History of 2nd Street, Ogden, Utah

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The Pit (not a road name, just an explanation)

Posted by weberhistory on September 29, 2010

Yellow area is a sketch of The Pit or the excavation site for the Utah General Depot in about 1939.

At the beginning of the Second World War the U.S. government established a defense depot west of the railroad tracks and closed the depot to public traffic at the entrance in the 500 block of West 2nd St.   Many acres of the old Gates Farm on West 2nd Street were excavated to provide fill for the installation of the Utah General Depot.  After the excavation was completed, the site came to be known as The Pit or The Swamp or The Wilderness.  The Pit had an abrupt drop off of six to twelve feet on the east side of this area pictured in yellow on map; the drop off on the west side was about four or five feet.  During this excavation the workers also found many relics and evidences of the old fort.[1]

Over the years  lush vegetation and trees filled The Pit as there were many springs and wetlands here.   Various owners used it for pasture. In the early 1990s there were 30 to 50 horses grazing in this location.

Concerning the beauty of The Pit and surrounding area in the 1950s, Kim Richards, former resident of 2nd Street, wrote:  “Most of the area..west of Wall Avenue between Second Street and North Street was somewhat of a “wilderness area” with no homes or businesses.  It was fields, pastures and trees, etc.  I’m not sure who owned most of this property.  Reno’s had a farm there where they raised beans, etc.  Next to the Army Depot was Charlie Price’s place.  He owned a lot of land for farming and farm animals.  If one really wanted to get away from the city, he could go back into that “wilderness”.  I remember one spring when I was quite young my dad took our family on an Easter picnic back in that area.  It was very quiet, with only the birds singing.”[2]

In the early 1960s the Ogden 15th Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held a Cub Scout camp out in the Pit.  Kids loved to play here, and hunters illegally shot pheasants in the fall.

“The Wilderness”; photo 1999.

“The Pit”; photo 1998.

Looking down into the wetlands of The Pit; photo 1996.

Looking down into pastures of The Pit; photo 1996.

The west side drop off of the Pit is visible in the background; photo 1999.

The Pit; photo 1999.

[1] Lorna Schlote, D.U. P. Historian, quoted in newsletter of Ogden 15thWard, manuscript, September 1983, p.5.

[2] Autobiography of Kim David Richards, manuscript, 2006, p.5, 6.

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