MARRIOTT-SLATERVILLE — Over the years, drivers near Interstate 15 and heading east on 12th Street toward Ogden have driven by a white house with red trim.
The house is oddly placed, as it’s flanked next door by a business that sells sheds and exists in a high-traffic area with gas stations, a hotel, a restaurant and a bank.
Many people have come to know the unique house in Marriott-Slaterville as Jay Carnahan’s State Farm insurance agency in recent years.
Soon, the house/office will be no more. Carnahan is moving the insurance agency down the street into a building under construction across from the Internal Revenue Service building.
Earlier this year, Maverik bought the land, which includes the office, from Carnahan and intends to build a gas station there.
The house is sentimental to the Carnahan family. Before it became an insurance agency, it’s where Orvil “Leon” and Lucille “Tillie” Carnahan lived.
Leon served in World War II and sent money back home. Lucille saved it all.
After the war, they bought the land. Leon farmed potatoes on it and eventually built a house, where the two raised their family of three children.
“It’s gonna be sad to see it torn down, which is gonna happen in the next week or so,” said Scott Carnahan, who was one of the three children and is Jay’s dad.
Anyone who drives on 12th Street knows how busy of a corridor it is, and imagining a family living in the middle of that is hard.
“My dad and mom hated living down there because 12th Street became a freeway and there was an accident out in front of their house every month, it seemed,” Scott Carnahan said.
Jay spent a lot of time at the house growing up, having gone to elementary, junior high and high school in western Weber County.
He bought the property from his family in 2009 with plans to put a car wash there, then decided against it and opened up a State Farm agency in 2011.
Maverik has already started construction on its gas station, with backhoes and excavators occupying a dirt lot just behind Carnahan’s office.
Down the road on 12th Street, a new building is almost finished at the corner of 12th and approximately 1050 West that will house Carnahan’s insurance agency as well as a Burly Burger and a Fizz drink shop.
Carnahan hopes the new building will be open by Christmas. The elephant in the room with all of this, as with any business these days, is how COVID-19 impacts everything.
“Doing this during a pandemic, man, has been the scariest risk I have ever taken. You’re talking about putting a restaurant in a building that you’re not even sure restaurants are going to have locations. Even an insurance office, even my own office, I’m putting this office there and spending millions of dollars when I found out (in the spring) you can work from home,” Carnahan said.
He didn’t say how much he sold the house and land for, only that it was enough for him to afford the cost of buying the new land and putting up a brand-new building.
The agency, which has a location in South Weber in the same building as Burly Burger, employs nine people across both its locations, Carnahan said.
There used to be an old barn on the 12th Street property, but that was torn down and the wood is being used to make conference tables in the new office.
“I wanted to take some of that with me,” Jay Carnahan said.
Construction crews working on the new building will also attempt to re-use parts of the old barn in the ceiling of Jay’s new office.
At some point, the red-and-white house that greets drivers on 12th will be gone and replaced with a large gas station. Vestiges of the old house will remain, just not in plain sight.