"A Fire Today, No Job Tomorrow."
"Help Keep This Plant Safe and Clean."
"Safety First -- Be Careful."
I find myself reading all of these unusual signs, or looking at all sorts of old photographs of people in uniform, every month when I attend TX. meetings in the DDO Room at the Standard-Examiner, located at Business Depot Ogden -- which is the site of the former Defense Depot Ogden.
So what was this defense depot and what did the people here do? I decided to do a little research on this piece of Ogden's past and found the history of Defense Depot Ogden very interesting.
Defense Depot Ogden, or DDO for short, was originally a 1,139-acre military warehousing and distribution facility. It was activated before World War II in 1941 and it stored and distributed food and clothing to soldiers and to other military facilities. The depot also stored military installments for medical, industrial and constructional needs.
During World War II, the facility also held thousands of German and Italian prisoners of war; some photographs of the Italian prisoners hang on the wall at the newspaper.
After the war, DDO was still used as a storage and supplier base for the military until 1995 when the Base Realignment and Closure Act (BRAC) was instituted and the depot was closed. The base ceased functions on Sept. 30, 1997; all of its management was then moved to Hill Air Force Base.
After that time and a $115 million investment, Defense Depot Ogden became Business Depot Ogden, the BDO business and industrial park. The Standard-Examiner moved into the depot's former administration building in 2000 where it added on a new building to accommodate a larger printing press.
Other businesses now found at BDO include Lofthouse Foods, ICON Fitness, Kenco Logistic Services, a restaurant, a scrapbooking shop and the BDO Outlet, which sells items from various depot businesses at cheaper prices.
Anyone can visit the depot today but during its time as a military installment, no one was allowed in without the proper identification.
I think it's great to know the history of the DDO because sometimes we think Utah isn't that significant when it comes to the United States as a whole, but right here in Ogden we had the largest supply depot in the nation during World War II. And that's something to be proud about.
I don't think that we appreciate the amount of help Utah gave during WWII. I believe that if kids my age began to understand and appreciate the history of the depot, they would be more patriotic.
For me, history has always been fun to learn about, and I think that it makes us better equipped for the future. When we think about the present war in Afghanistan, we can appreciate what other supply depots are now doing for our soldiers.
I found those signs in our TX. meeting room interesting because they had to do with the military yet they were in a newspaper building. They seemed so out of place.
It's wonderful to think about the days gone by at Defense Depot Ogden. It makes history so much more than words coming from a textbook; it makes history real. How cool is it to think that once upon a time, the Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B may have received clothing and supplies from Ogden, Utah?
Krystal Ruiz will be a junior at Weber High School. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.