WEBER COUNTY HERITAGE FOUNDATION
BY CINDY A. JONES
Weber County holds a bounty of diverse stories from the past, and Weber County Heritage Foundation has been hard at work preserving both the historic narratives and the places where they happened for over 40 years.
In the late 1970s, as the idea of historic preservation was catching on in Utah, the Junior League of Ogden took on various historical restoration projects around Ogden and decided that a separate entity was needed to tackle preservation. It was out of the passion for saving historic places that Weber County Heritage Foundation was born.
In its early years, the Foundation helped rescue Ogden’s prized Peery’s Egyptian Theatre from the wrecking ball; one of the Foundation members even leveraged her home mortgage as a stop-gap measure to help save the theater. The foundation, with support from various other groups around Weber County, was able to help spare the Egyptian Theatre in 1988 from demolition. In the next decade, the theater underwent major renovations to become the beautiful venue it is today.
The foundation has also contributed to several restoration projects through the years such as restoration of Ogden High School, the Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum, the historic Eccles Community Art Center, and the butterfly canopy and tile work inside Ogden Union Station.
In the past decade, community partnerships and government funding programs have allowed the group to rally public recognition and support. Thanks to the Weber County RAMP (Recreation, Arts, Museums, Parks) program, the group completed a restoration in 2008 of the historic Lime Kiln in Ogden Canyon, built by early settlers in 1865. Along with major contributions from the Daughters of the American Revolution and the American Legion, the Weber County Heritage Foundation also facilitated a full restoration of the WWI Doughboy statue in Ogden Cemetery. The project’s completion was marked by a special ceremony during the Centennial anniversary of the end of World War I.
In recent years, the foundation has gained a large public following through a series of projects, accelerated by technology. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, they began producing History-in-a-Minute videos: fun and short narratives filmed on location in historic places around Weber County. The videos have reached nearly 100,000 views and can be viewed on the foundation’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.
In 2020, the group realized a longtime goal of providing historic house signs to any homeowner who owns a home or property built prior to 1948. The signs contain information about the original or most influential tenants in the properties’ pasts and can be purchased through the Weber County Heritage Foundation website: webercountyheritagefoundation.com
Kate Stewart, the foundation president, believes that the work of early founders and members, along with the evolving dynamic of the group, is key to connecting with the community and, in turn, keeping the stories of the past alive.
Become a Member
• Help preserve local history and get free access to events
• Join through the WCHF website: webercountyheritagefoundation.com/memberships
Attend WCHF Events
• Religious Architecture of Ogden Tour, September 10
• Cemetery Tour – Ben Lomond Cemetery, North Ogden, October 8
• Find walking tours, free audio tours, and other events on the WCHF website events page: webercountyheritagefoundation.com/events
Donate Local History Books For Little Libraries
• For information, email email@example.com