Utah Stories from the Beehive Archive

Browse Items (155 total)

  • Tags: Date: 1850-1900

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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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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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While it may seem like an isolated, desolate desert island, Antelope Island in Utah's Great Salt Lake has been an important source of fresh water for humans going back thousands of years. If you were stranded alone on a deserted island, what’s one…

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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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Travelers from all over the world come to hike Utah's famous Delicate Arch. But they often overlook the rich history of the humble log cabin sitting at its trailhead. Delicate Arch is a famous part of Utah’s landscape, featured on gift shop coffee…

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Utahns love to visit beautiful Utah Lake for recreation, but the lake’s dangerous conditions remind us to be wary of getting too comfortable on the water. On a calm Sunday afternoon in June 1883, Thomas Yates and some friends from the town of…

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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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Underneath Lake Powell is a drowned ghost town that was once an important mining hub and crossroads for the Colorado River community. If you’ve ever visited the north end of Lake Powell, you may have stopped by the Hite Marina for a public restroom…

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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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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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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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In the late 19th century, Black settlers in the Salt Lake Valley used the waters of Millcreek Canyon to create a thriving community of their own. Where water is, people gather. This was true for Indigenous peoples of Utah, as well as Mormon colonists…

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The colonization of northern Utah’s Cache Valley escalated tensions that led to the horrific 1863 massacre of Shoshone people at their winter camp on Bear River. Learn how the Shoshone have returned to the river and are reclaiming it as a healing…

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Located along the Utah-Idaho border, the Bear River is the source of life for Northwestern Shoshone people. They know it as Boa Ogoi and for hundreds of years, winters spent along its edge offered respite and rejuvenation. The Northwestern Band of…

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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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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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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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