Utah Stories from the Beehive Archive

Browse Items (23 total)

  • Tags: Exploration

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Starting in the 1840s, government explorers began to survey and map the Intermountain West more thoroughly. Meet Leonard Swett, a wealthy young man from Chicago who came West with the U.S. Geological Survey.Among the first government workers in Utah…

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They say a picture is worth a thousand words... Artists got people moving West by idealizing both the journey and the destination.  The mapmaker for the Dominguez-Escalante Expedition, Bernardo de Miera y Pacheco, created the first known map of Utah…

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Captain Howard Stansbury journeys around the Great Salt Lake. In 1849, officials of the US Army Corps of Topographical Engineers sent Captain Howard Stansbury on a two-year expedition to the Great Basin with a long list of orders.  At the top of the…

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The tale of a doomed gold-seeking trek that started in Provo and ended in cannibalism.  In 1873, a man by the name of Preston Nutter traveled to Utah with a friend after hearing rumors that miners in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains were striking it…

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Explorer John Charles Fremont’s belief in “Manifest Destiny” paved the way for Western migration. By the early 1840s, US leaders in favor of Western expansion lobbied for better surveys of the territory and reliable maps.  The US government…

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Historic obstacles to travel on Utah’s Green River are now considered opportunities for adventure.   Fast waters, deadly rapids, high cliff walls, and an unknown course have long been obstacles that limited human activity on Utah’s Green…

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The 100-mile summer bike ride of William Rishel and Charlie Emise across the Great Salt Lake Desert almost ended in disaster.  In 1896, to promote his growing chain of national newspapers, publisher William Randolph Hearst cooked up a wildly…

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Nine men riding mules journeyed across the Great Salt Lake Desert in a single scorching August day.   On August 3, 1846, Edwin Bryant woke up at 1:30 a.m.  The silence around him seemed ominous.  Camped this night on the Cedar Mountains at the…

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Migration and travel have shaped Utah. And Utah has shaped the way we migrate and travel. Literally. Over time, travel routes through Utah have tended to stay the same.   Utah’s ruggedly beautiful landscape draws admiration and visitors, but has…

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One of the goals of the Dominguez-Escalante expedition was to find a northern route to the Spanish missions in Monterey, California from the Spanish colonial stronghold of Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Led by two Franciscan friars named Silvestre Velez de…

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More than 140 years ago, on August 30, 1869, six men in two wooden boats emerged into open country from the high cliffs and rough waters of the Grand Canyon. They were “blackened, bearded, emaciated, in rags,” and down to their last stash of…

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A story of friendship between Spanish explorer Father Escalante and the Ute boy who was his guide through the Utah territory.In July 1776, a group of Spanish explorers set out from Santa Fe, New Mexico in search of a northern route to one of…

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Naturalist John Muir found himself in Salt Lake City in the late 1800s. Muir was attracted by the dazzling landscape of the Great Salt Lake and Oquirrh Mountains, and wrote effusively about Utah’s scenery.In 1877, naturalist and future Sierra Club…

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Persistent tales about a lost Spanish colony piqued the interest of Jose Rafael Serracino. Like many explorers before him, he was inspired to put together a search party and leave Santa Fe to explore the West. In 1811, more than three decades after…

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A mysterious traveler, T.H. Jefferson published a map of the California Trail in 1849. The map contained valuable information about the waterless stretch of desert west of the Great Salt Lake.In 1849, a map of the California Trail was published by a…

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Antelope Island was named by the famous American explorer John Charles Fremont during his travels around the Great Salt Lake.In the fall of 1845, the famous American explorer John Charles Fremont crossed over the Rocky Mountains into eastern Utah…

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The wreckage of a plane and the body of its young pilot was found in the Uinta Mountains in 1929.On July 8, 1929 Nymphus Simmons, a sheepherder, found wreckage of a plane and the body of a young man in Dry Canyon near Soapstone Basin in the Uinta…

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The US Geological Exploration of the 40th Parallel began its examination of the American West under the leadership of Clarence King. The survey team explored northern Utah, and provided an in-depth analysis of Utah’s geography and environment.In…

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Henry Adams, one of the leading historians of his day, visited Utah on a geographic expedition with his childhood friend Samuel Emmons in the late 1900s.In 1871 as Samuel Emmons, Arnold Hague, James Hague, and others conducted the United States…

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The first emigrant party to cross modern-day Utah on the way to the West Coast.In 1841, a small group of emigrants set out from Sapling Grove, Missouri, to begin a new life in the Far West. Scholars still disagree about how many were actually in the…
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