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Stone Pond Road, Stone Court

Stone Pond Rd and Stone Crt. in the Fort Bingham subdivision, Ogden Utah.
Stone Pond Rd and Stone Crt. in the Fort Bingham subdivision, Ogden Utah.

Before the settlers came, the Native Americans fished, camped and wintered by a large pond that was located on the north side of today’s West 2nd Street. The pond had an unusual shape and did not freeze over in the winter, suggesting that it was part of an underground river.

In 1853 Sam Gates claimed 40-acres of land on West 2nd Street that included the large, unusual shaped pond.

 In 1869 the railroad track was built through the Lynne community; the track bordered the west side of Sam Gates’ farm and had to bridge the large pond. In the early 1870s Sam Gates sold the west 20-acres of his farm to James Stone. Sam had little time to farm; he was in his late 60s and was busy running the Adobe Mill and Brickyard.

James Stone was 19 and newly married to Mary Ellen Melling, and they needed a house and a farm. James built a log cabin beside the pond and his family lived here happily for many years. Two of their children were born in this log cabin. Their daughter later wrote:

“Father built a log cabin of only one room, but it was a very large and comfortable room. He purchased a meadow which had on it a very large pond of water. It also had a spring of lovely drinking water on it. There were fish in the pond; we had a boat and use to ride out and fish. Many rushes and flag-cattails grew around its edge. Birds and ducks flocked here; cranes, shitepokes, and pelicans sometimes were there. Muskrats by the thousands. There was an abundance of perfectly grand watercress. All in all, it was a grand place to live. The Oregon Short Line railroad bounded it on the west.

There were willows around the pond and it looked pretty in the winter and at Christmas time with the meadows covered with snow, and yet the pond would never freeze over and was a haven for ducks and fish the year round.” [1]

1919 map showing unusual shape of Stone’s Pond in upper left corner; the railroad bridged the pond in the 1860s.
1919 map showing unusual shape of Stone’s Pond in upper left corner; the railroad bridged the pond in the 1860s.

Birth of Baby Jimmy Stone in Cabin by the Pond

On January 15, 1877, a new baby arrived in the Stone cabin. The neighborhood mid-wife, Mahitiable Bingham, or “Aunt Hitty”, assisted in the birth. Sarah Stone Crowther described the birth of her brother:

“We lived in the cabin until my next brother was born. Dad had harvested his wheat and not having a granary [in which] to store it, he had to make a large bin in one corner of our room for storing this wheat. When the time came for Ma to meet this ordeal, there was no place to put me and my brother John. Poor women, no hospitals, and very crowded living quarters. I can remember mother was in pain, but I didn’t know what it was all about. Dad went for Aunt Hitty. She came and when things were near the climax, Dad told me and my brother we must stay in the wheat bin and keep real quiet, that Mama was very sick. We were afraid, it was dark in that wheat bin, but we had to mind Dad. I remember we kept sinking away down in the wheat. Pretty soon we heard a baby cry. Then in a few minutes Dad got us out of the wheat bin and we saw our dear little brother Jimmy. That is what he was named. We watched Aunt Hitty wash and dress the little dear and put pretty little clothes on him. Then Dad gave us some money to give to Aunt Hitty to pay for our baby brother.” [2]

Eclipse of the Sun and Rafting on Stone's Pond

Alton Richards (1904-1986) lived at 144 2nd Street and worked seasonally on Stone Farm as a teenaged boy. In 1945 he reminisced:

“I shall never forget an experience I once had while thinning a patch of beets located just south of Stone’s Pond. I especially enjoyed working by this body of water because there were so many birds in this area. I liked the melodious songs of the blackbirds and meadowlarks, the whistle of the killdeers, the quacking of the wild ducks, and the screams of the curlew snipes.

One morning as I was thinning beets in that area, I noticed that it seemed to be getting darker, and I wondered why, because there weren’t any clouds in the sky. I noticed that the birds had stopped their singing, and I was puzzled. Soon it became so dark that I couldn’t see the row of beets clear enough to thin them. Then I began to realize that an eclipse of the sun was in progress. I made a few quick looks up at the sun and noticed that it was all dark except a very narrow crescent on one side. It must have been about 98% covered by the moon. The temperature seemed to drop about 20 degrees, and the birds all went to sleep for the “night”. I sat down to wait for the light to return. Soon it started to get lighter, the birds started singing again, and I could again see well enough to continue my work.

John Melling Stone (1874-1945, son of James Stone) was a good farmer and owned a lot of land. I used to ride on a raft he had on Stone’s Pond. I enjoyed fishing for carp as I sailed around on the raft. One day I found a wild duck’s nest on a little island in the middle of the pond. The baby ducks had just hatched out an hour or two before. When they heard me approaching, they all left their nest and swam away, even though they were only about half as large as baby chickens.

One cold winter day when a group of us boys were sailing around on the raft, Orville Nordquist fell off into the icy water. He swam to the shore and ran all the way home up to 5-Points to keep from freezing to death." [3]


Stone’s Pond was drained when the Ogden Defense Depot was built in the 1940s leaving a slough on the east side of the railroad tracks. In 2004 the slough was designed into two holding ponds for the Fort Bingham subdivision.

West holding pond in 2005 before the houses were built.
West holding pond in 2005 before the houses were built.

East holding pond, 2014.
East holding pond, 2014.


[1] - Sarah Stone Crowther, Biography of Mary Ellen Melling Stone, hand written manuscript, c. 1930, p. 80.

[2] - Ibid, p. 92, 93.

[3] - Memory written on the death of John Stone, 1945, by Alton Richards.

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