the sites. All observations should be made from the public sidewalks and public thoroughfare. The author disclaims any trespassing or disturbance of the tranquility of the residents. Otherwise, have a good time on your tour. A careful study of each structure will reveal some interesting artistic and architectural features. A map is provided which shows the route of the tour.Useful as sources in preparing these tours were various articles and information found at Weber State College Library, Weber County Library, some information from calendars of Weber County Heritage Foundation, the Junior League of Ogden, League of Women Voters, and the Ogden Standard Examiner with articles by feature writers Marilyn Karras, Robin Tippets and Becky Cairns. Also work done by Thomas Moore and others who developed the Eccles Circle – Van Buren Avenue as a historical district, and Allen Roberts, architectural historian, who has made available valuable information. Barbara Bernstein, feature writer for the Deseret News has also provided important information and Karen Wimmer helped with the maps.