Saturday, September 27, 2008

Big Doin's on Historic 25th Street....

Rumor has it adult beverages will be available

By Curmudgeon

Big doin's on Historic [still -- thank you Council!] 25th Street....

Ms. Curmudgeon and I just back from the Farmers Market this morning, and set up for this afternoon [and evenings?] Harvest Fest/Mountain2Metro bash is well under way. Music stages going up -- two of them; one on upper 25th Street, one on lower 25th Street. The playin' starts at two, a harassed young woman named Kim told me. She seemed to be ramrodding the set up.

They've got little sandwich board signs up and down the street identifying which particular old brothel you are standing in front of, and information about the madam who ran it. Nothing much new, but always fun to recall. One tells the story of the Madam Gentle Kate riding up and down Ogden's streets in Brigham Young's carriage [bought after his death], and another parading up and down the street with her pet ocelot. [The story in the Standard-Examiner this morning about last night's kick off of Mountain2Metro fest quotes someone to the effect that Ogden "has a vibe" just now. Seems it had one in the past as well.]

Some restaurants setting up tables in the street. But street vendors may be offering the most interesting food. One guy has a full pig cooking on a huge grill. Haven't seen that since we left Louisiana. He's not doing couchon de lait of course --- wouldn't that be something in downtown Ogden! Looks more like a Carolina low-country pig-pickin'. Interesting.

And they're going to be selling beer... and wine!!!... right out there on the street, in front of god and the chirrin and everybody! And in more than one place! Sacre bleu! Can the second coming be far off now?

We hadn't planned on it, but I think Mrs. Curmudgeon and I will head back downtown later this afternoon and contribute to the air of general debauchery. [Beer for me, wine for her.] After all, as public-spirited citizens and happy supporters the revival of Historic 25th Street, how could we do otherwise? Wouldn't want anyone to think we were naysayers. Besides, it's perfect weather for a street party. They could not have ordered better.

Who knows? Maybe some of the music will be good too. Stranger things have happened.


Monotreme said...

See you there, Curm. I should arrive about 4:15 or so, God willin' and the crick don't rise -- and if I don't stumble on the trail or pass out from the heat.

Moroni McConkie said...

I relish the stories of Ogden's whorehouses as much as the next guy, but that tale about Gentile Kate parading Ogden's boulevards in Brigham Young's carriage is very likely bogus. The story comes from a famous article penned by Bernard DeVoto, who wasn't even born until 21 years after Brigham was forced to auction personal effects, including the carriage, to satisfy alimony obligations.

There's no evidence, other than that story, that Kate Flint ever operated in Ogden. (She presided over a Corinne bordello for a few years before setting up shop on Salt Lake's Commercial Street.) The same issue of the Salt Lake Tribune that said "it was rumored" that Kate bought Brigham's carriage stated in two other columns that someone named Fitzgerald had bought it.

And the ocelot story. Wasn't it Rose Davie, the last of Ogden's magnificent madames, operating out of what is now Trends & Traditions at 25th & Lincoln, who had the exotic pets?

Libby N said...

My mother told the story of Rose bringing her ocelot to the veterinary office where she was employed. She cried and asked them to take care of her baby. Did she operate Rose's Rooms?

RudiZink said...

I confess I'm having trouble with the concept of gentle Curmudgeon going down town to "debauch," especially with Mrs. Curmudgeon in tow.

Knowing Curm... I'll definitely consider the term "carouse," however.

No doubt the ever gentle and proper Curmudgeon can limit himself to having a little fun downtown on a fine Ogden City downtown afternoon, so maybe "carouse" doesn't apply either.

Thanks for the event link, Curm!

Have fun downtown tonite!

Historically inaccurate said...

I'm glad to see this article. I went down this morning too to check out the Farmer's Market, the festival (although there wasn't much going on yet this morning) and made a purchase at one of the shops.

I also let the business owner I was opposed to raising height restrictions and removing any barriers that may cause a loss of the historic designation.

This is perhaps the best way to let the businesses know how their customers feel.

Make a purchase, dine out, and let the management know you like the character of the street and that's why you're there.

The Dictionary Police said...

Wrong, Rudi.

"Revel" is the verb you were both looking for, tsk, tsk, tsk.

Curmudgeon said...


Well, MM, there are some stories that, if they aren't true, they should be.

Like Babe Ruth's pointing where his home run would go.

And Kate's ride.

Just too fun to give up.

Curmudgeon said...


I said "contribute to the air of general debauchery."

Like the SE story said, it's a vibe thing.... [grin]

drewmeister said...

**** Another house in Leshamville burns - small 1-family home at the end of Kiesel by the river, next to the walkway bridge that crosses the river near Bingham cyclery. Appears to be one of the many, many vacant shacks Mayor Godfrey has provided the homeless for shelter and safety. *****

This is the third house in my neighborhood to burn thanks to His Mighty Foreheadedness. I wish he would just go away.

Curmudgeon said...


You are so judgmental. The Mayor is busy packing city committees to pave the way for his cronies to build penthouses on 25th Street in violation of the zoning ordinances and so has little time to spend worrying about entire blocks of former residences owned by another of his cronies turning into abandoned slums and fire traps. There are just so many hours in his day, you know. Be fair now....

ozboy said...

Curmudgeon in a whore house on two bit street! Such an image is just simply toooooo deliciousosy! Just hope Mrs. Curmudgeon doesn't find out and take after him with a rolling pin!!

And Libby, I actually remember the Rose Room! I was way to young to be a customer, but I did sell the Ogden Standard Examiner on 25th in the mid fifties and the great old gal that ran the Rose Room used to buy papers from me. Don't know if she was actually the famous Rose or not however.

My good Mo, and school teaching, Mom would have brained me had she only known!!!

disgusted said...

3 houses. burning the houses down is cheaper than having them taken down plus your taxes go down. mabe just maybe.

really disgusted said...

Gadi and Godfrey are clearing the River Project at the expense of the tax payers, and putting Firefighters in harms way while doing so.

It's just another one of their many scams to help out the crooked bastard from California. No citations, just labor from the Fire Department. Tax Dollars hard at work again.

Curmudgeon said...


From what I can figure, you can't enter damn near any business on 25th Street and not be in a building that used to house a brothel. Interesting that Ogden is now actively marketing it's... colorful seems like a nice safe word... past. And of course Mrs. Curmudgeon was on my arm the whole time. [As the sadly now late Paul Newman said when asked if he ever strayed on his wife: "I have steak at home. Why would I want to go out for burgers?"]

The street fest this afternoon was fun. One band ["Flew the Coop"] covering Creedence and Eagles and The Band stuff. Enjoyed sitting in the lawn chairs they had set out, sipping Rooster's Amber, toe tapping along. Another band doing Perl Jam covers down the other end of the street. Lots of families, kids, and dogs of all possible descriptions... the dogs and the people. The trampoline guys were cool. WC Library had a chess team there, tables set up, taking on all comers. [Way to go, Ogden! First street fair I've ever been to that had chess games.] Neat advertising from Kahuna Creations. Racers. Just a nice afternoon laid back street fair vibe.

Almost, Ogden. You're almost there. Just didn't quite make it. Mrs. Curmudgeon with her cup of Alice White and I with my Rooster's Amber strolled up to the street by the IRS building, saw the race finish line about 30 yards up that street to the north, and started to walk up to it to watch some racers come in, when a very polite Ogden street gendarme stopped us and told us we could not take our cups of wine and beer thirty yards up the street to watch the finish line of the race. [Dump 'em out, or chug 'em, or give up going to the finish line. We chose the third, naturally.]

So, not quite there Ogden. Not yet. But I have to admit, things have come a long way from the days when Hizzonah penned up the beer drinkers behind barricades in a vacant lot. Much much progress. But still not quite there yet.

Still, all in all, a fun afternoon in Junction City. Kudoes to the organizers.

what will it costs us said...

Kind of reminds one of the merchants street festival that was on Washington between 23 and 26th street when we had bands and shops selling their merchandise.
Then we had a mayor who wanted the beer sales and the festival stopped, and bring kiddy adventure to downtown Ogden. One day they will realize kiddy adventure doesn't turn much profit.
Now the boarded up storfronts are almost all that is left on Washington Blvd.
I am thankful to the 25th street merchants who have some vision and helps to celebrate the historic and unique feel that is the core of Ogden. I don't think there was any problems with having a beer/wine on a nice sunny day and enjoy my neighbors and friends on 25th, and there were quite a few kids enjoying the advrnture too.

Ed J said...

could anyone find a "mention" of the event in today's paper?

please excuse me if there are typo's and grammar errors. i'm in the back of a packed van heading for thanksgiving point.

here's some inside info.
most all of the 25th street merchants (of course roosters, the exception) are beside themselves over the change from harvest moon to mountain2metro. other than the location,it is no longer a 25th street function. goal foundation has taken over sponsorship of the event and you could certainly tell they are strictly entertainment organizing rookies.
after h25 spent thousands and thousands of dollars marketing and promoting and perfecting the harvest moon festival, roosters(who by the way wanted an exclusive to sell their piss until the beer distributors had their say) and goal step in and change the name to mountain2metro - named after a flippin' race.
$7000.00 was paid to a headline band that sucked. most of us in attendance looked like deer in headlights. only once, when piano man was played did the audience seem to come alive.
the merchants also seemed to be impacted by goal scheduling the event on the same night WSU was traveling to nearby UofU.
my family and i walked the entire length of the street 3 or 4 times. i never saw the mayor, a geiger, a faithfully yours whore, or any 25th street developer or real estate flipper. i do know nobody fischer had planned a tailgate party but i think he's still whining over the windsor and i don't think any one showed. merchants, overall, said it was better biz than a normal saturday but the extra help, etc offset any real extra profit.
the contempt of the merchants towards goal / roosters was evident when at one time we thought the guy from wiseguys was going to kick ass on one of the organizers (ask him why) i don't know why, only it was a pretty heated exchange.
oh for the days when city club heide, bistro todd, and sara tolliver ran ogden's street festival.

Curmudgeon said...

ed j:

I wondered too about nary a word in the SE about the HarvestFest. [In the sports pages, one of the racers said the street fair was "nice."] That hardly seems adequate.

I'm not privy to how the merchants felt about it all, or the shift from HarvestFest to Mountain2Metro. But we enjoyed the afternoon on the street. And the eastern stage band. Other folks seemed to be enjoying it too. It was retro stuff, but hell, so am I now.

I do recall older HarvestFests having a different flavor, so to speak. But we enjoyed the trampoline show and watched for a while. And I like Rooster's 2 Bit Amber, which was available on tap. Nice to have an option other than Miller or Bud I thought. Beer preferences are pretty much a matter of taste, I guess. Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks.

Whether it would have worked out better as just the old fashioned HarvestFest I can't say. Whether the 25th Street Merchants were unhappy with the new arrangements, I can't say either. That's for them to let the city know. And I can't say if the Godfrey Gaggle was there or not. Except for Hizzonah and Mr. C. Geiger, I wouldn't recognize any of them if I tripped over them.

But so far as I could see, most folks, and the grundle of kids they had in tow, seemed to be enjoying the afternoon. I'll leave the behind-the-scenes infighting analysis to someone else.

I did query an SE editor this morning about the lack of coverage. Will pass on the explanation, if one is forthcoming.

zane said...

the myth of history is much more powerful than the truth.

Jason W. said...
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