Originally built in 1902 about a mile west of its current location, The Oaks was one of several small resort businesses — along with the Hermitage and Idlewild — that opened after transit lines were extended into Ogden Canyon. At that time, the round-trip fare was 25 cents, according to the Weber County Heritage Foundation.

The businesses attracted residents, tourists — even President Teddy Roosevelt — all of whom were looking to fish, enjoy a good meal and spend the night in the picturesque Utah mountains.

In 1933, after numerous floods, The Oaks moved up the canyon to higher ground and its current location at 750 Ogden Canyon. Through the years, it operated as a grocery store, becoming a secret source of moonshine during Prohibition, and a seasonal restaurant where guests could walk up and order milkshakes and hamburgers during the warm summer months.

The Rounkleses bought the business in 1981, turning it into a year-round eatery. They expanded the indoor seating and added the shady patio overlooking the Ogden River. The restaurant featured many historic black-and-white photos of the canyon and guests could read about its history under the headline “Welcome to the Oaks … Elevation 4,780 ft.”

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