On April 5, 1847, at 2 p.m., one hundred and forty-three men, three women, and two children began a trek westward to the Rocky Mountains. On July 21, 1847, two members of the group entered the Salt Lake Valley and took a twelve-mile tour before returning to the group. The next day, the first camp was established in the valley. On July 24, 1847, Brigham Young, who led the group, had his first view of the valley and declared this was the right place to settle. Thus, on the 24th of July each year, we celebrate Pioneer Day to honor the bravery of the original settlers and their strength of character and physical endurance.
By December of 1847, the population of the Salt Lake Valley was estimated to be 1,611. One of the first tasks the pioneers were challenged with was to find dependable water sources that would be needed in the arid desert. Interestingly, the pioneers faced some of the same challenges we are facing today: growth and dependable sources of water. I’m confident that with endurance and the strength of character of the citizens of North Ogden, we will also solve the challenge of growth and water issues we are facing, just like the pioneers did.
In 1850, the Campbell and Riddle families, who were ranchers living in Ogden, Utah, wintered their cattle in North Ogden. They didn’t stay long as there were tensions with Native Americans living in the area. Things settled down a little, and in 1851, they returned and were followed by several other families (approximately 18). Today, North Ogden has grown to over 21,000 residents. North Ogden has grown because it is a great place to live, and we welcome people with open arms.
Interestingly enough, early North Ogden settlers were instructed to build a wall around the city. Thank heavens the physical wall was never completed. So, here we are some 170 years later, and we need to be careful not to build a different type of wall around North Ogden. Although many citizens wish growth would just go away, the reality is it is here to stay. The job of your elected officials is to thoughtfully plan for growth that will maintain a high and diverse quality of life in North Ogden. Thoughtful growth includes adequate roads, superb police protection, outstanding trail access, and various other public works responsibilities.
City staff, including our planners, are working on ordinances that will help conserve water, make developments safe for new residents, maintain sensitive lands, protect current residents, and attract the appropriate types of businesses that will keep North Ogden a great place to live! It’s quite the task, but one that can be achieved as we seek to become ONE NORTH OGDEN.
It is my hope that, during July, we will remember not only the birth of our country, but also the heritage of our state and particularly those things that make North Ogden great, which includes welcoming people with open arms.