OGDEN — For the first time in some 40 years, the Weber County Heritage Foundation won’t be holding its annual Fall Historic House Tour.
But while the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has put a temporary halt to the tour this year, WCHF officials say they’ve got Ogden history buffs covered.
The foundation is sponsoring a pair of fundraising events this week, highlighted by a unique tour of the Ogden Cemetery. Beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, the foundation will host "The Spirit of Ogden Historic Cemetery Tour."
WCHF Director Kattie Stewart said the tour will take the place of the house show this year and will feature historical reenactments of prominent and interesting people buried at the city cemetery.
"For the house tour, sometimes we’d get up to 600 people coming through these individual homes," Stewart said. "We thought that with everything going on with COVID-19, that probably wouldn’t be the best option this year. But we’re excited about what we’re trying to do at the cemetery."
The cemetery tour will feature 21 characters from Ogden’s past — some of them well-known and others more inconspicuous but with important contributions to the city nonetheless. Stewart said care was also taken to include a broad range of ethnic backgrounds in the tour because Ogden’s history demands it.
"It was so hard to pare down our list," Stewart said. "We could have featured thousands of people, really. We ultimately decided that we didn’t want to focus solely on the people that everybody already knows. We wanted to also include some of the lesser knowns that still had a big impact. And Ogden, historically, has been one of the most diverse places in Utah, so we wanted to represent that as well."
Stewart said the tour features Ogdenites of Mexican, Japanese, African and European descent and more. Marshall White, the former Ogden Police officer who was killed in the line of duty, will be featured. So will Mary Louise Finch, who spearheaded the original Ogden chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Tatsuyo Misaka is somewhat off the beaten path, Stewart said, but the Japanese immigrant was the mother to Wat Misaka, an Ogden High, Weber State University and University of Utah alum who in 1947 became the first non-white man to play in the National Basketball Association.
Charles Trentelman, who’s helping promote the tour for the foundation, also said the tour won’t be without famous luminaries, like Lorin Farr, Harm Peery, Davis Eccles and Louis F. Moench.
Tickets for the cemetery tour can be reserved at webercountyheritagefoundation.com. According to the WCHF website, tickets are free for members of the foundation and $15 otherwise. The tour will begin at 3 p.m., with the last entries allowed at 5 p.m. Stewart said entires will be staggered and people ushered around the cemetery in smaller groups to allow for proper social distancing. Those interested in attending the tour should meet at the World War I doughboy statue, Stewart said.
The cemetery is located at 1875 Monroe Blvd. and Stewart said those entering the facility from 20th Street will be allowed to use the road, despite ongoing construction there.
The WCHF will also host a "Victorian Spiritualism and Mind Reading Ceremony" on Friday and Saturday at the Eccles Community Art Center, 2580 Jefferson Ave. There will be two shows each night, at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets to the show are $40 and can be reserved at the WCHF website.