The Miles Goodyear Cabin in Ogden is the oldest non-Native America structure in Utah. It is also Ogden's greatest historical gem. The cabin was built in 1845, two years before the Mormon pioneers arrived in the Valley. The historic log cabin, is about 250 square feet in size and made of Cottonwood logs.
Miles Goodyear, a mountain man, was born February 24, 1817, in Hamden Connecticut. His parents both died when he was very young. He was "bound out" to a farmer in Connecticut until 1834. At the age of sixteen, he went to Fort Levenworth, where he joined with the Whitman-Spaulding missionary party headed by Dr. Marcus Whitman who brought the first white women west on the Oregon Trail. He traveled with them to Fort Hall on the Snake River. During the following several years he accompanied groups of trappers in the area and conducted trading expeditions from Fort Hall to the Indians as far south as Sevier County.
Goodyear left the party to try to find his fortune in the mountains. For the next decade, Goodyear was a successful mountain man. In 1839, he married a daughter of the Ute Chief Pe-teet-neet named Pomona living near present day Payson. During the following several years, he accompanied groups of trappers in the area and conducted trading expeditions from Fort Hall to south Sevier County. On these trips, Goodyear would pass along the east side of the Great Salt Lake.
In 1845, he decided to make a home along the Weber River. He built a cabin of cottonwood logs and erected a stockade. He irrigated with water from the Weber River and planted a garden and fruit trees. He called this home “Fort Buenaventure”, which means “good venture”.
As the fur trade declined, Goodyear and his family decided to build an enclosed fort on the large westward bend of the Weber River. The Fort was occupied by Goodyear, his family, other trappers, Indian helpers, and visitors. They built four log cabins, sheds, corrals, and a garden. The Fort was named Fort Buenaventura.
In November 1847, Brigham Young sent a group of pioneers to the Weber and Ogden rivers to find a site for a settlement. They met Miles Goodyear and saw his gardens and buildings. After receiving their report, Brigham Young sent Captain James Brown of the Mormon Battalion to buy Goodyear’s Fort with money the government had paid to the Mormon Battalion. Goodyear sold everything: cabins, stockade, 75 cattle, 75 goats, 12 sheep, 6 horses, and one cat, as well as the entire Ogden area for $1,950. The settlement became known as Brownsville, and later Ogden after Peter Skeen Ogden. After the sale of the Fort, Goodyear moved to California to mine gold and trap. Goodyear died in California at the age of 32.
In 1857, the cabin was purchased by Minerva Pease Stone Shaw and used as a blacksmith business. In 1860, Minerva Pease Stone Shaw moved the cabin to Mill Creek, where the old Phoenix Mills later stood and which is now the east side of Washington Boulevard between 14th and 15th Streets. The cabin was then relocated to 1342 Washington Blvd (named "Main Street" in those days.)
In 1866, it was moved to 1342 Washington Blvd. Minerva Pease Stone Shaw then purchased the cabin and moved it to her residence at 1265 Washington. She kept it there until she donated it to the Weber County Daughters of Utah Pioneers (DUP). It was then moved to its present location.
On April 3, 1896, Minerva Pease Stone Shaw purchased the Cabin placing it on land that the family owned. In 1916, Minerva Pease Stone Shaw donated the cabin to the Ogden DUP. The cabin made a special appearance in the July 24th, 1916, Ogden Pioneer Days Parade, which was incorporated into a float. David O. McKay, chairman of the Ogden Pioneer Days Pageant, recomended that it appear in the parade so that it "might go visiting and show itself off to the big buildings that have been erected since it pioneereed," as quoted in the June 4, 1916, Ogden Standard. (The article also mentioned that a controversy was also recently settled proving the cabin was the oldest house in the state.)
The cabin was next transported to the rear of Ogden City Fire Station No. 3, 901 Washington on December 4, 1919. On September 21, 1920, the Standard stated that Ogden was going to take steps to safeguard the oldest house in the state. A bowery, to protect the building from storms, was then erected over the cabin. In 1928, the cabin was moved to land on the Ogden's Tabernacle Block. There it resided for more that eight decades.
The cabin was meticulously refurbished in 1994-1995. It was dismantled and all of the logs were numbered. There was approximately 500 pieces that were numbered. The logs were treated for preservation and a solid rubber membrane was added to the roof for weather proofing. The cabin was reassembled and each log was chinked with an acrylic material.
Near the end of 2011, the cabin was moved to its current location, 21st Street and Lincoln Avenue. The cabin had to be relocated because of the underground parking garage construction for the rebuild of the Ogden Temple. The LDS Church paid for the expense of moving the cabin.
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