Ogden Area Mormon History Sites
Ogden, Utah, is a busy town north of Salt Lake City, and is actually the site of the first permanent settlement by people of European descent in the region before the Mormon pioneers arrived. Ogden was a major player in the development of the Transcontinental Railroad, which was completed in 1869. Today, Ogden's visitors enjoy downhill skiing at the Snowbasin and Powder Mountain resorts.
Below are listed some Mormon historic sites in the Ogden area. This is not an exhaustive list, and visitors looking to see some of the more obscure or less popular historic sites are encouraged to research other sites of interest before visiting the area.
Originally built in 1846 by Miles Goodyear as a rest point for those heading to California and Oregon, Fort Buenaventura was the first permanent settlement in what is now Utah by people of European descent. Mormon settlers purchased the fort in 1847, but stayed there just three years before flooding from the Weber River forced them to higher ground. Fort Buenaventura has been authentically reconstructed and is now a state park open to the public, complete with picnic and camping facilities as well as cabins and stockade to replicate a pioneer-era feel.
Dedicated in 1972, the beautiful, 115,000-square foot Ogden Temple was the first built by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Utah in nearly 80 years. Temples occupy a central role in individual worship for Mormons, and are closed to the general public. Visitors are welcome, however, to enjoy the immaculately groomed temple grounds and admire the sublime architecture of the structure.
The Ogden Pioneer Museum contains a collection of pioneer-era artifacts and is operated by the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. The museum located west of the temple on Grant Avenue and is open during the daytime in the summer.
Located directly behind the Ogden Pioneer Museum, this cabin was home to Miles Goodyear, who first settled the area in 1846; thus it is actually the first log cabin built in all of Utah. It is not open to the public, but can be viewed through its wire mesh enclosure.
As the city nearest the "Golden Spike" which completed the transcontinental railroad in 1869, Ogden was an important rail junction for many years and aided in the completion of the Salt Lake Temple by allowing supplies to be shipped south easily. That history is preserved in the Ogden Railroad Depot Museum. The museum also hosts the Browning Gun Collection (Jonathan Browning joined the Mormon Church in Illinois and later became a famous gun engineer) and the Kimball-Browning Auto Museum.
The town of Huntsville was established in 1860 in a beautiful valley east of Ogden; visitors can reach the town through Ogden Canyon. Because of its relative seclusion and serene setting the town serves as a reminder of the pioneer era. The family home of former Mormon Church president David O. McKay is located in the center of Huntsville.