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Utah History Day On The Hill

On Friday, January 27, thirty middle- and high-school students from Logan, Price, Layton, Salt Lake, Alpine, Orem, Beaver, and Montezuma Creek will be the featured guests at Utah History Day on the Hill. The Division of State History is thrilled to host these exceptional young people, who are participants in Utah’s National History Day program.

These youth have done extensive historical research on important topics, presenting their work in the form of exhibits, documentaries, performances, websites, or papers. They were members of Utah’s National History Day delegation this past June, traveling to Washington, D.C., to compete in this prestigious academic event.

Projects on display at the Capitol will include:

St. Eustatius: The Exploration, Encounter, and Exchange that Won the Revolution, by Jacob Simmons, Albion Middle School

Long Walk of the Navajo: The 1864 Encounter at Hwéeldi and its Impacts on Dinétah,
by Kami Atcitty, Kaia Jay, and Esperanza Lee, Albert R. Lyman Middle School

George Catlin’s Native American Encounters: A Gift of Artistic Preservation, by Maren Burgess –8th Place, Senior Individual Exhibit, National History Day 2016

The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History, by Saige Hinds, Eliza Lewis, and Daniela Meneses

The Rebirth of Literature: Shakespeare’s Encounter, Exploration, and Exchange of Ideas, by Tessa Atwood, Katie Snow, Mercedez Clifford, Zoey Kourianos, Tyler Pierce, Carbon High School

Helen Foster Snow: American Journalist in the Chinese Revolution, by Daniel Nelson and Spencer Standing, Lakeridge Junior High. 5th Place, Junior Individual Website, National History Day 2016

Board of State History

Meeting Agenda

Thursday, January 19, 2017, 12:00 – 3:00 pm

Rio Grande Depot, Board Room, 300 South Rio Grande Street, Salt Lake City, UT

TIME:  Noon – working lunch for Board members, hosted by State History

12:15 p.m. – WELCOME – Dina Blaes, Chair

October – December State History program accomplishments

Brad Westwood (5 min)
1. Strategic Plan to the Utah Museum of History, Heritage and Arts – Timeline & Essential Steps
2. Utah Drawn:  An Exhibition of Rare Maps.  Displayed at the Utah Capitol, 4th Floor, opens January 27, 2017

Roger Roper – Historic Preservation (5 min)
1. Community preservation: continued coordination with other cultural/heritage agencies and organizations to better coordinate the delivery of services to communities.
2. Grant Management transition (with Debbie’s retirement, creation of online database, etc.)
3. Utah Heritage Traditions: moving forward with getting several documented for designation in the fall.

Wendy Rex-Atzet – History Day (5 min)
1. History Day on the Hill – report
2. Spring Contests – invite board members and help us solicit judges

Doug Misner – Library and Collections (5 min)
1. Improving ability to manage and care for the collection
2. Update on the selection of a new collection management system (CMS).

Improving public access to the collection
1. Update on the implementation of our new public access catalog.
2. New digital asset management system implemented by University of Utah.
3. Hired part time Reference Librarian.

Outreach and partnerships
1. Participated in Watch & Talk lecture series hosted by the Division of Arts and Museums.
2. Created an artifact display for the renaming ceremony at the Central Utah Veterans Home in Payson.

Arie Leeflang – Antiquities (5 min)
1. Veteran’s Memorial Database & Story Map.
2. Over 15,000 records have been data-entered for the BLM, to improve their management of archaeological resources.
3.  GIS
4.  Geo Cortex

Jed Rogers, Holly George – Utah Historical Quarterly (5 min)
1. New UHQ publishing and marketing initiative.
2. Contents of the winter UHQ issue.
3. World War I Commission.

Kevin Fayles – Communications (5 min)
1. Webstats and social media.
2. Burial records.
3. Emergency management planning (FEMA PA, Annex, etc,)


  1. Approval of the October 27, 2016 Board of State History Retreat minutes – Dina Blaes
    (Board motion required) (3 min)
  2. National Register of Historic Places Nominations – Cory Jensen (25 min)
    (Board motion required)
    Summaries of National Register of Historic Places Nominations
    a) The Ballard-Sego Coal Mine Historic District in Grand County, Utah
    b) The River Heights Sinclair Station
  3. Request for removal from National Register – Cory Jensen (5 min)
    (No Board motion required)
    a) Verd’s Fruit Market Complex in Orem (demolished)
  4. Administrative Rules due for Five Year Review with Dept. of Administrative Rules – Alycia Aldrich
    (Board motion required) (10 min)
    a) R455-1, Adjudicative Proceedings
    b) R455-12, Computerized Record of Cemeteries, Burial Locations and Plots, and Granting Matching Funds


  1. Committee reports – David Rich Lewis, David Richardson, Steve Olsen, Michael Homer (20 min)
  2. Proposed Museum for History, Heritage and Arts update – Dina Blaes, Brad Westwood (15 min)
  3. Legislative briefing
    a) 250th Anniversary Year of the Nation – Brad Westwood (5 min)
    b) Historic Districts, Tax Credits – Roger Roper (5 min)
    c) WWI funding proposal – Kevin Fayles (5 min)
  4. Budget briefing from the Department of Heritage and Arts – Tenielle Young, Jim Grover (15 min)
  5. 2017 outreach and events to include Board members – Kevin Fayles (5 min)OTHER BUSINESS

Annual Disclosure Forms (2 min)
Board Photo (5 minutes)

NEXT MEETING:  April 20, 2017, 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm


Utah Drawn: An Exhibition of Rare Maps

We are pleased to announce an upcoming exhibition of forty rare historical maps depicting the region that became the state of Utah from its earliest imaginings by European cartographers to Utah's modern state’s boundaries.

Original maps shown are from the private collection of Salt Lake City businessman Stephen Boulay, with additional contributions from the Utah State Historical Society, American West Center at the University of Utah, L. Tom Perry Special Collections at Brigham Young University, and LDS Church History Department.

An opening reception for the exhibition will be held on the fourth floor of the Utah Capitol Building on January 27, 2017, eight to noon.

Additional selected maps from various institutions and private collectors will be offered as a "show and tell" event in the center of the State Capitol rotunda on January 27, noon to two p.m.

The exhibition will run through late summer 2017.

UHQ Digital Exhibition

The six maps reproduced below are part of Utah Drawn: An Exhibition of Rare Maps displayed in the Utah Capitol Building fourth floor beginning January 27, 2017.

Maps serve many purposes. They represent physical geographies, recording landmarks, routes, and boundaries. But they also reflect varying perceptions, imaginations, values, and aspirations. This is certainly true of the maps presented here. Over five centuries, empires and explorers along with printers and publishers worked first to trace the outline of a continent that was new to Europeans and then, eventually, to fill in its vast middle. These maps show the steady increase of geographic knowledge of the Americas, but they also demonstrate the economic and political interests that produced that knowledge and the individuals who benefited from it. They hint at what map makers and their sponsors determined was worth documenting, identifying, and, in some cases, possessing. They often erase, obscure, and distort. Put simply: maps are more than cartographic representations of known or imagined physical features on the landscape. As you examine these maps, try to determine the purposes for which they were made and any mistruths, omissions, and distortions they may contain.


Title: America Septentrionalis

Creator: Jan Jansson (1588-1664)

Published in: Nouveau Theatre du Monde ou Nouvel Atlas

Place: Amsterdam

Date: 1641

This striking hand-colored map by the Dutch cartographer Jan Jansson (1588-1664) was the first atlas map to treat North America on its own page, separate from the rest of the western hemisphere. Jansson produced this definitive synthesis of the best cartographic knowledge then available. In the process, he helped to canonize both true and false details about North America’s geography for generations. This was not the first map to depict California as an island, for instance, but its widespread distribution helped to popularize that misconception. The eastern seaboard illustrates the French presence along the St. Lawrence River, the English in New England and Virginia, and the Dutch in what is labeled “Novum Belgium.” Though the lake feeding the Rio Del Norte might look familiar to modern Utahns, the Great Salt Lake did not enter the written record until the Timpanogos Utes related its existence to the Dominguez-Escalanté Expedition of 1776.



Title: “Plano Geografico de los Descumbimientos”

Creator: Bernardo de Miera y Pacheco (1713-1785)

Manuscript (Original at Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University)

Date: 1778 (Facsimile, 1970)

Bernardo de Miera y Pacheco (1713-1785) traveled with the Dominguez-Escalante Expedition of 1776-1777 and drew this map as a record of the journey. The party served the Spanish interest in establishing an overland route connecting Mexico to Alta California, which remained an overseas colony of New Spain in spite of its relative geographic proximity well into the next century. In this map, Miera depicted the Rio Colorado with new clarity. This map depicted “Laguna de los Timpanogos” (Utah Lake) for the first time. It also illustrates the “Great River of the West,” a mythical river that tantalized those hoping to find a water passage to Asia for nearly two hundred years. Contrary to later maps, this conflation of Utah’s modern Green River and Sevier River terminated in a lake within the Great Basin. Miera named it Laguna de Miera after himself, but modern Utahns will know it as Sevier Lake.



Title: “Partie du Mexique”

Creator: Philippe Vandermaelen (1795-1869)

Published in: Atlas Universel de Géographie Physique, Politique, Statistique Et Minéralogique

Date: 1827

Drawn by the Belgian cartographer Philippe Marie Vandermaelen (1795-1869), this map depicted the region from Lake Timpanogos (Utah Lake) to present day Colorado and Wyoming. It appeared in Vandermaelen’s six-volume Atlas Universel, published in 1827. As the first atlas to depict the entire globe with a large, consistent scale (26 miles to the inch), the individual maps in this atlas could be combined on a globe approximately 7.75 meters in diameter. The Princeton University Library’s has rendered the resulting globe digitally. The fourth volume focused on North America, he illustrated the Trans-Mississippi West in about twenty sheets.


UTA_Garrett_00333, Mon Oct 08, 2007,  1:57:07 PM,  8C, 8424x7804,  (1998+2895), 150%, bent 6 stops,  1/25 s, R70.7, G66.9, B86.1


UTA_Garrett_00333, Mon Oct 08, 2007,  1:57:07 PM,  8C, 8424x7804,  (1998+2895), 150%, bent 6 stops,  1/25 s, R70.7, G66.9, B86.1

Title: “Neueste Karte von Mexico … 1850”

Creator: Carl Christian Franz Radefeld (1788-1874)    

Published in: Joseph Meyer (1796-1856), Grosser Hand-Atlas

Place: Hildburghausen

Date: 1850

Even if the U.S. government never recognized the expansive state of Deseret, the prolific mapmakers at Meyer’s publishing company Bibliographisches Institut in Hildburghausen, Germany did, if only briefly. Like Young’s map of Deseret in Mitchell’s Universal Atlas, Meyer’s Grosser Hand-Atlas published a rare map of Deseret as originally proposed. That was not a coincidence. Meyer and his cartographer Radefeld relied on Mitchell’s atlas to produce their 1850-1854 editions of the Hand-Atlas.



Title: “Map of the United States of America”

Creator: James H. Young (1792-18??)

Published in: Samuel Augustus Mitchell (1792-1868), A New Universal Atlas

Place: Philadelphia

Date: 1850

Fueled by emerging mass-market interest, atlases experienced a resurgence in popularity in the 1840s and 1850s. Produced for S. Augustus Mitchell’s contribution to that market by his longtime engraver and associate James H. Young, this map captured the territorial expansion of the newly-continental United States in progress. While the eastern United States might look relatively familiar—save the lack of West Virginia as a distinct state—the western territories bear only a vague similarity to the familiar state boundaries that would eventually settle. This map captured an already-reduced Utah Territory that stretched from roughly the Sierra Nevada range to the continental divide. 

Note that the map erroneously called that territory by its then-defunct name of Deseret. This particular mid-1850 edition of the atlas had two U.S. maps, with each identifying the new territory by its alternate names. The United States never recognized an entity called “Deseret.” Western political events moved rather quickly at times, so it is understandable that a map prepared in early 1850 and published at the end of the year would not be able to keep up. Nonetheless, the territory which should have been labeled Utah Territory never looked like this. [link to the GIS site]






Title: “California, Oregon, Washington, Utah, New Mexico”

Creator: Samuel Augustus Mitchell (1792-1868)     

Published in: A New Universal Atlas

Publisher: Charles Desilver

Place: Philadelphia

Date: 1857

Selling atlases in the mass market was a race as often as it was a contest over accuracy and comprehensiveness. Produced rapidly for Mitchell’s Atlas Universal in 1850 by adding new boundaries to an existing base map from the previous decade, this was one of the first maps to show the new state of California. It had little else going for it. Its intellectual debt to the 1840s meant that Frémont practically authored the Great Basin. The map even identified it as the Fremont Basin to at least the 1855 edition. Over the 1850s, Mitchell updated the map, adding in subsequent editions the cities and counties that had been conspicuously absent in the rushed earlier versions.






Interagency Task Force

harvest_timeSince the late 1980’s, the Utah State Historic Preservation Office, housed within the Utah Division of State History (UDSH), has organized and convened the “Interagency Task Force” (ITF). Since its inception, the mission, direction, and membership have fluctuated, but the main goal remains consistent: to convene preservation and archaeological professionals from State and federal agencies, and others, to join in an informal dialogue about current issues in Utah.

Loosely organized with no formal bylaws, the Interagency Task Force promotes cooperation, data sharing, and professional discussion of topics relevant to both archaeologists and preservationists of the built environment. Recent topics in the ITF have included modifying the archaeological site form for Utah, emergency preparedness and resource sharing between agencies, archaeological site stewardship programs,  sharing ideas for improving tribal consultation from the agencies, dissemination of changes to policy and guidance, state permitting and licensing, data sharing agreements, and current plans for increasing community preservation efforts.

Participants in the ITF are fluid but usually include architectural historians, archaeologists, program leads, and others from federal agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management, US Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Reclamation, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Army Corps of Engineers, US Air Force, US Army mixed with state agency leads from State Trust Lands, Wildlife Resources, National Guard, State Parks, Oil, Gas, and Mining, Utah Department of Transportation, among others. Recently, the ITF expanded to include an archaeologist from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which has recently become deeply engaged in Section 106 consultation efforts as a consulting party.

With no formal bylaws, meeting minutes, or decision points, the ITF has been an effective and easily organized means of promoting inter-agency cooperation on a host of projects well beyond the three-hour meeting every quarter. Improved communication, resource sharing, and a sense of a growing and interlinked community are among the many benefits of the ITF.

Utah History Day Registration


Registration is FREE for NHD contests in Utah.


Cache Regional (Cache & Box Elder Counties):

Castle Country Regional (Carbon & Emery Counties):

Central Utah Regional (Sanpete County);

Duchesne-Uintah Regional (Duchesne & Uintah Counties):

Salt Lake Regional (Salt Lake & Summit Counties):

San Juan Regional (San Juan County):

South-Central Regional (Beaver & Iron Counties):

Utah Valley Regional (Utah County):

Washington County Regional:

Weber Regional (Weber & Davis Counties)**

Davis County School District:

Ogden School District: 


Contact us at We will be happy to assist you!

Registration Tips

  • Registration closing dates vary. Be sure you register before the deadline for your contest.
  • Website and Historical Paper entries are due before the competition. If you are competing in either of those categories, pay attention to those deadlines. Look them up HERE.
  • If you are not sure which contest serves you, please contact us:

Instructions for Website Students

  • You need to provide the Weebly URL for your website during registration. It should look like this:
  • If your URL has words instead of numbers, you’ll need to convert it to NHD Weebly before you register. It’s simple: Go to  and login using your Weebly username and password. Click “Convert” and write down your new URL. If you experience issues converting your website contact
  • Websites will lock for judging on the date specified for your contest. You will not be able to access your site during the judging period.
  • Websites will unlock after the competition, allowing you time to make revisions before the next competition.

Instructions for Historical Paper Students

  • Judges will read Historical Papers before the day of the contest.
  • You will need to mail four (4) hard copies of your paper to your contest coordinator by the due date listed for your contest in the Registration Schedule.  Please email your regional coordinator if you need their mailing address.
  • Then, plan to attend your regional competition prepared for a 5-minute judges interview about your project.


Utah on the National Register

NRHPBook_Page_01The National Register of Historic Places only exists because of its association with the federal National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), and it is turning 50 years old in 2016.

This book is a small selection of Utah’s contribution to historic preservation work.

Historic Contexts

Historic contexts are a formal tool to  help agencies, consultants, and the public to understand and assess the range of variation within a certain region, period, or resource type. These documents form a strong foundation for assessing the significance of a cultural resource for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. The Utah State Historic Preservation Office (UT-SHPO) is happy to include existing but hard to find resources on this website, and will be expanded as new contexts are made available. For many of these documents below there are additional materials at the Utah Division of State History’s office at 300 S. Rio Grande St., Salt Lake City, Utah.

The National Park Service’s National Register Bulletins provide the core description on how to develop and employ a historic context, so please be sure to visit their website for more information. Specifically, Barbara Wyatt of the National Park Service created a short white paper that succinctly describes what is in a historic context and how to use it, and it can be found by clicking here.

If you have any questions or comments on these please contact the UT-SHPO’s resident context wrangler: Elizabeth Hora-Cook at

Broad Overview Contexts (Multi-Resource Type)

Architectural Contexts

General Domestic or Other Contexts

Public Buildings Contexts

Religious Architectural Contexts

Industrial or Engineering Related Contexts

United States Forest Service in Utah Contexts

Archaeological Contexts*

*Some reports above might have been redacted per state or federal data protections on archaeological site locations.

Ethnographic Contexts

2016 State History Conference Sessions

Missed out on the 2016 State History Conference “Rural Utah, Western Issues”? Below are some select sessions that were recorded.

Historical Perspectives on the Public Lands Debate in the American West

  • Leisl Carr Childers is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Northern Iowa where she coordinates the Public History program and teaches the American West.
  • Joseph E. Taylor III is a professor of history at Simon Fraser University. He has written broadly about gentrification and the struggles to control access to natural resources. He is currently mapping the history of transfer payments to western counties for activities occurring on federal lands.

Early Rural Utah in the Uinta Basin

  • Lee Kreutzer (chair)
  • Elizabeth Hora-Cook: Public Spaces and Private Places: The Construction of Social Landscapes in Jones Hole Canyon, Utah
  • Judson Byrd Finley: The Fremont Archaeology of Dinosaur National Monument: Fifty Years after Breternitz

Industrial and Natural Landscapes

  • Nelson Knight (chair)
  • Mark Karpinski: Utah Coal Company Towns: Rural Towns Created to Fuel Western Urbanization
  • Susie Petheram: The Jordan River Then and Now: From Rural Resource to Urban Resource
  • Jessica F. Montcalm: Echoes from the Camp: Sego as a Case Study in Identifying and Industrial Landscape

New Methods, Historical Innovation

  • Gregory C. Thompson (chair)
  • Justin Sorensen: Exploring Utah’s Nuclear History through the Downwinders of Utah Archive
  • Cami Ann Dilg: The past that was differs little from the past that was not”: Pictographs and Petroglyphs in Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian or the Evening Redness in the West
  • Kenneth P. Cannon: Across the Desert: The Archaeology of the Chinese Railroad Workers, Box Elder County, Utah

The Personal and the Political

  • Colleen Whitley (chair)
  • Devan Jensen and Kenneth L. Alford: Cynthia Park Stowell: Wife of a Utah War POW
  • Walter R. Jones: A Tragic Set of Events in Early-Twentieth-Century Rural Uinta County, Wyoming
  • Kenneth L. Cannon II: Frank Cannon, the Salt Lake Tribune, and the Alta Club

Voices from the Desert: Rural Issues in Southeastern Utah

  • Panel: Robert S. McPherson (moderator and panelist), Winston Hurst, Rick Eldredge, Mike Noel

Participants will address the loss and acquisition of land by Native Americans; the use and abuse of Ancestral Puebloan sites and artifacts; the multifaceted issues of law enforcement in a complex, disputed environment; and the impact of the Grand-Staircase Monument on residents twenty years after its inception. Moving from past to present, panelists will share views on how history has shaped contemporary issues.

World War I in Rural Utah

  • Robert S. Voyles (chair)
  • Kerry William Bate: Kanarraville Women Fight World War I
  • Robert S. McPherson: Native American Reaction to World War I
  • Allan Kent Powell: World War I in Castle Valley: The Impact of the War on Carbon and Emery Counties

Board of State History Retreat Agenda

Board of State History Retreat
Thursday, October 27, 2016

9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Thomas S. Monson Center (formerly the Enos Wall Mansion)
411 East S. Temple, Salt Lake City

9:00 a.m.                     WELCOME – Dina Blaes, Board Chair

9:15 a.m.                     Quarterly program accomplishments – staff

9:45 a.m.                     Refining Board Committees & the Committee- to-Board process – Brad Westwood

10:00 a.m.                   Break into Committees:

  • Utah State Historical Society Committee (Chair: David Rich Lewis)
  • Major Planning, Gifts & Awards Committee (Chair: Mike Homer)
  • Historic Preservation & Archaeology Committee (Chair: David Richardson)
  • Library, Collections & Digitization (Chair: Steve Olsen)

11:15 a.m.                   BREAK

11:30 a.m.                   Group photo

11:35 a.m.                   LUNCH/DISCUSSION/ACTION ITEMS

12:30 p.m.                   ACTION ITEMS

  • Delisting of National Register of Historic Places buildings – Cory Jensen
    Demolished buildings: (no vote required)
    – Thomas Cunningham House (NRIS #84002250), Park City, Summit County
    – Downing Apartments (NRIS #87002160), Ogden, Weber County
    – Lehi Commercial & Savings Bank (NRIS #98001537), Lehi, Utah County
    – Morgan Elementary School (NRIS #86000737), Morgan, Morgan County
    – North Ogden Elementary School (NRIS #85000822), North Ogden, Weber County
    – Plant Auto Company Building (NRIS #04001129), Richmond, Cache County
    – Rose Apartments (NRIS #87002160), Ogden, Weber County
    – Sidney Stevens House (NRIS #77001326), Ogden, Weber County
    Loss of integrity: (vote required)
    – Hyrum Stake Tithing Office (NRIS ##85000251), Hyrum, Cache County
  • Approval of 2017 Board meeting dates  Alycia Aldrich
    January 19th, April 20th, July 20th, October 26th

1:20 p.m.                     BREAK

1:30 p.m.                     TRAINING

  • Board Duties, Bylaws and Statutory AuthorityThom Roberts
  • National Park Service Walk Through Historic Buildings – Dina Blaes/Cory Jensen

2:30 p.m.                     DISCUSSION ITEMS

  • Proposed Utah History, Heritage and Arts Museum – Dina Blaes
  • Closing remarks –  Brad Westwood

3:00 p.m.                     ADJOURN

Utah Historical Quarterly Spring 2016

Volume 84, Number 2 (Spring 2016 Issue):

Published since 1928, the Utah Historical Quarterly is the state’s premier history journal and the source for reliable, engaging Utah history. Join the Historical Society for your own copy.

Each issue of the Utah Historical Quarterly is accompanied with rich web supplements that introduce readers to sources, photos, interviews, and other engaging material. These “extras” are located at

WEB EXTRAS: See here 


“The historian sets himself a dangerous, even an impossible, task,” writes the historian Daniel J. Boorstin. Far removed from the event being examined, the historian must piece together stories using imperfect sources. Rather than uncover history, she creates it from little more than relics—fragments—of the past. The sources she uses may or may not represent a sample of the experiences people really had. If “survival [of sources] is chancy, whimsical and unpredictable,” as Boorstin argues, assessing the provenance, representation, and significance of sources is that much more essential. The historian cannot perfectly succeed in telling history “as it really happened,” as the nineteenth-century German historian Leopold Von Ranke suggested could be done. Yet by evaluating, scrutinizing, and questioning remaining evidence, she can hope to capture the essence of lives and experiences once lived.

The essays in this issue represent fine examples of current practitioners working with varied sources. Archaeological artifacts as historical sources, for instance, are rarely represented in the pages of UHQ. However, our lead article shows how artifacts have given us a more complete understanding of past logging operations in the Uinta Mountains. Decaying cabins, flumes, and crib structures remain as tangible reminders of this unique chapter in Utah and western history. These and many other artifacts reveal much about how tie cutters for the railroad industry worked, and they also give sometimes surprising insight into the social history of the men, women, and children who lived in logging camps. This article is also a reminder that sometimes local actions—in this case, the harvesting of trees in a forgotten corner of the state—served national purposes.

Through court proceedings, press coverage, and personal interviews, our second piece reconstructs a story that is both sensational and familiar—how, in 1908, a teenage boy from a respected family murdered a pregnant young woman with whom he was keeping company on the sly. This piece of intrigue occurred in what might seem the most unlikely place: Orderville, Utah, whose residents had lived communally in the 1870s and 1880s. Yet this case involved more than the relationship between two teenagers. A scaffolding of social expectations, history, and law surrounded the young people and played some part—however minimal—in Alvin Heaton Jr.’s decision to murder Mary Stevens.

Our third essay brings us to a little-known episode in the life of a familiar Utah and Mormon figure, James E. Talmage. Readers see a different side to the university president and theologian—a man obsessed with scouting geologic formations in the peaks and canyons of southern Utah and northern Arizona. If he did not have the precision or expertise of his contemporaries Clarence Dutton and Grove Karl Gilbert, who both authored geological monographs, Talmage had the determination to fulfill the expedition’s objectives. This essay, based primarily on Talmage’s record of his travels, is a fine example of narrative-driven history tuned to the finer details.

Newspaper accounts and especially oral histories reconstruct a different kind of encounter. The next article examines the cultural outcomes of a “peaceful invasion” of southeastern Utah by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Of course, that New Deal program brought economic and environmental changes to Utah, but its members—the “Cs”—also participated in a host of cultural exchanges with the people of San Juan and Grand counties. Young men from gritty eastern cities taught boxing, baseball, and the Lindy Hop to the people of Blanding and Monticello, even as they learned about American Indian culture, small-town entertainment, and the ways of local girls.

The spring issue concludes with an homage to an unlikely landmark, a horse-barn-turned-art-studio on the Utah State University campus. In this short piece, Emily Wheeler recounts a few of the memories associated with this structure, from its raising in 1919 to its razing in 2015, showing how multifaceted and deep the memory of a place can be.


“Wooden Beds for Wooden Heads”: Railroad Tie Cutting in the Uinta Mountains, 1867–1938
By Christopher W. Merritt

A Most Horrible Crime: The 1908 Murder of Mary Stevens in Orderville, Utah
By Roger Blomquist

James E. Talmage and the 1895 Deseret Museum Expedition to Southern Utah
By Craig S. Smith

Turning “the Picture a Whole Lot”: The CCC Invasion of Southeastern Utah, 1933–1942
By Robert S. McPherson and Jesse Grover

Barn Raising
By Emily Brooksby Wheeler


Jessie L. Embry and Brian Q. Cannon, eds., Immigrants in the Far West: Historical Identities and Experiences. Reviewed by Timothy Dean Draper

Will Bagley, South Pass: Gateway to a Continent. Reviewed by Patricia Ann Owens

Kenneth R. Beesley and Dirk Elzinga, An 1860 English-Hopi Vocabulary Written in the Deseret Alphabet. Reviewed by Robert S. McPherson

Dave Hall, A Faded Legacy: Amy Brown Lyman and Mormon Women’s Activism, 1872–1959. Reviewed by Jennifer Rust

Richard Francaviglia, The Mapmakers of New Zion: A Cartographic History of Mormonism. Reviewed by Paul F. Starrs


Tim Sullivan, Ways to the West: How Getting Out of Our Cars Is Reclaiming America’s Frontier

Randall Balmer and Jana Riess, eds., Mormonism and American Politics