Utah Stories from the Beehive Archive

Browse Items (350 total)

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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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Southern Utah’s unreliable Virgin River prevented settlers from achieving their dream of taming the land to grow cotton. Believing they could “make the desert blossom as the rose,” Mormon settlers expanded into southwestern  Utah in the 1850s…

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Utah’s limited water supply needs to be closely monitored! But this is nothing new. In Utah’s settler communities, the local watermaster was a vital figure, although not always the most popular one. Utah’s irrigation system of canals, ditches,…

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Utah boasts the greatest snow on earth, but the pristine powder isn’t always nature-made. The fake snow saves tourist seasons, but at what cost? Skiing is big business in Utah! The state’s geography allows for a light, fluffy powder that tends…

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The search for more affordable, alternative energy sources is nothing new. Learn how a businessman in the late 1800s electrified rural Utah using a state-of-the-art hydroelectric system. We take it for granted now, but electricity was a hot commodity…

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Frequent droughts and a growing population continue to raise the stakes for water access in Utah. Learn about a drawn-out conflict over water in Salt Lake City that shows how tensions between agricultural and municipal water users are hardly new. In…

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Anyone who lives near Utah’s mountains knows how dangerous winter avalanches can be. Today, avalanches are closely monitored and relatively controlled. But it wasn’t always so. Learn about the 1897 avalanche in Provo Canyon that ended in…

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The Utah Hot Springs Resort at the base of Ogden Canyon offered city dwellers an escape into nature -- but at what cost? Learn more about selling Ogden’s healing mineral springs. Utah’s hot springs have long been sought for their positive health…

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Timp Glacier, on the east face of Mt Timpanogos, isn’t really a glacier. But the distinction hardly mattered to thousands of skiers who were anxious for the unique chance to hit the slopes in July. Beginning in 1912, thousands of adventure-seekers…

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As the population of the American West grew in the mid-twentieth century, so did the demand for water. Learn how the fight over a proposed dam in the middle of Dinosaur National Monument gave birth to the modern conservation movement. Echo Park sits…

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The outdoor recreation industry in Utah is worth billions of dollars.  But getting out into nature for simple pleasure – and paying someone to guide you – is a relatively modern concept. Learn about a river trip taken in 1909 that forecast the…

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Did you know that one of the oldest roller coasters in the world is right here in Utah? It all started with a pond and a dancehall called “Lagoon.” Learn more about one of Utah’s oldest amusement parks.In the late nineteenth century -- before…
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