Utah Stories from the Beehive Archive

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  • Tags: Industry

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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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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 uranium mining and milling industry in Utah has had a devastating effect on water that disproportionately affected the health and safety of Native American tribes. During the height of the atomic age after World War II, southern Utah was teeming…

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The story of water in Utah is complex, and rifts often arise in unexpected places. The fact that water sustains us all can sometimes be easy to overlook, but ultimately it an issue we cannot ignore and to which we must constantly adapt. Utah is…

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If you or your dog have ever gotten sick drinking untreated water, you've probably heard of giardia. Chlorine is regularly used in water treatment plants across Utah today to fight this deadly water parasite, but some of its earliest opponents…

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The heart of Salt Lake City’s countercultural movement found its home in a small, independent headshop in the 1960s and 70s. Utah’s countercultural movement in the 1960s and 70s was fairly tame compared to the social movements of larger cities.…

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Utah communities regularly wish for more rainfall, especially during years of drought. But can they do more than just pray? Learn how scientists in the 1950s harnessed technology to make their own rain. Today, Utahns experiencing drought due to…

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Learn about E.A. Miller & Sons, a small family business started during the Great Depression, and how it grew to be part of the world’s largest beef producer.In 1935, in the small town of Hyrum, in Utah’s rural Cache Valley, Ernest and…

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Long work hours and blurry lines between personal and professional lives is hardly a modern dilemma. But imagine if your employer controlled not just your hours and your paycheck, but where you spent your off hours and how you spent your money.…

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Utah has an insatiable demand for water, and the Bear River is one of northern Utah’s most abundant sources. Despite this, efforts to fully develop it have long been stymied by a combination of geography and politics. All of Bear River’s natural…

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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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Steam locomotive engines need water – a lot of it. But here in Utah – the second driest state in the Lower 48 – finding water to feed these steam beasts was a real problem for the railroad companies. Learn more about how they solved this…

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Maybe you’ve heard of the Great Saltair Pleasure Resort as a prime example of Utah’s early pleasure resorts. But have you ever heard of Fuller’s Hill? At about 1100 East and 400 South in Salt Lake City, this little-known park had a covered…

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Acid rain used to be a big problem in Salt Lake Valley. As local farmers sought to curb its impact, they found themselves getting “gaslit” about gas emissions from nearby smelters, both in court and in their own fields. Water normally means life…

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Meet Howard Coleman, who came West with the railroad and built a better life – one job at a time.Like many of us, Howard Coleman used his work as a stepping stone to a better life.  As a black man and the son of a Kentucky share-cropper, his…

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American industrialism at the turn of the 20th century brought Utah women out of their homes and into the workplace. There they faced inequality and wage disparity.The turn of the twentieth century saw dramatic changes that created new opportunities…

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Ever wonder how people kept food cold before electricity? Learn how ice was harvested, stored, and used throughout Utah before freezers were common household appliances. During the nineteenth-century, frozen water was a rare and valuable commodity.…

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Irrigation was essential to early Mormons’ ability to survive in Utah. Learn how they labored physically, intellectually, and communally to make the desert bloom.Looking back at the Mormons of the late nineteenth century, one historian joked that,…

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Once a major transportation hub, Salt Lake City’s Rio Grande Train Depot has served its community well over the last century.   The Rio Grande Train Depot in Salt Lake City was built in 1910.  Once a major hub of transportation, the building…

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Do you know where your food comes from? Utahns once depended on local butchers for fresh meat. But, in the early 1900s business boomed for the Ogden Union Stockyards, signaling a shift in how and where Utahns purchased their food. Today, most…
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