Utah Stories from the Beehive Archive

Browse Items (320 total)

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Ancient caves in Utah’s arid West Desert may hold key information to Utah’s uncertain water future. Formed under the waves of ancient Lake Bonneville over 10,000 years ago, Danger Cave was home to members of the Desert Archaic culture. Located in…

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In the late 19th century, the town of Newton, Utah was almost abandoned. Crops died, there was no water for animals or people… So how did the town survive?  Settled in 1869 on the broad plain of Utah's Cache Valley, the fledgling town of Newton…

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Maybe you’ve seen his paintings in Utah’s museums, or read his famous book called Our Inland Sea. Learn about 19th century artist Alfred Lambourne, who was Great Salt Lake’s biggest fan. Perhaps no one loved Utah’s Great Salt Lake as much as…

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Here in arid Utah, our terminal lakes are so sensitive that even small-scale nineteenth-century agriculture produced measurable changes. Find out how early geologist Grove Karl Gilbert calculated this delicate balance. Although short on rainfall,…

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Who has a right to water? How you answer that question likely reflects your cultural concept of water ownership. It’s no surprise that ideas about how to fairly allocate this precious resource vary wildly – both today, and in the past. It's…

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Out in Utah’s West Desert is a massive $60 million infrastructure project that hasn’t been used in over thirty years. Can you guess what it is and why it was made? In the 1980’s, a flooding Great Salt Lake threatened transportation, industry,…

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The uranium mining and milling industry in Utah has had a devastating effect on water that disproportionately affected the health and safety of Native American tribes. During the height of the atomic age after World War II, southern Utah was teeming…

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Mark Twain famously joked that “Whiskey is for drinking, but water is for fighting over.” Find out how the struggle for water between two Utah towns led to a lawsuit that resulted in nearly an entire LDS ward being disfellowshipped. The small…

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The valley floor and cliffs of Clear Creek Canyon were sculpted over millions of years and evidence hints that humans moved along its waters as early as 8,000 years ago. You may have driven through this canyon yourself, but do you know the importance…

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Public health is a common good that communities have long rallied around. In the early 20th Century, the highly infectious typhoid disease brought health experts and Utah’s citizens together to demand clean water and upgraded public water…

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You have probably walked over a buried creek many times and not realized it. Underneath the streets of Salt Lake Valley are seven creeks flowing from the Wasatch Mountains. What are the costs of hiding this water? In 1852, land surveyor and explorer…

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Living in the desert means dealing with extreme conditions. Sometimes that means drought, but other times the problem is too much water all at once. Learn how Utahns in Manti looked upstream to tackle the problem of flooding.When you live in the…

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While today’s roads are paved, the dusty roads of the early 1900s caused major health and cleanliness concerns for Utah’s city dwellers.During the early 1900s, Box Elder County’s town, Corinne, was growing fast. More traffic along the dirt…

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Making use of the Sevier River for agriculture required some ingenuity after early Mormon settlers discovered that irrigation was more complicated than simply digging a ditch. Learn how an unconventional surveying tool nicknamed “Old Scraggen”…

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Do you know about the mysterious food poisoning that gave Box Elder County’s Malad River its name?Throughout the nineteenth century, Northern Utah’s Malad River was the site of a mysterious illness affecting fur trappers. Rumors about the water…

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The historic settlements underneath Willard Bay were submerged twice - first by years of dirt, dust, and debris and then again by a flooded reservoir.Buried under the Willard Bay reservoir on the northeast end of Great Salt Lake is not one but two…

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The 1934 drought that ravaged the nation was a natural disaster that came at the worst possible time for Utahns. Find out how officials helped guide the state through this catastrophe with help from the federal government. In 1934, a historic drought…

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Each summer, as the snowpack dwindles and drought restrictions come into play, most Utahns keep up a small oasis in the desert – their front lawns. Learn why more than half of Utah’s valuable household water is used outside to sprinkle this…

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The decisions we make to manage Utah's rivers are complex. The creation of dams has had long-term impacts, but today, scientists are developing water management models that reflect the needs of both people and fish. All of us – people, fish, and…

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Like most Utah communities in the early 20th Century, Salt Lake City’s Sugar House neighborhood lacked a public swimming pool. What’s a kid to do on a scorching summer day? Well, use the pond on the grounds of the nearby Utah State Prison, of…
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