Utah Stories from the Beehive Archive

Browse Items (423 total)

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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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…

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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'…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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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