Utah Stories from the Beehive Archive

Beehive Archive - Rural Utah at a Crossroads

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Beehive Archive - Rural Utah at a Crossroads

Items in the Beehive Archive - Rural Utah at a Crossroads Collection

Rural to Rockets: Box Elder County Takes Off
So, you are a giant aerospace company and you want to build a rocket plant: what do you look for?  This week, learn how one Utah town met all the requirements to become a center for the US rocket industry and how that decision forever changed its…

In This Little Town of Ours, We Have a Literary Club
In 1928, a women’s club in Moab adopted an official song that crowed: “In this little town of ours, we have a literary club, and we derive from it everything good, it helps the town and public in numerous ways.” Learn more about these women and…

Ogden Union Stockyards
Do you know where your food comes from? Utahns once depended on local butchers for fresh meat. But, in the early 1900s business boomed for the Ogden Union Stockyards, signaling a shift in how and where Utahns purchased their food. Today, most…

West Desert Wasteland: Pollution and Sovereignty in Rural Utah
Just around 45 miles west of Salt Lake City is a vast landscape shrouded in mystery and controversy. It’s also a holding place for some of the US military’s deadliest materials. Perhaps no part of Utah suffers as much disregard as Utah’s arid…

Utah’s Potato Growing Clubs
Potato growing clubs became all the rage in the early 20th century as interest in a formal agricultural education grew. Agricultural work is critical to rural Utah’s history. But, it wasn’t until Utah State Agricultural College -- known as USAC…

The Militarized West
World War II and the Cold War brought the military to much of rural Utah, transforming those places in the process. The economic boost that followed was long-lasting in some communities, but devastatingly short-lived in others. While the federal…

The Mountain Man: a Romanticized Symbol
Rugged individualism is practically synonymous with the American West, and mountain men are the embodiment of that ideal. But the ideal tends to mask the real significance – and legacy – of mountain men in Utah. In the early nineteenth century,…

National Monuments to National Parks
Utah is home to five national parks that protect stunning red-rock landscapes. All but one of them began as a national monument. What's the difference, you may ask? Learn all about it. Zion National Park is a world-famous destination, and its annual…

Sacred Healing: Traveling Midwives in Early Rural Utah
Frontier life in late-nineteenth century Utah was rough. Today, many rural Utahns still struggle with access to medical care, but once upon a time midwives traveled throughout rural Utah, providing healthcare services to those in isolated areas. In…

The Jeffersonian Ideal: A Misfit for Utah
When the United States was was created in the late 1700s, Thomas Jefferson had a vision of a nation built by individual family farmers. Here in Utah – we love farmers. But did we really live up to Jefferson’s ideal? For many in the United States'…

Roadside Motels
Motels dotted Utah’s highways throughout the twentieth century, beckoning motorists to pull off the road and spend their tourist dollars in rural towns. Now that hotel chains dominate accommodation options, what happened to these locally owned…

Ghost Towns: An In-Person History Fix
Did you know that Utah is haunted? Our state has an estimated one hundred ghost towns. While reasons for their abandonment vary, ghost towns throughout rural Utah have one thing in common: our desire to idealize a lost past and try to connect to it…

Boom & Bust: Topaz Concentration Camp
During World War II, a city of more than 8,000 people rose out of Utah's desert for three years, and then returned to dust. After the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, US President Franklin Roosevelt ordered the relocation and imprisonment of more than…

Orderville & the Great Pants Rebellion
The rural Utah town of Orderville was once a communal utopia – until a single pair of pants scandalized the whole settlement. Inspired by the utopian visions of LDS prophet Joseph Smith, Utah settlements in the 1850s reorganized into an economic…

Swaner: The Nature Preserve at the Center of Change
This week learn about one family who made it their mission to preserve nature in the heart of a growing city – and they succeeded! In Summit County, a precious 1200-acre area of wetland is permanently preserved through conservation easements as a…

Community Cookbooks
Before food blogs and Pinterest, Utah women shared their best recipes in community cookbooks. More than just recipes, these books kept rural foodways and food culture alive. Today, home cooks can simply search the internet to find thousands of…

Carbon College and Utah’s Educational Revolt
Back in the 1950s, Utah’s budget-slashing governor J. Bracken Lee wanted to close the first institution of higher education in eastern Utah – which he actually helped establish! But Utahns balked at his plan and stopped it.  Upon its approval in…

“The Most Noble Subject:” Utah’s Landscape Inspires Artists
Nineteenth-century painters used Utah’s impressive landscape to promote an awe-inspiring vision of the American West through their art. For many people, thinking of the American West might conjure images of grandiose mountains, golden-orange…

Putting the Carbon in Carbon County: Divergent Identities Lead to Divorce
The creation of Carbon County in 1894 resulted from a rift between Mormon agriculturalists and non-Mormon miners, and illustrates the struggle over identity in rural Utah. The discovery of industrial-grade coal in 1882 at Castle Gate in Price Canyon…

Welcome to Main Street: Helper Commercial District
Every rural Utah town has their own special Main Street. In Carbon County, Helper’s main street tells a rich historic story about change and continuity in its unique community. In the early twentieth century, the small community of Helper was…