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Located in the Lower 25th Street Historic District in Ogden, Utah.
268-270 25th Street

This building was constructed at the beginning of the 1900s as a three-story structure with commercial space on the first floor and boarding rooms on the second and third floors. The owner at the time of construction (circa. 1901) appears to have been John Contos, according to property records. Contos sold the property to Charles H. Smith in 1902. Smith sold the property to Sarah J. Wheelwright who owned the property from 1922 until 1944 when it was sold to Lettie Malan. In 1951 Lorna Malan Cole acquired the property from Mrs. Malan.

Occupants of the first floor retail space included:

  • S & R Livingston Confectionery (1901)
  • Paul A. Gysin Barber Shop (1904-1906)
  • The Mexican Chili Parlor/Pullman Bar (1907-1913)
  • Several Grocery Stores
  • Gallery 25
  • The Queen Bee

From as early as 1904, the second and third floors were operated as boarding rooms by Dora Belle Topham (aka Belle London), Ogden City’s most notorious “Madam” of the time period and her husband, Thomas Topham. They operated under the name “The Fashion Rooms”, after 1914, various women continued to lease the rooms until 1949, at which time Lettie Malan leased the building to Otto Waldron and E.J. Doherty who leased the rooming house and hotel under terms which required it to be used “to conduct only legitimate and lawful business.”

This building is an example of Commercial Vernacular architectural style. It is a one-story building with a replicated historic storefront. The original building was a three-story brick structure before a fire burned it circa. 1960. The one-story building that remains has two storefront entrances made of wood with traditional transom windows and kickplates.