Utah Stories from the Beehive Archive

Browse Items (170 total)

  • Tags: Date: 1850-1900

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Did you know that Utah is haunted? Our state has an estimated one hundred ghost towns. While reasons for their abandonment vary, ghost towns throughout rural Utah have one thing in common: our desire to idealize a lost past and try to connect to it…

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The rural Utah town of Orderville was once a communal utopia – until a single pair of pants scandalized the whole settlement. Inspired by the utopian visions of LDS prophet Joseph Smith, Utah settlements in the 1850s reorganized into an economic…

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Nineteenth-century painters used Utah’s impressive landscape to promote an awe-inspiring vision of the American West through their art. For many people, thinking of the American West might conjure images of grandiose mountains, golden-orange…

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The creation of Carbon County in 1894 resulted from a rift between Mormon agriculturalists and non-Mormon miners, and illustrates the struggle over identity in rural Utah. The discovery of industrial-grade coal in 1882 at Castle Gate in Price Canyon…

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A federal agent in Colorado tried to force a band of Utes to take up farming. This would come to impact not just Utes in Utah, but national Indian policy.The experience of the Ute people was a crucial factor in the development of national policies…

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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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Conflict between Brigham Young and US Army Colonel Patrick Connor personified the tension between mining versus agriculture as suitable ways of life in the Utah Territory. But the reality was not quite as stark as either man made it out to be.Mormon…

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When Congress passed the Desert Land Act in 1877, the intention was to improve the prospects of individual family farmers homesteading in the arid West. But what actually happened was far different.In the Civil War era, policymakers in Washington…

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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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Every rural person and place has a story. Change is part of that story. While many Utahns identify with rural landscapes, work, and culture, the very idea of "rural" is changing today. Utah is an urban place with a rural heart. The vast majority of…

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Baseball in the nineteenth century was more than just Salt Lake City’s “favorite pastime.” The game became an outlet for the tensions between Mormons and the growing number of residents who did not adhere to the dominant faith and…

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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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In 1897, Utah passed a law regulating hat size in theaters and public places. One might ask WHY? Who did it affect? Was it warranted? And just how big is too big anyway? Before the days of social media and television, late 19th century Utahns…

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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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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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