Skip to content
Secondary Content

Category Archives: History

2018 Outstanding Achievement Awards

Nominations are now being accepted

The Utah Division of State History’s annual awards recognize individuals and groups who have made a significant contribution to history, prehistory or historic preservation in the state of Utah. Whether these efforts on behalf of the past are quiet or prominent, they benefit the state’s citizens in tangible and intangible ways. Utah State History therefore invites nominations of persons or organizations who have given extraordinary service or completed outstanding projects in the field of Utah archaeology, preservation or history, or in support of one of Utah’s heritage organizations. This project or activity may include research, preservation, education, fundraising, community programs, volunteerism, journalism or other activities.

All projects must be completed within the past two years prior to nomination. Organizational nominations should include description of organization, mission, and programs. Documentation must accompany the form and should include a minimum of two letters of support, photos of project, exhibits, or visual arts, or copies of articles, books, videos, or scripts.

Nominations will be accepted until June 15, 2018.

Awards will be presented at the 66th Annual Utah State History Conference, “Transportation and Movement” on September 28, 2018 at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center.

Submit an Outstanding Achievement Award nomination

2018 Utah State History Conference home page

Call for Papers

This is both a call for papers and a call for community recognition of the centrality of transportation and movement to Utah and the western region. We invite the public, scholars, students, policymakers, and organizations to submit proposals for papers, panels, or multimedia presentations on this theme.

For additional information, please email or call (801) 245-7231

Board of State History

 Meeting Agenda
Thursday, January 25, 2018, 12:00 – 3:00 pm

Rio Grande Depot, 300 S. Rio Grande Street, Board Room

TIME:  Noon – working lunch for Board members

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


Brad Westwood – Administration (5 min)
1. State Historical Administrators Meeting (American Association for State and Local History)

Roger Roper – Historic Preservation (5 min)
1. New coordinator for the Certified Local Government program, Alena Franco.
2. Prepared and submitted the required annual report to the National Park Service related to our federal funding and the SHPO programs we administer.
3. Hosted the 3-day conference of the International Society for Landscape, Place, and Material Culture

Wendy Rex-Atzet – History Day (5 min)
1. Holocaust Education teacher workshop and Antisemitism brownbag
2. New registration system
3.  K12 curriculum project Our Past, Their Present
4.  History Day on the Hill

Doug Misner – Library and Collections (5 min)
1. Assisted in the take down of the “Utah Drawn” exhibit, which was transferred to Southern Utah University.
2. Participated in an event at the University of Utah celebrating the return of the ship’s bell from the USS Utah.
3. Publishing online information and photographs of artifacts from the collection using our new collection management system.
4.  Conducted 6 tours of the collection spaces for the Lt. Governor, various legislators, students, and private citizen groups. .

Chris Merritt  – Antiquities (5 min)
1. E106 Launch
2. Public Archaeologist Position

Jed Rogers, Holly George – Utah Historical Quarterly (5 min)
1.  Winter UHQ
2. World War I Commission

Kevin Fayles – Communications (5 min)
1. Website stats and social media
2. Cemetery and burials database 


  1. Approval of the October 26 2017 Board of State History Retreat Minutes – Dina Blaes
    (Board motion required) (3 min)
  2. Committee reports
    (Board motion required if any action items are requested)
    A) Historic Preservation & Archaeology Committee – David Richardson (5 min)
    National Register of Historic Places Nominations – Chris Merritt, Roger Roper (30 min)
    National Register for Historic Places Nominations Summaries
    a) Paso por Aqui – Año 1776 Inscription (Federal nomination – no vote required)
    b) Coal Bed Village
    c) Ron’s Phillips 66 Service Station
    d) Harold B. and Fern Lee House
    Request For Removal from National Register of Historic Places – Roger Roper (10 min)
    All have been demolished
    e) Planing Mill of Brigham City Mercantile and Manufacturing Association, Brigham City
    f) Clotworth-McMullin House, Heber
    g) Erekson Artillo Dairy Farmhouse, Murray
    B) Major Planning, Gifts & Awards Committee – Brad Westwood (5 min)
    C) Library, Collections & Digitization Committee – Steve Olsen (5 min)
    D) Utah State Historical Society Committee – David Rich Lewis (5 min)
    a) Awards Policy
    – Governor’s Medal in History
    – Achievement Awards


  1. Recap of Jan. 18th Dept. of Heritage & Arts Joint Board and Staff Retreat  – Steve Olsen (5 min)
  2. Follow-up discussion from the Oct. 26th Board Retreat – Dina Blaes, Brad Westwood ( 45 min)
  3. Fellows and Honorary Life Member Nominations – Jed Rogers (5 min)

5.  Historical Markers – Ken Gallacher (5 minutes)

NEXT MEETING:  April 26, 2017, 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm




Archaeology & Preservation Month 2018

Utah Archaeology and Historic Preservation Month celebrates Utah’s rich archaeological and historical resources with a month of lectures and hands-on learning. Statewide events include:

  • Open house at the Natural History Museum of Utah with educational activities for (kids and adults)
  • Hands-on experiences
  • Lectures and paper presentations
  • Tours of archaeological and historical sites

Printable version of the events calendar is available!

Please note: Updates occur regularly, but may take up to 48 hours to appear. Please note: Jumps may land slightly below their marker. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

Do you have an event? Please email and fill out the Archaeology and Historic Preservation Event Form

Brigham City

  • Third Annual Academy Center Art Show & Sale in the Historic Box Elder Academy of Music and Dancing Building
    Date & Time: Memorial Day Weekend, May 25 and 26
    For More Information (contact info): Lanan Donovan (
    Historic Downtown Brigham City
    Admission Cost: Free
    Event Description: The annual Academy Center Art Show & Sale, held on Memorial Day Weekend, is gaining attention as one of the Top of Utah’s finest art venues. It is set in the stunningly restored Academy Conference Center Ballroom, in Historic Downtown Brigham City. This event will showcases over 100 works of art in professional, amateur, and student divisions. Media includes oil/acrylic, watercolor, drawing, and sculpture portraying a wide range of subjects.

Golden Spike National Historic Site

  • Transcontinental Celebration (149th Anniversary)
    Date & Time: Thursday, May 10 (9am to 5pm)
    Location: Golden Spike National Historic Site, 32 miles west of Brigham City
    For More Information (contact info): 435-471-2209, ext 29
    National Park Service
    Admission Cost: Free
    Event Description: Golden Spike National Historic Site will celebrate the 149th anniversary of the completion of the nation’s first transcontinental railroad on  May 10th, 2018.  Events marking the May 10th occasion include the recreation of the historic “champagne photo”, a performance by Box Elder High School Band, traditional anniversary program, a re-enactment of the original 1869 ceremony, and locomotive steam demonstrations.




  • Riding Tours of Historic Hyrum
    Date & Time: Saturday, May 12 (11am & 2pm)
    Location: Meet at the Hyrum Museum, 50 West Main Hyrum
    For More Information (contact info): or (435) 245-0208
    Hyrum City Museum and Hyrum Historic Preservation Commission
    Admission Cost:  Free, but sign-up with the museum to guarantee spot
    Event Description: Join us for a riding tour of the historic structures and sites of Hyrum. Enjoy 45 minutes of a guided tour including historic pictures of the places we’ll be viewing along with interesting facts, stories, and maybe a tall tale or two!


  • A People’s Story of the Land
    Date & Time: May 19, 10am to 4pm
    Location: Stokes Nature Center, 2696 E Hwy 89, Logan, UT 84321
    For More Information (contact info):  Stokes Nature Center,, 435-755-3239
    Stokes Nature Center, USU Museum of Anthropology, NW Band of the Shoshone Tribe
    Admission Cost:  Free
    Event Description: The month of May has been designated as Annual Archaeology and Historic Preservation Month to promote Utah’s historical heritage throughout the state. Here at Stokes Nature Center, we are teaming up with the USU Museum of Anthropology, and the NW Band of the Shoshone tribe to take this opportunity to showcase the diverse history of the native people’s relationship with the land. Please join us on Saturday, May 19th, from 10 AM – 4 PM at Stokes Nature Center to celebrate the Shoshone heritage and story. We will have special exhibits, demonstrations of skill such as basket-weaving, bead-making, using natural dyes, edible and medicinal plant identification, and more! Chairman Darren Parry will be closing the day’s festivities with a presentation about balancing the needs of the Shoshone people with environmental stewardship.

Utah Historical Quarterly Spring 2017

Volume 85, Number 2 (Spring 2017 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 


Good history—produced through a devotion to truth, examination of evidence, and evocative prose—introduces readers to a world they thought they knew. Our lead article continues
in the tradition of past issues to rethink our pioneer past, this time from the perspective of the
Redds, a slave-owning family from North Carolina. John Hardison Redd and his wife Elizabeth
owned a handful of slaves, six of whom emigrated to Utah with the family. Bound by
legal obligations and family ties, blacks in Mormon country navigated waters fraught with
prejudice and judgment. Even as power relations were unequal for slaves and black Utahns,
they attempted with varying degrees of success to integrate into a social world that was not
always friendly to them. Stories like that of the Redds present the opportunity to rethink family
and community in territorial Utah. And they implicitly challenge pioneer narratives, moving
beyond simplistic, sometimes paternalistic histories to reveal a past that is more personal and
heartbreaking than we oft-times consider.

The historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich has spoken much about using a single object—say, a
quilt—as a doorway to understanding larger issues. In that manner, our second article
focuses on the popularity of a class of objects—the hoopskirt—to examine cultural exchange,
religious condemnation, and female agency in nineteenth-century Utah. The development
of the Bessemer process in 1856 facilitated the mass production of hoopskirts, and the fashion
reached its zenith in the mid-nineteenth: the same years when Euro Americans were arriving
in the Salt Lake Valley. Latter-day Saint women learned about the hoopskirt through
periodicals and, especially, emigrants from the states, but in their desire to be chic, they hit up
against the admonitions of religious leaders who encouraged simplicity and self-sufficiency.

Material consumption also figures into our third article, an examination of the referendum over an income tax on chain stores operating in the state. After the turn of the twentieth century, chain stores began sprouting up throughout the country, competing and in some cases
crowding out smaller local stores. This trend was pronounced in Utah, as retailers sold and
consumers bought goods available elsewhere in the United States. This is part of a larger story of
the economic and cultural integration of Utah. It is also a political one: as businesses and other
interests jockeyed to make known their views on economic freedom and rights, voters and
politicians publically debated the relative virtues of local and chain stores. The 1942 chainstore
tax referendum highlighted the divergent views over how to preserve local autonomy and
signaled the growing consumer spending that would characterize the postwar era.

Carl and Mathilda Harline emigrated from Sweden to the Salt Lake Valley in 1891. There
they raised a large family, their thirteenth child a boy—Leigh Adrian Harline—who reportedly
preferred practicing piano to playing outside. Our final article tells the story of Leigh Harline, who became one of Hollywood’s foremost composers. Harline learned his craft from J. Spencer Cornwall and teachers at Granite High School and the University of Utah; his career was helped along much by the new platforms of film and radio. The setting also mattered: after a Utah upbringing, Harline moved on to California in the late 1920s, where he enjoyed broadcast success and, critically, became an employee of Walt Disney. Yet there was a circularity to Harline’s career, for he returned to Utah to compose music commemorating his heritage.

Our final piece contextualizes military records recommending a road to a new post in the Uintah Basin named after Major Thomas Thornburgh. The establishment of a Ute reservation at Ouray, Utah, occasioned the need for the fort and road. The route as it was originally intended was short-lived, but it became a military supply corridor, and sections of it became Highway 40. Publication of these records continues a UHQ tradition: preserving documents for future scholarship.



Redd Slave Histories: Family, Race, and Sex in Pioneer Utah
By Tonya Reiter

Hoop Mania: Fashion, Identity, and Religious Condemnation in Nineteenth-Century Utah
By Michelle Hill

Chained Stores: Utah’s First Referendum and the Battle over Local Autonomy
By Ted Moore

“When You Wish Upon a Star”: The Musical Legacy of Utah Composer Leigh Harline
By Sandra Dawn Brimhall and Dawn Retta Brimhall

The Park City to Fort Thornburgh Road
By Floyd A. O’Neil and Shauna O’Neil


James Knipmeyer, Cass Hite: The Life of an Old Prospector. Reviewed by Robert S. McPherson

Dan Flores, Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History. Reviewed by Curtis Foxley

Don. B. Olsen, True Valor: Barney Clark and the Utah Artificial Heart. Reviewed by Eric Swedin


Frank Van Nuys, Varmints and Victims: Predator Control in the American West

William D. Street, edited by Warren R. Street, Twenty-Five Years among the Indians and Buffalo: A Frontier Memoir

John J. Hammond, Island Adventures: The Hawaiian Mission of Francis A. Hammond, 1851-1865

66th Annual Utah History Conference

Transportation and Movement

September 27–28, 2018

It’s possible to read Utah history as a story of movement and transportation. The centrality of movement to exploration, industry, and travel—major themes in Utah history—is obvious. Less so is the way movement can be seen on a more conceptual level as a way to evaluate change over space and time: the variation and transformation of the landscape, the flow of ideas and people into and out of the state, the mobility of groups and individuals, the development of transportation-related infrastructure, and the transportation and communication networks connecting the state to regional and national systems.

The flow of ideas and people is now more global than ever before, rendering traditional boundaries that confined physical movement less operable.

The Utah Historical State Society, thanks to our generous sponsors, offers the conference free to scholars, writers, educators, students, and the general public. Registration is required.

Register to Attend! 


Thursday, September 27 
8:30 am–5:00 pm
Rio Grande Depot, 300 S. Rio Grande Street, Salt Lake City
State Archives Building, 346 South Rio Grande Street, Salt Lake City

Friday, September 28 
7:45 am – check in and morning refreshment
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Plenary, lunchtime keynote and awards presentation, history and panel sessions
Utah Cultural Celebration Center, 1355 West 3100 South, West Valley

We are pleased to announce David Haward Bain, author of “Empire Express: Building the First Transcontinental Railroad,” will provide the conference keynote address. Bain is the author of dozens of books and articles.

Empire Express is an epic narrative history covering not only the dramatic struggle to link the oceans with twin bands of iron but three decades in which America doubled in size, fought three wars, and discovered itself. A main selection of the Book of the Month Club and a selection of the History Book Club, Empire Express was a finalist both for the Los Angeles Times Book Award in History and the Francis Parkman Prize, and won the New England Historical Association’s and the National Railroad and Locomotive Historical Society’s annual book prizes; the author was elected a Fellow in the Society of American Historians. The work was featured on Brian Lamb’s C-SPAN show, “Booknotes” and adapted by PBS “The American Experience” into a 2-hour documentary.


Saturday, September 29th
Pony Express in Utah Tour
Transcontinental Railroad Tour


Thursday, September 27

Volunteer Management Training
LaDawn Stoddard and Mary Buehler
9:00 am – 3:30 pm (45 min break for lunch – on your own)
Zephyr Conference Room, Rio Grande Depot
300 S. Rio Grande Street, Salt Lake City, UT

UServeUtah’s Volunteer Management Training was created as a resource for organizations to more effectively and efficiently engage volunteers. Based on international best practice research, this training walks participants through foundational principles like developing position descriptions, recruitment, interviewing, placement, orientation & training, retention, and evaluation. You will learn the necessary skills to assess volunteer needs and match those needs with the strategic goals of your organization and develop relevant, competency-based volunteer opportunities that attract and retain high caliber volunteers.

Utah Geographic Names: how geographic names in Utah are proposed, managed, and officially reviewed
Arie Leeflang
9:00 am – 10:30 am
West Lecture Room, Rio Grande Depot

The names associated with natural geographic features often carry significant history, character, and meaning for the nearby communities or local cultural groups. Since 1890 and 1978 respectively, the U.S Board on Geographic Names and the Utah Committee on Geographic Names have been reviewing proposed geographic names in an effort to standardize naming efforts. This workshop will address how geographic names are proposed and reviewed – including the various national policies the state Committee and national Board follow. Resources on researching geographic names will be also covered. Finally, current trends and topics in geographic names, including the recent Grandstaff Canyon proposal, will be reviewed.

Family History Meets History
Holly George
1:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Board Room, Rio Grande Depot
300 S. Rio Grande, Salt Lake City

The world of family history has much to offer—both tools and stories—to the writers of history. At the same time, historical writing and genealogical work are not always the same thing.

This workshop will address
1) How to use the tools of family history research in historical writing
2) How to craft family stories into articles for journals such as Utah Historical Quarterly

Utah History in 3D: The Use of 21st Century Technologies in Archaeology
Shawn Lambert
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
West Lecture Room, Rio Grande Depot
300 S. Rio Grande Street, Salt Lake City

When people think of archaeology, they mainly think of excavations and artifact recovery. There is another facet of archaeology that involves photogrammetry and 3D printing technologies. In this workshop, you will receive an introduction to photogrammetry and 3D printing and their applications in archaeology and public outreach.

Friday, September 28

7:45 am – 9:00 am:  Check in and morning refreshments
9:00 am – 10:15 am: Opening Plenary
History Session 1:  10:30 am – 11:45 am
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm:  Lunchtime Keynote Speech by David Haward Bain, author of “Empire Express: Building the First Transcontinental Railroad” and Outstanding Achievement Awards Program, by Dina Blaes, Chair, Board of State History
History Session 2:  1:45 pm – 3:00 pm
History Session 3:  3:15 pm – 4:30 pm

**Detailed session information will be finalized and announced in June

Saturday, September 29th

Pony Express in Utah Tour
Time: 8am to 6pm

Description:  To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System Act, the Bureau of Land Management’s Salt Lake field office is offering an auto tour of the Pony Express National Historic Trail on National Trails Day, Saturday, September 29. During the tour, which will take place from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., BLM staff and Utah historians will guide participants across a landscape largely untouched since the trail’s creation in 1860.

The tour will begin at the Home Depot parking lot located at 222 E. 2400 North, Tooele, and return to the Wasatch Front via I-80. Numerous stops will allow participants to visit Pony Express Station ruins and view traces of the trails.

Limitations: Sign-up is limited to the first 15 cars. Backcountry travel will be on a gravel road; a well-maintained vehicle with good tires and a spare is necessary. Participants should be ready for variable weather and terrain, and include plenty of water, good sturdy shoes, a hat (for sun or shine) and other outdoor clothing! For more details contact BLM outdoor recreation planner Ray Kelsey by phone at 801-977-4300 or email at

Transcontinental Railroad Tour
Time: 800am to 600pm

Description: As we quickly approach the 150th Anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in 2019, the Bureau of Land Management would like to invite the public to join cultural resource staff and historians on a guided tour of some important locations in western Box Elder County. Tour will stop at the important railroad towns of Kelton and Terrace, along with some important engineering feats such as the Dove Creek Fill and Peplin Cut.

Tour will begin at the Love’s Travel Station at Snowville, Utah (just off I-15) at 800am, and will return to this location at the end of the day (around 6pm).

Limitation: Sign-up is limited to the first 10 cars, though space will be available in BLM vehicles to increase the number of potential participations. Backcountry travel will be on the historic transcontinental railroad grade, so there is a risk of flat tires from railroad spikes. Good off-road tires, medium to high-clearance vehicle and a spare is required. You are responsible for your own lunch and water. Participants should be ready for variable weather and terrain, and include plenty of water, good sturdy shoes, a hat (for sun or shine) and other outdoor clothing! For more details contact BLM archaeologist Michael Sheehan by phone at 801-977-4300 or email at

2018 Outstanding Achievement Awards – Nominations are Now Being Accepted

The Utah Division of State History’s annual awards recognize individuals and groups who have made a significant contribution to history, prehistory or historic preservation in the state of Utah. Whether these efforts on behalf of the past are quiet or prominent, they benefit the state’s citizens in tangible and intangible ways. Utah State History therefore invites nominations of persons or organizations who have given extraordinary service or completed outstanding projects in the field of Utah archaeology, preservation or history, or in support of one of Utah’s heritage organizations. This project or activity may include research, preservation, education, fundraising, community programs, volunteerism, journalism or other activities.

Thank you to our generous conference sponsors!


Register to Attend! 

For general conference, award nominations, or session proposals questions, please contact Alycia Rowley at or 801-245-7226

Utah State History Conference Podcast

2017 State History Conference “Local Matters”

Listen to select sessions from the 2017 State History Conference




2016 State History Conference “Rural Utah, Western Issues”

Listen to select sessions from the 2016 State History Conference




2015 State History Conference “Deep Roots: Many Voices

Listen to select sessions from the 2015 State History Conference

USS Utah

The USS Utah During World War I and World War II

On December 7, 2017, the bell was placed on permanent display in the University of Utah’s Naval Science Building.

Background of the USS Utah

President Theodore Roosevelt and Secretary of the Navy William H. Moody proposed naming a battleship for the state of Utah on their visit in 1903. The proposal became reality when Congress authorized its construction on May 13, 1908.

Built by the New York Ship Building Company and launched on December 23, 1909, the USS Utah was sponsored by Alice Spry, daughter of Governor William Spry.

Commissioned in August 1911, the USS Utah joined the Atlantic Fleet in 1912 after Captain William S. Benson led this ship through its shakedown cruise.

In 1914 the Utah participated in action at Vera Cruz during the Mexican Revolution. She assisted in the transport of refugees to Tampico, Mexico and sent a landing force to occupy Vera Cruz, Mexico to prevent weapons and ammunition from being delivered to General Huerta.

After the United States entered World War I, the USS Utah was stationed at Bantry Bay, Ireland and served as the flagship for Admiral Thomas S. Rodgers, Commander of Battleship Division 6. Her main responsibility during the war’s final months was to protect supply convoys. She ended her service in Europe by joining the honor escort carrying President Woodrow Wilson to France.

After the London Naval Treaty of 1930, the USS Utah was redesignated as a “miscellaneous auxiliary ship.” She now served as a remote controlled target ship to train anti-aircraft gunners. She effectively filled this role for the Navy from 1931 to 1941.

On December 7, 1941, the USS Utah was moored on the northwest side of Ford Island opposite Battleship Row. In the first minutes of the Pearl Harbor attack, the Utah was struck by at least two torpedoes and began listing heavily to port. The order was given to abandon ship and by 0812 the ship had rolled over and sunk. Six officers and fifty two enlisted men were killed, including Chief Petty Officer Peter Tomich, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions that day.

After the attack, the Utah was partially turned “… inshore to clear the approach to an adjacent pier.” The Navy began to assess the damage to determine if she could be repaired and if salvage operations could begin. On September 5, 1944 she was declared “out of commission, not in service” and was struck from the Navy’s list of ships on November 13, 1944.

How Did the Ship’s Bell from the USS Utah End-Up at the University of Utah?

The ship’s bell from the USS Utah was originally presented by the United States Navy to the Utah State Historical Society in April 1961. Transfer of the bell was arranged through the office of Senator Wallace F. Bennett and was given to the Historical Society on an indefinite loan basis. For almost six years the bell was housed at the Historical Society’s offices in the Kearns Mansion on South Temple.

Discussions began in 1965 to loan the bell to a new Naval History Museum that was to be located in the Naval Science Building on the University of Utah campus. The museum was to be an affiliate of the Utah State Museum of Natural History. In January 1965, the Board of Trustees of the State Historical Society passed a resolution supporting the creation of the museum.  Everett L. Cooley, Director of the Utah State Historical Society and Major Gaut, curator of the Naval History Museum, began communicating to arrange the loan of the ship’s bell and other items from the Historical Society’s collection. The bell was to be loaned to the museum with the condition that the Historical Society could ask for its return if in the future a new Utah State History Museum was established. The bell was transferred in February 1966 with the intention of either displaying it inside the Naval Science Building or on an appropriate foundation outside the building.

Pearl Harbor’s Forgotten Hero: The Story of the USS Utah

1961 Press Release from Senator Wallace F. Bennett

1961 Press Release from the Clearfield, Utah Naval Supply Depot

USS Utah The Utah Daily Chronicle Feb. 10, 1966

USS Utah Salt Lake Tribune April 11, 1961

2017 State History Conference Sessions

If you missed our 2017 history conference “Local Matters,” you can listen to selected sessions, the plenary presentation, and the keynote address.

Plenary Session — Peril, Conflict, and Storytelling in Community History

  • David Rich Lewis (moderator), Utah State University emeritus
  • Elizabeth Clement, Department of History, University of Utah
  • Gregory Smoak, American West Center, University of Utah
  • Benjamin Pykles, LDS Church History Department

Keynote I’m Not a Historian, But I Played One on TV
Ken Verdoia: Through a forty-five year career in broadcast journalism, Ken Verdoia chronicled many individuals, episodes, and eras that shaped Utah, the region, and the nation.

Cache Valley Utah Drug Court Oral History Project: A Community-Driven Effort

  • Randy Williams (moderator), Fife Folkfore Archives, Utah State University
  • Jennifer Duncan, Special Collections and Archives, Utah State University
  • Thomas L. Wilmore, Utah First District Court
  • Andrew Dupree, Drug Court Graduate and Community Scholar

The Impact of Independent Film on Local Communities

The panel will discuss the many facets of documentary filmmaking, film exhibition, economics and the impact documentary film has on local communities.

  • Doug Fabrizio or Elaine Clarke (moderator), KUER, RadioWest
  • Patrick Hubley, Program Director, Utah Film Center
  • Virginia Pearce, Director, Utah Film Commission
  • Local Filmmakers: Tyler Measom, Film: Sons of Perdition; Jenny MacKenzie and Jorden Saxton Hackney, Jennie MacKenzie Films, Film: Dying In Vein

Interpreting Controversy: Preserving and Presenting the Story of Joe Hill

A panel highlighting the story of Joe Hill, discussing the value of preserving the original records that help tell the Joe Hill story, and explaining how teachers make use of primary sources to instruct students on controversial and difficult histories.

  • Jeremy Harmon, Salt Lake Tribune
  • Jim Kichas, Utah State Archives
  • Quinn Rollins, Granite School District

Trail of the West

Free Film Series: Classic Hollywood Cinema and the Imagination of the American West

The Utah State Historical Society, Ms. Naoma Tate, Buffalo Bill Center of the West, and others invite you to celebrate the spirit of the American West through art, movies and events.

The films will be shown on third Thursdays at 7:00 p.m., January – June 2018, at the Fort Douglas Post Theater (245 S Fort Douglas Blvd). See a list of all screenings.

  • January 18, 2018Buffalo Bill (1944)
  • February 15, 2018Ramona (1928)
  • March 15, 2018Ramrod (1947)
  • April 19, 2018Wagon Master (1950)
  • May 17, 2018Brigham Young (1940)
  • June 21, 2018Westward the Women (1951)

The series focuses on Utah’s storied landscapes and how classic Hollywood films used them to create an ideal, imagined American West. Dr. James V. D’Arc, a retired BYU motion picture curator and professor of film, will offer a brief lecture before each screening and lead a post-viewing discussion.

At the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, you’ll find activities from December 2017 to June 2018. Read a booklet of all events.

As part of this effort, join us for Screening Utah, a free, public film series done in partnership with the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.


Parking Instructions: Please park behind the Ft. Douglas Post Theater (taking Ft. Douglas Blvd.). Parking lot 84 is the closest, but lots 77, 78 ,79 are also available. Parking is free at the University after 6:00 p.m. See the map to the left.

Compliance Agreements

The Utah State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) enters into several legally binding agreements with state and federal agencies each year. These agreements are the result of perhaps months, or even years, of careful negotiation to balance the project proposal and the handling of cultural resources. This page serves as a clearinghouse to post these agreements to offer more transparency to the process, and also raise awareness of historic properties being adversely affected by agencies and proponents. Programmatic Agreements (PA) and Memorandum of Agreements (MOA) are the two legal documents that the SHPO sign, where MOAs are project-specific and PAs are broad and overarching.

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation has provided a template MOA to assist agencies in their compliance efforts. Click Here

Featured Programmatic Agreement

Prototype Agreement between the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), The Utah Division of Emergency Management, and the Utah State Historic Preservation Officer

Executed in 2016, this PA creates a formal relationship between FEMA and the SHPO during times of a federally-declared emergency. This agreement outlines the procedures by which FEMA and its sub-grantees will respond to cultural resources concerns during response and recovery to a natural or human disaster. Already in 2016-2017, this agreement has helped facilitate an efficient and timely response to the devastating floods in Box Elder, Cache, and Weber Counties while ensuring no inadvertent damage to archaeological or historical resources.

Featured Memorandum of Agreement

Dee Elementary School Demolition MOA between Ogden City Corporation, Utah State Historic Preservation Officer and Utah Heritage Foundation

Ogden City acquired the historic and defunct Dee Elementary School from the Ogden School District and used federal HUD funding to further a new housing development on the site. The Utah State Historic Preservation Office and consulting parties Preservation Utah (formerly Utah Heritage Foundation) and the Weber County Heritage Foundation were consulted with on the undertaking and took an active part in the mitigation for the project. In addition to the standard research and documentation often seen as part of mitigation, other stipulations with more of a public component, such as oral history interviews and museum exhibits, were executed.

Programmatic Agreement Archive

Title Agencies Year Executed Year Expire
Prototype Agreement for Emergency Response FEMA, OEM, SHPO 2016 2026
Bureau of Land Management Small-Scale Undertakings BLM, SHPO, ACHP 2014 2024
Abandoned Mine Reclamation Program OSMRE, BLM, USFS, ACHP, SITLA, DOGM, SHPO 2017 2027
Prototype Agreement for Weatherization and Energy Efficiency DOE, Utah HUD, SHPO (Agreement extended by Program Comment) 2010  2020
Utah Department of Agriculture Programmatic Agreement UDAF, PLPCO, SHPO 2017  2027
Transwest Express Transmission Project  BLM, WAPA, USFS, NPS, BOR, BIA, USFWS, ACOE, ACHP, Ute Tribe, Moapa Moapa Band of Paiutes, UT SHPO, WY SHPO, etc.  2016  2031
Natural Resources Conservation Service Prototype Agreement NRCS, SHPO  2015  2025
Steinaker Canal Vernal Efficiency Project  BOR, SHPO, Uintah Water Conservancy District 2016 2035
 Maintenance and Minor Construction Activities for Western Area Power Administration Lines ACHP, WAPA, BIA, BLM, BOR, NPS, SHPO (UT, NM, CO, WY, NE), Navajo Nation, Northern Arapahoe, Shoshone, Ute Mountain Ute, U.S. Army-Fort Carson, USFWS, USFS, State Land of NM, WY Military Department  2015 2025
Willard Canal Lining Project BOR, SHPO, Weber Basin Water Conservancy District 2016 —–
West Davis Corridor Project FHWA, UDOT, SHPO 2017 —–
Enel Cove Fort Project BLM, USFS, SHPO 2015 2025
Nationwide National Park Service Agreement DOI, NCSHPO, ACHP 2008 —–
School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration Streamlining SITLA, SHPO 2007 —–

Memorandum of Agreement Archive

Title Agencies Year Executed Year Expire
Environmental Quality Incentives Program Projects in Beaver and Juab Counties Natural Resources Conservation Service 2018 2021
US89 State Environmental Study Utah Department of Transportation, SHPO 2018 2022
Fremont Irrigation Piping Project Bureau of Reclamation, Fremont Irrigation Company 2018 2022
Pocket Gopher Well Pad and Access Roads BLM, SHPO, Liberty Pioneer Energy Source, Inc. 2017 2024
Camp Williams Building Demolition Projects UTARNG, SHPO 2017 2021
SR-39, Ogden to Pineview Reservoir Bridge Rehab UDOT, SHPO 2017 2022
Green River Canal Fish Barrier Project BOR, ACOE, SHPO 2017 2018
Bangerter Highway Interchange at 600W UDOT, FFSL, UOL, SHPO 2017 2027
Riverdale Bench/Bryson Meadows Project Canal Piping ACOE, SHPO 2017 2022
Flowers Foods, Ogden (State Undertaking) OCRDA, SHPO 2017 2022
 Dee Elementary School Demolition  Ogden City, SHPO 2016 2017