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#Rosette Challenge Takes Off On Twitter

Two English artists, Cliff Cumber and Raechel Leigh Carter, have started a new trend among the artists of Twitter, featuring one of Ogden, Utah’s most infamous historical residents.

Rosette Davie and her bootlegger husband Bill operated their brothel, known as the Rose Rooms, on Ogden’s infamous 25th street in the 1940s and 50s. The brothel was one of the most successful in Utah – and Rosette was not one to shy away from the spotlight. She was regularly seen walking the streets of Ogden with her pet ocelot (a small wild cat, similar to a leopard), or driving her rose-colored Cadillac convertible through the city. And given her bombastic attitude, it should be no surprise that the Rose Rooms were operated with the complete knowledge of the mayor and the local sheriff’s department (likely in exchange for money and valuable information about customers and their relations).

The story of the infamous Ogden brothel owner found renewed interest in early February when an interview with Rosette and former Ogden Standard-Examiner reporter Bert Strand was found hidden inside a box of 1970s photos from the newspaper, which had been donated to Weber State University’s special collections. But there’s a catch: the interview transcript is written in an old-fashioned form of shorthand that very few people can read today, leading university researchers to use the media in an attempt to reach out to anyone who might be able to help decipher the transcript.

The new Twitter trend started when Cumber, who now resides in Maryland, found Rosette Davie’s mugshot online in early February after the interview was discovered. He reached out to his friend Carter with the image for a drawing challenge. They then decided to reach out to other artists via Twitter to gather interpretations of the mugshot from anyone who wanted to contribute and then compile those into a zine based on the original image. Since its inception, the #rosette challenge has collected over 70 interpretations of Rosette, which can currently be found by searching the hashtag #rosette on Twitter.

If you’re interested in helping to find out more details of Rosette’s story, Weber State is currently looking for someone who may have experience in that particular style of shorthand and encourages anyone interested to call (801) 416-2215 or contact us online!

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