Photograph Gap (Marie’s Place)

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MARIE’S PLACE is named after Marie Ogden who was a wealthy, educated woman from Newark, New Jersey. Her husband died in 1925 from colon cancer. She, apparently, was unable to accept the finality of his death and entered into a massive depression. After several years of supposed study, she revealed that the “truth” was unfolded to her by Jesus Christ in messages she duly recorded using her typewriter. Marie was directed in 1932 to leave Newark and head west. In 1933, 21 of Ogden’s followers from Idaho came to her new community in Photograph Gap, Utah.

To further promote her message, she purchased the newspaper, the San Juan Record, in nearby Monticello in 1934 which subsequently burned in 1937 and she sold in 1949.

The members were to abstain from worldly goods, sexual relations, liquor, tobacco and meat except fish; they were not even to plant gardens.

Marie’s Home Of Truth was divided into three closely located sections or portals. The Outer Portal was a group of communal unpainted frame buildings for non-members and visitors to use. The Middle Portal, one mile east of the Inner Portal was intended to be the site of a large cobblestone church for members that was never finished (remains are visible today). The Inner Portal was located on a south facing hillside at Photograph Gap and contained the main cluster of buildings including Marie’s residence. It was considered by the members to lie directly upon the axis of the Earth, ensuring it would be spared destruction from Marie’s predicted “great final earthquake”.

Overall, 23 buildings constituted the colony which was sold in the early 70s to raise funds to take care of Marie in a nursing home in Blanding, Utah. Ogden’s personal possessions were sold in 1977. Today, most of the colony’s buildings remain and are attended to by a caretaker.

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