Utah Stories from the Beehive Archive

Browse Items (345 total)

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When Mormon pioneers tried to settle along the banks of the Virgin River, raging waters kept them from getting too comfortable. Learn about the ghost town of Grafton and its losing battle with the River. Utah has little regular rainfall, so…

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Learn how one family went literally from “bags to riches” and how a son honored his mother’s legacy by naming after her one of Salt Lake’s most noted buildings.When Izzi Wagner lost his father, he was just sixteen. Life was hard for his…

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Steam locomotive engines need water – a lot of it. But here in Utah – the second driest state in the Lower 48 – finding water to feed these steam beasts was a real problem for the railroad companies. Learn more about how they solved this…

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You know those world-famous Green River melons? Well, they need lots of water to build that juicy goodness. Learn how one farm along the Green River solved the problem of getting water to its fields. The town of Green River, Utah, is known for its…

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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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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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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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What is it about a body of water that brings people together? Learn about an infrastructure project on the Little Bear River that helped the Cache Valley community of Hyrum to flourish -- in more ways than one. Flowing through an area of Hyrum called…

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Winters in northern Utah’s Cache Valley are harsh. To survive and thrive, indigenous Shoshone peoples and Mormon settlers were faced with the question of “Will the challenges of winter make you or break you?” Fur trappers who wintered in…

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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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Utah has an insatiable demand for water, and the Bear River is one of northern Utah’s most abundant sources. Despite this, efforts to fully develop it have long been stymied by a combination of geography and politics. All of Bear River’s natural…

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Utah Lake was once an important and abundant source of fish and wildlife for the Timpanogos Ute people. But by the turn of the twentieth century, Utah Lake’s native fish species had almost completely vanished. Prior to Mormon settlement in 1849,…

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Stocking Utah’s waterways with sport fish is a practice that goes back more than a century – so long ago that many people may think these introduced species are native. Find out how this impacts Utah’s true native fishes. Setting up beside a…

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The Central Utah Project – which is still under construction – began with plenty of optimism and ambition. But politics and the inherent difficulty of moving mountains nearly sank the project. Learn how it survived. The Central Utah Project –…

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The vast plumbing infrastructure of the Central Utah Project is the culmination of Utah’s desires to move water to where we want it to be. Find out how complicated and contentious this endeavor has been. By the mid-twentieth century, the water of…

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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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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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Dams are a vital part of Utah’s water infrastructure -- but they sometimes fail. A breach of the Mammoth Dam in 1917 sent millions of gallons of water rushing downstream, and exposed its poor conditions of construction and operation. On June 24,…

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Recreational boating became popular on Utah’s lakes during the late 1800s, and some entrepreneurs took major risks to make a profit. Learn about one captain who even went down with his ship! In the late 1800s, steamers and sailboats dotted the…

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Stereotyped as dirty and dangerous, Salt Lake City’s Westside was the last to receive sanitation improvements. The city’s slow response to public health concerns helped make the area’s bad reputation worse. Learn more about how public sewer…
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