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History of Ogden

History of Ogden

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Historic Railroad

Ogden, also known as Junction City because of its century old role as the junction of the transcontinental railroad, is the heart of northern Utah and the Weber County seat of government and business.

While nomadic Shoshone tribes would frequent the Ogden area in the winter, the first permanent European settlement of what would be Utah occurred in 1846 by a trapper named Miles Goodyear. He established a way station called Fort Buenaventura about a half mile west of current downtown Ogden near the banks of the Weber River.  In November of 1847, Goodyear’s fort and 210 square miles of land were purchased for the amount of $1,950 by James Brown under the direction of Brigham Young with the intent of the area to become a Mormon settlement. Known first as Brownsville, the name was changed to Ogden when the City was incorporated on February 6th, 1851, in honor of brigade leader of the Hudson Bay Company Peter Skene Ogden who had been in the region a decade earlier.  From 1851 to 1870, Ogden was a small agrarian community with a population in 1860 of 1,463 people.

You Can't Get Anywhere Without Coming To Ogden

You can't get anywhere without coming to Ogden

With the establishment of the transcontinental railroad in 1869, Ogden vied with Corrine and won to become the junction of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads which meant that all passengers, baggage and shipping changed trains in Ogden as they traveled east or west and then later north and south across the nation.  Becoming Junction City changed the character of Ogden and lead to growth, development and importance as a business and economic center.  The local chamber of commerce adopted the motto, You can’t get anywhere without coming to Ogden!

The growth and progress that followed the development of Ogden can be seen today preserved in many commercial buildings and homes of those people involved in the development of Ogden. The Miles Goodyear cabin and the reconstructed Fort Buenaventura where Ogden began, Historic 25th Street and Union Station which tell the story of the railroad, and homes in historic districts of the Eccles’, Wattis’, Scowcroft’s, Dee’s, Browning’s and others  still stand as a reminder of the city’s past and inspiration for opportunities that can still take place.