Utah Stories from the Beehive Archive

Browse Items (147 total)

  • Tags: Date: 1850-1900

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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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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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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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Maybe you’ve seen his paintings in Utah’s museums, or read his famous book called Our Inland Sea. Learn about 19th century artist Alfred Lambourne, who was Great Salt Lake’s biggest fan. Perhaps no one loved Utah’s Great Salt Lake as much as…

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Here in arid Utah, our terminal lakes are so sensitive that even small-scale nineteenth-century agriculture produced measurable changes. Find out how early geologist Grove Karl Gilbert calculated this delicate balance. Although short on rainfall,…

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Who has a right to water? How you answer that question likely reflects your cultural concept of water ownership. It’s no surprise that ideas about how to fairly allocate this precious resource vary wildly – both today, and in the past. It's…

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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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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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If someone admits they’ve broken the law, the government is not supposed to take up their cause. Yet that is exactly what happened when a group of farmers in Heber Valley stole water from the Ute Reservation for decades. Water in Utah is a precious…
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