Utah Stories from the Beehive Archive

Browse Items (156 total)

  • Tags: Date: 1850-1900

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The tale of a doomed gold-seeking trek that started in Provo and ended in cannibalism.  In 1873, a man by the name of Preston Nutter traveled to Utah with a friend after hearing rumors that miners in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains were striking it…

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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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Learn about the forced relocation of Ute people from lush central Utah to the remote Uinta Basin.  In the mid-19th Century federal Indian policy shifted from Indian Removal toward the reservation system.  The result for many Native groups,…

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Utah’s mountain ranges were raided and its rivers put to work in order to build the national railroad system.  When the transcontinental railroad came to Utah in 1868 and 1869 – and as branch lines later spread through the territory – railroad…

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The Enterprise Dam in Utah's Washington County is an amazing example of how early Mormon settlers mastered the waters of the harsh desert using community effort. But did you know the process of building it was bursting with controversy and deluged…

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In the late 19th century, a Utah newspaper announced that the two whales swimming in Utah’s Great Salt Lake had added children to their family. Was this a scientific reality, or just a whale of a tale? In 1888, the Salt Lake Herald-Republican…

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The captivating and controversial past of Salt Lake City’s old Ambassador Club.An imposing structure sporting spires and turrets on Salt Lake City’s 5th East is long gone, but its ghosts include those of polygamist wives and a controversial…

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Despite Utah’s lack of direct involvement in the Civil War, they played a key role in the interests of leaders in Washington over the struggle for control of the western territories.One of the saddest episodes in American history was the Civil War,…

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The Woman’s Exponent magazine served an unusual role in advocating for Utah’s working women during the late nineteenth century. One of the greatest advocates for Utah’s working women was the Woman’s Exponent magazine, started in Salt Lake…

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Utah’s first Jewish congregation, B’nai Israel, remains a symbol of the state’s first Jewish pioneers.When the first permanent Jewish settlers in Utah celebrated the high holy day of Yom Kippur a little less than 150 years ago, they did so in a…

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Like the famous Loch Ness in Scotland, Utah’s Bear Lake keeps a monster-sized secret in its watery depths. Located at the top of Logan Canyon on the Idaho border, Bear Lake has been at the center of “monster sighting” stories since at least…

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Many Utahns would shudder to think about swimming in Great Salt Lake’s smelly waters. But, in the early 1900s -- when the water was higher -- thousands of swimmers flocked to its shores to enjoy the Saltair Resort. Great Salt Lake’s high salt…

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Did you know that before Prohibition, Utah was home to fifteen breweries? Some were among the biggest and best in the West. Learn about Utah’s early beer brewers and their specialized craft.Ask any beer brewer – or any beer connoisseur – and…

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As Americans, we extol the value of an “honest living,” but what about work that is less than honest? Butch Cassidy was a Utah boy with a penchant for wild living who paid his way using any means necessary.While considered unsavory, many…

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Celebrations of the Chinese Lunar New Year have riveted Utahns since 1869.When Chinese immigrants first came to Utah to build the railroad in 1869, they brought one of their most important holidays, the Chinese Lunar New Year, a 15-day festival that…

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Ute leader Chipeta – her search for peace meant the loss of her home and her way of life.   Chipeta was the wife of Uncompahgre Ute leader Ouray and acted for years as a peacemaker between her people and the United States government.  She stood…

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How one young Scottish woman journeyed 4,536 miles to Utah as part of “the most remarkable travel experiment in the history of Western America.”   Christina McNeil was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1831 into hard economic times.  She began…

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Imagine you live in 19th century rural Utah. Christmas is coming and your children look forward to a celebration with Santa and gifts. There are no stores, no mail orders. How would you meet their expectations?“It [was] a two-room log house with a…

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Christmas in early Utah was a festive event, filled with parties, gifts, and games. There’s a lot of debate these days about the place Christmas should occupy in American culture. Some, including Utahns, argue that we need to put Christ back into…

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Who owns common sources of water? As Mormons began to spread south throughout Utah Territory in the 1850s, conflict over watering holes in the desert turned deadly. In the arid Utah desert, one resource takes priority over all others: water. When a…
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