It's been said that even Al Capone wouldn't visit Ogden's 25th street in its "heydey." Really? its hard to imagine today's picturesque "25th street" as once home to bootleggers and brothels, prostitutes and prohibition, mobsters and memories (not all of them good). Tunnels were even dug from Union Station to the Ben Lomend Hotel echoing strains of Ogden's wilder days.
Ogden's boom days bolstered crime and rebellion on this fanciful street. Beginning in 1880 with the completion of the Transcontinental railway, the Wild West ran 25th street complete with gambling, shootouts, and whore houses. In 1917, prohibition arrived early in Utah ushering in a period of lawlessness under various veils of cover. Liquor and gambling continued in various guises until 1933 when prohibition was repealed. Mobs equal to those found in Chicago and New York ruled the the roost until the 1950's when the crackdown of crime in the area became serious and as the decline of railway passengers began.
Through the 40's up until the late 90's 25th hung on but eventually became boarded up- it became silent. Today, nearly two decades later 25th street shines with opportunity and hints of good things to come. Today 25th street reverberates with stories of its past and bright images of its future. It is once again a "hub of activity"but the legal kind.
Children were once told to stay far away from this "wicked" street, but today the revitalization effort welcomes back patrons of all ages. Artists, foodies, and history buffs clamor to this street. 25th Street is definitely in its 4th boom- it has returned to its "heyday"
What's up with the horses?
“The “Trail to Pioneer Days” horse project is one of the largest public art projects of its kind in Utah. More than 60 life-size fiberglass horses designed and painted by the area’s finest artists are on display along Historic 25th Street, the Junction and Washington Boulevard. They lead the way to Ogden Pioneer Stadium where Ogden Pioneer Days originated and where the feeling of the American West still lives.” ~Trail to Pioneer Days
If you’re wondering how the horses came to be, who designed them, who painted them, and where they’re located, check out this great walking tour from our friends at Visit Ogden and Ogden City. The map features details for each horse and information on the artist(s) who created them. Take the tour and see if you can spot them all!
It's a great time to add 25th street to your summer bucketlist. 2019 is the 150th birthday of the Transcontinental railroad and the museum at Ogden's Union Pacific railroad will not disappoint.
My great grandfather, Edwin Cleveland Stoddard was a railway man. It was the great steam engine of the 20th century that brought he and my grandmother Jennie Smith together. I thought of them both as I wandered on Ogden's 25th street.