Utah Stories from the Beehive Archive

Browse Items (431 total)

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Artists have long idealized labor and land in the American West. But what motivates an artist to paint a haystack? The answer may surprise you. Utah boasts a long history of talented artists. In fact, some of our state’s first settlers studied…

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Today, Utah Valley is known for its rapid development and urban growth. But the valley just east of Utah Lake used to be farmland and orchards. Find out how wartime transformation brought prosperity to this region -- but also irrevocable…

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African Americans living and traveling through Utah in the early twentieth century had to delicately navigate the increasing power of the Ku Klux Klan, which contributed to an acceptance of racially-motivated violence. Black people have lived and…

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She’s big, pink, and has long beautiful eyelashes. Learn more about this unique rural Utah icon. Looming large on the side of Highway 40 in eastern Utah, a sign reading "Vernal: Utah's Dinosaur Land" greets visitors as they enter town. It’s a…

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American mink are cousins to otters and ferrets, and their fur is exceptionally soft and dense. While times have changed, mink furs raised on rural Utah farms were once the height of luxury fashion. Utah’s mink industry began in earnest in 1924,…

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Throughout the holiday season, Utahns celebrate by trimming trees, drinking hot chocolate, skiing, and... bird watching? Yep, they do! Learn more about this longstanding Christmas tradition.In Utah, winter means preparing for the holiday season. But,…

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A federal agent in Colorado tried to force a band of Utes to take up farming. This would come to impact not just Utes in Utah, but national Indian policy.The experience of the Ute people was a crucial factor in the development of national policies…

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The natural beauty and recreational opportunities offered by the Wasatch Range have long brought people seeking an enhanced quality of life. But how did the arrival of Hollywood change the culture and economy of this corner of Utah?Tucked in the…

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On the east side of the Wasatch Mountains, you can find a little slice of Switzerland right here in Utah. Learn more about Midway’s Swiss Days celebration.Midway City, located in the Heber Valley on the east side of the Wasatch Mountains, boasts…

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In rural Utah, social dances were important events that brought townsfolk together, not only for fun, but to support each other and their community.Life in rural Utah in the late nineteenth century was tough! Utahns worked hard to support their…

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This Thanksgiving, you might enjoy a meal that includes a roasted turkey. What are the chances it was born and raised here in Utah?Few people might associate Utah with one of America’s favorite holiday meals: turkeys. But, the turkey industry in…

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Most city dwellers live close enough to a public library to visit regularly. But for many readers in rural Utah, the library must visit them! Learn more about Utah’s history of libraries on wheels.Utah libraries grew rapidly in the early 1900s,…

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Conflict between Brigham Young and US Army Colonel Patrick Connor personified the tension between mining versus agriculture as suitable ways of life in the Utah Territory. But the reality was not quite as stark as either man made it out to be.Mormon…

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When Congress passed the Desert Land Act in 1877, the intention was to improve the prospects of individual family farmers homesteading in the arid West. But what actually happened was far different.In the Civil War era, policymakers in Washington…

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Today, our mail is delivered in large trucks and often takes just a day or two to reach its final destination. But for one Utah town, mail was delivered by mule well into the twentieth century.Rain, sleet, snow, or hail, we expect mail to be…

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Famous photographer Dorthea Lange captured the heartbreaking struggles and resiliency of rural Utah during the Great Depression. Find out more about Lange and her extraordinary photographs.During the Great Depression of the early 1930s, Utah…
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