OGDEN – Next month Utah will celebrate the 174th anniversary of the installation of Mormon pioneers in the state – but days after the July 24 celebrations end, the Weber County Heritage Foundation and others will officially honor the people who lived here first.
The band’s âWeber County Time Machine: Meet the Shoshoneâ event was scheduled for 7pm on July 31st at Stone Farm, 317 W. 2nd Street in Ogden. The event aims to showcase the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation, the Indigenous people who lived along parts of the Wasatch Front before the arrival of the white settlers. According to WCHF, the celebration will include interactive crafts, Shoshone artifacts and photographs, storytelling, music, cart rides, a traditional Shoshone cooking demonstration and more.
The event grew out of an effort to rename part of 2nd Street that started last year.
In 2020, Ogden resident Anna Keogh (who lives on Stone Farm) submitted a petition to Ogden City to give the honorary name “Bingham Fort Lane” to 2nd Street from Wall Avenue to Century Drive.
In the mid-1800s, the entire area near 2nd Street west of Wall Avenue was used as a fort by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The fort was a staging area for around 600 early settlers and was the largest fort in the Weber County area. Keogh’s original petition was intended to honor these settlers, but his proposal was tweaked at the request of the Ogden Diversity Commission and some members of the city council because the Northwestern Shoshone tribe was known to inhabit the area near present-day 2nd Street and Wall Avenue.
The dominant criticism of the initial street name was that it did not honor the area’s original inhabitants, and that the word “strong” was indicative of a troubled and often violent history between Native Americans and early European settlers. After consulting with the tribe, Keogh finally landed on âChief Little Soldier Wayâ for the honorary name. Ogden City Council is expected to consider the proposal soon.
Darren Parry, former president of the Northwestern Shoshone Nation, said he took the name âChief Little Soldier Wayâ from the nation’s seven-member tribal council, which unanimously approved the nomination. Parry said Chief Little Soldier lived in the area near present-day West 2nd Street and got along well with the Church people who settled there. In 1856, Chief Little Soldier even took part in the Pioneer Parade on July 24, Parry said. He said next month’s celebration is a fitting way to close the name change issue because it will bring people together.
âIt will be for the town of Ogden, the people of Weber County and our tribe,â Parry said. “We will come and share our culture with you.”
The event is free for WCHF members and $ 5 for the general public.