Utah Stories from the Beehive Archive

Browse Items (113 total)

  • Tags: Water

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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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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 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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For almost a hundred years, explorers and mapmakers recorded a river that ran west from Utah out to the Pacific Ocean, despite no such waterway ever even existing. From the 1770s to the 1840s, a majority of explorers, politicians, and white settlers…

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People living in Utah have been managing water to support agriculture for over a thousand years. Using tools and techniques perfected by their ancestors, these ancient farmers manipulated water and adapted to their dry environment in order to…

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Ogden Valley’s Artesian Park contained wells that provided fresh water to the growing population of the city.As the city of Ogden grew into a transportation and finance center in the early 1900s, new sources of fresh water were needed to sustain…

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The Great Saltair Resort is often remembered for its glory days as a dance hall and amusement park. But it was constantly at war with the harsh, saline environment that gave it its claim to fame. In 1893, the LDS Church built the Great Saltair…

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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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When members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints first arrived in Utah in 1847, they set about changing Utah’s arid environment with irrigation techniques and canals that affect our landscape today. Cultural landscapes are a…

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Controversy over public lands has a long history in Utah. The construction of Flaming Gorge Dam was met with resistance, and opinions over the finished product were mixed.In 1968, the Flaming Gorge Dam in Daggett County was dedicated by Ladybird…

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The US Geological Exploration of the 40th Parallel began its examination of the American West under the leadership of Clarence King. The survey team explored northern Utah, and provided an in-depth analysis of Utah’s geography and environment.In…

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Armed with a cameraman, a rubber boat named “Charlie,” and a pet racoon, Buzz Holmstrom took a legendary river trip that was featured in the 1938 film “Conquering the Colorado." In 1937, a man named Buzz Holmstrom built a wooden boat and ran…

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Dams are a vital part of Utah’s water infrastructure -- but they sometimes fail. A breach of the Mammoth Dam in 1917 sent millions of gallons of water rushing downstream, and exposed its poor conditions of construction and operation. On June 24,…

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The decisions we make to manage Utah's rivers are complex. The creation of dams has had long-term impacts, but today, scientists are developing water management models that reflect the needs of both people and fish. All of us – people, fish, and…

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The Green River is a major physical divide in eastern Utah, yet it is also a lifeline for drinking water, agriculture, and recreation. Learn how the River has been a barrier and a bridge for one community along its banks. In the arid West, water is a…

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Adequate water for crops proved to be a challenge for settlers throughout Utah. Those in Box Elder County established a strong dry-farming practice, due to inadequate water supply.When the Mormon settlers arrived in Utah, they immediately planted…

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Have you ever seen a wildfire exploding up a mountain or heard one roaring through a forest? For Northern Ute Indian Firefighters, that was just another day at work.As a kid, Gina Sixkiller remembered her father smelling like fire.  "I used to think…

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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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Why would a bunch of young men from New York have spent the summer of 1933 digging ditches in Utah’s Willard Canyon?It’s the summer of 1933. You’re eighteen years old and recently signed on to the Civilian Conservation Corps, President…
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