OGDEN, Utah – Local PBS affiliate KUED 7 will show Weber State University student Issac Goeckeritz's 2007 documentary "Ogden: Junction City of the West" at 9 p.m. on May 28.
The film focuses on the transition of Ogden from a small farming community to a major hub for cross-country travelers on the transcontinental railroad, highlighting the history of Union Station, 25th Street and the lives of local politicians and citizens.
Goeckeritz started the project after visiting Union Station and talking with a volunteer, Grant Gibson, who had lived in Ogden during the height of train travel. "He had all these amazing stories of Union Station and 25th Street, so I decided to get it on tape," Goeckeritz said.
After that interview with Gibson, Union Station administrators contacted Goeckeritz about producing a film featuring stories from all of their volunteers. "Originally, it was just going to be a short film for the museum to show to visitors," he said. "But after doing the interviews, I decided there was more to tell."
Research for the film took Goeckeritz to the National Archives in Washington, D.C., two years ago, looking for video of that era. The film also includes photos from museums throughout the United States.
Goeckeritz said he enjoyed learning about a time he never experienced. "I discovered this romantic era for the city, and I had a desire to capture its history," he said. "Ultimately, it's the story of individuals from that time and our connection to them."
"Ogden: Junction City of the West" is narrated by Phil Riesen, a former KTVX television anchor who currently serves as a representative in Utah's state legislature. The film was co-written by James Findlay and Goeckeritz.
Goeckeritz has received Best of State and WSU Crystal Crest awards for his work on the documentary.
Funding for the documentary came from several sources, including Union Station and an undergraduate research grant from Weber State. DVDs of the film are available for purchase at the WSU Bookstore, igfilms.com and Amazon.com.
Visit weber.edu/wsutoday for more news about Weber State University.
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