History of 2nd Street, Ogden, Utah

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i. 150 W. 2nd St. – Gillson/Bertinotti Granary; burnt brick c. 1875.

Posted by weberhistory on April 22, 2010

The Gillson adobe house and rear burnt brick granary were covered with cement; they appeared like this for more than 50 years; the photo has a black smudge on the granary; photo Ogden City Call Survey 1986.

The Gillson granary; photo 1998.

In 2000 Brent Baldwin removed the cement began revealing the burnt bricks and a rock foundation on the granary; photo 2000.

Brent Baldwin built a porch on the front of the granary, and the east extension of the granary received a door, window and porch roof; photo 2006.

HISTORY OF THE GRANARY

The granary is located 100 feet north of the Gillson house and was built by Edward Gillson about ten years after the house in circa 1875.  This is a two level, burnt brick structure.   Burnt bricks were sun dried and then fired but were not as hard as the bricks of the 1890s; the bricks were probably made at the Gates Adobe-Brick Mill.  The three- foot rock foundation was built to prevent rain from splashing on the bricks.  Wheat and grains were stored in the dry upper level, and the lower level had a dirt floor and served as a root cellar.[1] There was once a brick house to the east of the granary which was demolished in about 1960.[2]

For history of Edward Gillson and his family see c. 150 W. 2nd rear, William and Edward Gillson House.

The Bertinotti family bought the Gillson property in the 1880s.  Frank and Michael Bertinotti were farmers and they used the granary like the Gillsons for storage of farm products.  The Bertinotti Ditch is named after these immigrant Italian farmers.  Michael is known for his kindness in assisting many relatives as they immigrated or were left homeless.  Before long he had fostered and attracted so many Italian families that 2nd Street was known as “Little Italy”.

After Michael Bertinoti’s death in 1911, his niece Anna Bertinotti Genta bought the granary and it appears that after that time it began to be used as a house, perhaps for a 70-year-old Italian widow.  It was large enough to be used as a house and it was not uncommon  for families to temporarily live in granaries while saving money or building another house.[3] Members of the Bertinoti/ Genta family owned this property for over fifty years.  It was rented during the latter part of that time and was not well maintained.  Restoration of the structure began in 2000.


[1] On site visit in May 2000 by Gordon Q. Jones, author Pioneer Forts in Ogden Utah, 1996, Sons of Utah Pioneers.

[2] Memory of Flo Stacey, Ogden, Utah.

[3] Richard C. Roberts and Richard W. Sadler, A History of Weber County, 1997, Utah State Historical Society and Weber County Commission, p. 177.

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