Bertha Eccles Community Art Center / Bertha Eccles Hall
One of the primary sources of wealth in 19th Century Utah was mining. Often this revenue was then invested in banking, commercial and agricultural ventures to multiply the wealth of already successful entrepreneurs. The case of James C. Armstrong is no exception.
With wealth from the mines, he invested in the Commercial National Bank of Ogden and became its president. He also served on the Bear River Water Board, as treasurer of the Union Publishing Company and as a Weber County commissioner in 1897 and 1898. Armstrong used part of his money to build a lovely home on Jefferson Avenue in 1893. The architect is unknown. Apparently the contractor was Joseph T. Johnson.
In 1896, Armstrong sold the home to David Eccles, another prominent businessman in northern Utah. His interests extended to lumber, land, railroads, banking and sugar industry. In time he became one of the state’s most significant financiers with his Influence extending far beyond the state’s boundaries.
David Eccles’ story is in the Horatio Alger’s tradition. Born in Scotland, he immigrated to Utah with his family, new converts to Mormon ism in 1863.
After locating in the Ogden area, David’s father, who was blind, made various articles on his wood lathe which his son peddled to people in the Ogden area. From this lowly beginning the young man rose to great financia prominence before his death in 1912.
His first wife, Bertha Jensen Eccles, was born in Denmark in 1857. At age ten, she also came to Utah with her family, walking much of the way. Living in Huntsville also, she grew up knowing the boy she later married. (1875) Their lovely home on Jefferson Avenue was many years removed from that beginning.
Because of her wealth and the opportunities it provided for travelling Bertha Eccles became a prominent influence in Ogden ‘s educational and social life. Not only did her home provide her family with the best in cultural opportunities, but it became a center for Ogden’s cultural festivities and social activities. Mrs. Eccles became one of the founders of the Girl Scout movement in Utah. She requested that her home remain in use as a center for these kinds of activities. After her death it was given to the L.D.S. Church. Then, in June, 1948, the home was presented to Weber Ste College by the Church, where it became a women’s dormitory and College Social Center. When the college moved to its new campus in about 1956, the home reverted to the L.D.S, Church again. About this time (1956-1959), the art council acquired the home for its use, as a gift from the church.
Since that time it has served as the Bertha Eccles Community Art Center. Various groups make direct use of it — the Junior League of Ogden, Ballet West’s Ogden Office, Ogden’s Symphony Guild, the Palette Club, and the Child Culture Club, In addition, art works are constantly on display. Classes in graphics, ceramics, painting, drawing, sculpture, drama, ballet, etc., are taught during nine months of the year. Last season over 35,000 people visited and used the center.
Thus this lovely Victorian home remains an example of early mining and commercial wealth spent on architecture which remains a cultural catalyst for the community. The qualities of Bertha Eccles still permeate the premises. With pride the community now honors her and seeks the preservation of this center.
John Marriott and Susannah Fowkes Marriott Home Site
In the 1850s, John Marriott and Susannah Houghton Fowkes established a homestead near this site. They lived in a covered wagon while they made an earthen dugout for shelter. John later constructed the settlement’s first permanent log cabin. He was a farmer and also worked on the Central Pacific route of the first Transcontinental Railroad. John practiced polygamy, having five wives and thirty-five children. His wives, in order of marriage, were Susannah Houghton Fowkes, Elizabeth Stewart, Teresa Southwick, Margaret Burton, and Catherine Vaughan Evans. In 1890, polygamy ended as Utah sought statehood. Margaret Burton remained with John until his death in 1899.
Marriott-Slaterville City Historical Marker historical marker #5, located at 1359 West 700 South in Marriott-Slaterville, Utah
J. Willard Marriott Birthplace
John Willard Marriott was born near this site on September 17, 1900. He was the second of eight children born to Hyrum Willard Marriott and Ellen Morris. As a youth he worked the family farm and sheep ranch. He loved the open spaces of Marriott Settlement and the grandeur of the Rockies. After completing an LDS mission to the eastern states, he graduated from Weber Academy, taught at the academy, and graduated from the University of Utah. In 1927, he married Alice Sheets and moved to the Washington D.C. area. At this time, he also secured a franchise for A&W Root Beer and expanded his business. For the next 58 years, until his death in August 1985, J. Willard Marriott built his dream with his sons, Bill and Dick. Marriott International continues today as one of the most admired companies in the world. J.W. Marriott summed up his personal philosophy: “take part in the things that go on in this wonderful world… live life and make every day count to the very end.”
Marriott-Slaterville City Historical Marker historical marker #4, located at 1209 West 700 South in Marriott-Slaterville, Utah
Defense Depot Ogden
Around 1940, approximately 1,139 acres from the pioneer settlements of Marriott, Harrisville, and Slaterville were condemned and seized by the United States for a military base. Broom’s Bench was demolished, Butler’s Pond was filled, and some fifty families lost their homes and were forced to relocate. The military installation built to the east operated under various names: Utah General Depot, Utah Army Forces Supply Depot, and Defense Depot Ogden. During World War II part of the site served as an internment camp for German and Italian soldiers. Defense Depot Ogden was closed in the late 1990s, and the property was turned over to Ogden City which now operates Business Depot Ogden.
Marriott-Slaterville City Historical Marker historical marker #13, located at 397 North 1200 West in Marriott-Slaterville, Utah
Marriott and Slaterville were unincorporated pioneer settlements in Weber County until the late 1990s. Initially, the citizens of Marriott and Slaterville voted to create Marriott Township and Slaterville Township under the jurisdiction of Weber County, Annexation concerns grew from the closure of Defense Depot Ogden. Then, the state legislature suddenly stripped away township border protection, so, in 1998, residents of the two townships voted overwhelmingly to merge together, Marriott-Slaterville City was officially incorporated on July 1, 1999.
Historic Pioneer Road
Pioneer Road connected the historical community of Slaterville east to west. This winding country road was constructed by early pioneers. The road was lined with 19th century and early 20th century homes, along with thriving farms. The Allred, Holley, Knight, Powell, Slater, Smout, Wardell, and Wheeler families were some of the earliest Slaterville pioneer settlers.
Marriott-Slaterville City Historical Marker historical marker #11, located at 2060 West Pioneer Road in Marriott-Slaterville, Utah
In 1868, the first Marriott School was constructed of logs on the corner of 12th Street and 1200 West. Later a brick school building was constructed on this site and operated by Weber School District. The school went through several renovations until it was demolished in the early 1940s. The land was then donated to the Marriott Ward. In 2007, the land was gifted to Marriott-Slaterville City as a perpetual park. The bowery and playground were reconstructed by Marriott-Slaterville City.
Richard & Ann Slater Home
Richard Slater and Ann Corbridge were immigrants from England. Richard served in the Mormon Battalion before relocating his family to Utah as part of the early pioneer movement. In 1852, he acquired land in Slaterville and constructed an adobe home for his wife and twelve children. In approximately 1898, he constructed this brick home on Pioneer Road. This home is typical of the architecture of the late 19th Century. Richard Slater is the namesake of the Slaterville settlement. He served in a variety of community and ecclesiastical leadership positions.