The Museums at Union Station fosters understanding of the distinctive nature of urban life in the one of Utah's most influential urban centers, Ogden City. It engages visitors by celebrating, documenting, and interpreting the city's past, present, and future.
The Museums at Union Station was founded in 1978 by the Union Station Development Corporation (USDC) and Elizabeth A. Griffiths, a historian with a vision for social history and a love for Ogden. The concept for a Museum and Community Center in Ogden started when citizens and City officials approached the Union Pacific Company about offering the building, known as Union Station, on Wall Ave at the base of 25th Street to the City in 1969. Renovations to the Jon and Donald Parkinson's Italian-Byzantine building started in 1973 by the City and was completed in 1978. The key note speaker at the rededication of Union Station and the grand opening of the Museums stated that "Ogden officials and community members, including the local newspaper, worked hard between 1969 and 1978 top preserve the station, both as a representation of the city's cultural heritage and as a key to builder of the future..." As the largest cultural institution in the city of Ogden, the Museums at Union Station's focus has been to preserve and use Ogden's stories to tell about the life, work, individuals and ideas and even the built environment of Ogden, such as Utah's railroad history and John Moses Browning. A decade later after its founding, the Union Station building was designated as the official Utah State Railroad Museum in 1988. During the next few decades, the Museum amassed a considerable collection of exceptional items, including Matthew S. Browning Collection, Matthew and Barbara Browning Classic Car Collection, several glass negatives of early Ogden, Floyd Jarvis Utah Railroad Collection, which is comprised of timetables and film footage of the railroad. Today the Museums' collection contains around 25,000 objects, including prints, photographs, decorative arts, costumes, paintings, sculpture, toys, and railroad ephemera.