Utah Stories from the Beehive Archive

Browse Items (427 total)

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In rural Utah, social dances were important events that brought townsfolk together, not only for fun, but to support each other and their community.Life in rural Utah in the late nineteenth century was tough! Utahns worked hard to support their…

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Most city dwellers live close enough to a public library to visit regularly. But for many readers in rural Utah, the library must visit them! Learn more about Utah’s history of libraries on wheels.Utah libraries grew rapidly in the early 1900s,…

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Today, our mail is delivered in large trucks and often takes just a day or two to reach its final destination. But for one Utah town, mail was delivered by mule well into the twentieth century.Rain, sleet, snow, or hail, we expect mail to be…

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Industry in rural towns often relies on the markets of larger cities. But, such reliance means that rural communities may be vulnerable to shifts in public policy and opinion that impact long-standing ways of life. Located in Utah's Summit County,…

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If you visit Lagoon Amusement Park, you may stumble across a modest stone building in the park’s Pioneer Village that used to be Coalville’s old Rock School House. In the late 1800s, this small structure supported a thriving rural community in…

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Hailing from the mountainous border region between Spain and France, Basques are a tightly-knit and proud ethnic group. Find out how Basque immigrants to the Intermountain West maintained their identity, community, and traditions so far from home. In…

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The 1960s were a time of upheaval, ushering in changes in politics, music, and society. Utah was not immune to the growing political consciousness of the youth movement, and nowhere was that more obvious than in Utah's folk music revival. In January…

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An impressive mansion on Salt Lake City’s west side serves as a reminder of Utah's beer history and the prosperous titan who ran the largest brewery in the West. Utah’s strict liquor laws are something of a hilarious nuisance for many visitors to…

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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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When we say “water is power” we are sometimes actually talking about electricity! Find out how harnessing steam electrified Utah for thousands of residents in the 20th century. The early decades of the 1900s were marked by a growing demand for…

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Firefighting is dangerous work. It also requires a lot of water! Today we are used to seeing fire hydrants in every neighborhood, but for many Utahns at the turn of the 20th century, such community water infrastructure was completely new. In the…

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Public health campaigns have long sparked fears of government overreach. In the mid-twentieth century, for example, dentists lobbied to add fluoride to Utah’s water supply to support tooth health. Learn more about the decades-long public uproar. In…

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Most of us take for granted the luxury of having running water inside of our homes. But, indoor plumbing is a relatively new phenomenon that has made life significantly easier! At the turn of the twentieth century, just 1% of homes in the United…

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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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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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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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Find out how a season of terrible floods left Salt Lake City residents with a memorable scene: their neighbors packing sandbags to create a river running down State Street. The uncharacteristically wet winter and spring seasons between 1982 and 1983…

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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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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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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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