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Category Archives: History

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
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


Founding of the Utah Historical Society

The Founding of the Utah State Historical Society

The following text comes verbatim from Glen M. Leonard’s “The Utah State Historical Society, 1897 – 1972” (Utah Historical Quarterly, Volume 40, Number 4, Fall 1972) and Gary Topping’s “One Hundred Years at the Utah State Historical Society” (Utah Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, Number 3, Summer 1972).

[On July 14, 1897, the Deseret Evening News carried] a “Historical Society Call” addressed to the people of Utah and inviting all interested persons to an organizational meeting at the Templeton Hotel on July 22 to form a Utah State Historical Society.[1]

The resulting call of Governor Heber M. Wells brought twenty-seven persons together at the Templeton Hotel on Thursday, July 22, 1987. The Utah State Historical Society was on its way exactly fifty years after the vanguard of pioneer wagons entered the Salt Lake Valley.[2]

Why form a historical society at all and why at that particular time? There is an obvious and simple answer in the interest in history naturally aroused by the pioneer Golden Jubilee. That emotional impetus, the organizers hoped, could be carried through to institutional expression. The “Historical Society Call” began by recognizing that “the ‘Jubilee celebration’ of the advent of the Pioneers [is] an appropriate time for the founding of a society.”[3]

Governor [Heber M.] Wells called the July 22 meeting to order, recognized the fact that the organization was the brainchild of Jerrold R. Letcher, and appointed him chairman.[4]

Letcher’s stated goals for the organization in the “Historical Society Call” have a familiarly modern ring to them, for they anticipate, at least in embryonic form, some of the … major programs in our own day: … the exploration and investigation of aboriginal monuments and remains” (thus anticipating the Antiquities Section); collection and preservation of “manuscripts, documents, papers, and tracts of value” (anticipating the Library); and dissemination of historical information and “inter-change of views and criticisms” through scheduled meetings (anticipating the annual meetings … and perhaps even the Publications Section). Little imagination is required to foresee the Historic Preservation Section developing as an extension into the historical period of the concern for aboriginal sites (though historically the Historic Preservation Section would slightly precede the Antiquities Section).[5]

Participating in the founding rites were the key figures of Utah’s new government, civic leaders, and prominent religious hierarchs. In the slate of thirteen names proposed as officers and board of the initial organization one senses a careful balancing of sectarian, political, suffragist, and geographic interests.[6]

The Society’s earliest annual meetings were lively affairs featuring both music and intellectual stimulation. The first one took place in the Theosophical Hall on West Temple on the evening of January 17, 1898.[7]

[Jerrold R. Letcher] kept the minutes faithfully for eighteen years and provided a thread of continuity during that first period of the Society’s history. These were years in which the officers served as little more than a caretaker government for an organization which everyone agreed had ample reason to exist but no sizeable treasury from which to operate. The only visible activity from 1897 to 1916 was the meeting convened annually on the third Monday of January, often in the Deseret National Bank. … [The] sole purpose of many of those small gatherings was the constitutionally required election of officers.[8]

After the 1918, 1919, and 1920 annual meetings which featured addresses (though only the 1918 meeting included music), the tradition was completely abandoned except for the perfunctory elections, until 1930.[9]

The Society’s hard times following World War I are graphically symbolized by the board minutes themselves. Handsomely typewritten on ledger sheets during Jerrold Letcher’s tenure as recording secretary, they rapidly declined in both content and appearance. When Letcher resigned in 1920 to fill a state position …, his successors sometimes penciled their minutes on odd chunks of scratch paper, and in three instances merely on 3-by-5 index cards.[10]

The Society achieved the status of a state agency in 1917 and received its first state appropriation in that year—two hundred dollars to care for the artifacts from the Hall of Relics. It is hard to overestimate the importance of that achievement. … Becoming a state agency laid the groundwork for shifting the Society’s base of support from a tiny group—wealthy and influential though they were—to the people of Utah themselves. It was the beginning of the democratization of the Society, and that democratic support has been the Society’s greatest strength.[11]

It was obvious from the beginning that if the Society were to fulfill any part of its ambitious goals of assembling a library and manuscript collection and curation of the Hall of Relics artifacts and other material objects, some kind of office or museum space would be required. With both the governor and the secretary of state of Utah present on the Society’s board, it was natural that the possibility of rooms in the future State Capitol, then under discussion, would be considered.[12]

Thus, even though the minutes laconically mention the Society’s first meeting in its new room in the basement of the Capitol on January 17, 1916, the event must have been the occasion for considerable rejoicing. At last, cramped and isolated as its new quarters were, the Society could begin its full role as initially planned.[13]

The Society in the early 1920s was searching for an identity within the halls of government where it had been provided with a tiny, first floor Capitol office and minimal expenses. It found itself—and inaugurated a new period of significant accomplishment—after almost fading into disorganization. During several years of inattention to the details of staggered terms, the board of control, traditionally elected by the general membership, had come up short two members. Society leaders decided the solution was appointment by the governor; Governor Charles R. Mabey, a friend of history, liked the idea. It would strengthen state control over the policy-making board and tie the Society closer to state government. The change was authorized by the 1925 legislature.[14]

[Starting in 1927 J. Cecil Alter began] the transformation of the Society into a vigorous organization with authentic scholarly standards fulfilling a vitally important function in Utah cultural life. [Encouraged by the businessman-scholar Herbert S. Auerbach, aided by the tireless secretary-manager Marguerite L. Sinclair, and supported by the remarkable self-made historian Dale L. Morgan], Alter started the Utah Historical Quarterly [in 1928], began assembling a serious Utah history library, and secured the first regular appropriation from the state legislature. The modern Historical Society had begun to emerge.[15]

This thirty-two page [Utah Historical Quarterly] fulfilled the Society’s longing to disseminate historical information in a more permanent format than was possible through letters or sporadic lecture meetings.[16]

The Great Depression had so constricted state revenues by 1933 that the legislature was forced to cut the Society’s budget deeply enough to kill the young Quarterly. … In 1939, the legislature was able to appropriate $5,000 for the next biennium, and the Quarterly was resurrected.[17]

The Society … [from 1936 to 1948] moved through three overlapping phases. The creation of a small research library with a generous gift of books from Alter and revival of the Quarterly in 1939, accompanied by a consistent membership effort by Sinclair established the Society on its modern foundation.[18]

Marguerite Sinclair’s office from the early 1940s fulfilled numerous requests to proofread inscriptions written for state highway markers and some inquiries from private history groups seeking verification of their proposed historical markers.[19]

[F]or several years after 1941 the Society was transformed into a historical records office. It chronicled Utah’s participation in World War II, an assignment which diverted it from other planned activities. In the late 1940s an awareness born of New Deal records surveys turned the Society toward its obligation to preserve noncurrent state and county records. An archives program was the hope of board member William R. Palmer, but more pressing challenges faced officers as first J. Cecil Alter moved and then Miss Sinclair married and both resigned.[20]

The first goal of Utah State University history professor Joel E. Ricks when he began an eight-year term as president in 1949 was to find a qualified editor for Society publications. … From a field of a half-dozen candidates, the board selected A. Russell Mortensen. … He was hired September 1, 1950, as an executive secretary-editor, a position renamed “director” midway in his tenure to reflect his strengthened administrative role.[21]

[A. R. Mortensen] was not only the first Ph.D. to lead the Society but also the first person with any academic training in history at all to have been involved in management of the organization.[22]

The task of building a research library was entrusted to John W. James, Jr., librarian from 1952 to 1971. … Professional direction for the library attracted numerous gifts of all kinds and provided a valuable service for Utah historians. Another major program inaugurated during this period was the archives. Despite inadequate funding and substandard housing, Everett L. Cooley charted a solid path for implementing records management and archival programs as state archivist from 1954 to 1960.[23]

The introduction of professionals as administrator, librarian, and archivist created a new image for the Society. Professional advice had been available to the Society for years from historians serving as part-time, unpaid board members; their determination to introduce trained specialists was made possible through a swelling of financial support from the state. The increase was threefold during the Mortensen years. [24]

[In the early 1950s] the library and manuscript collection were extremely modest; the library consisted of about 1,5000 volumes occupying three glass-front bookcases … and the manuscript collection was little more than the WPA Historical Records Survey materials. … Obviously the Historical Society had reached a limit on its growth and would have to move if it were to expand.[25]

The Society’s most critical physical need in the early 1950s was solved … when Dr. Mortensen obtained the Governor’s Mansion.[26]

Occupant Governor J. Bracken Lee … was known to dislike the home’s lack of privacy. … In February 1957, the staff unpacked Society belongings at 603 East South Temple to begin a new era of growth for the Society on its sixtieth anniversary.[27]

The Society by then was already basking in an aura of new popularity. Professionalizing it had brought new respectability in the academic world. Interestingly enough this had also increased acceptance generally among history buffs. Under Dr. Mortensen’s personable leadership, a well-attended annual dinner and bimonthly lecture series were attracting new members and the public; a redesigned Utah Historical Quarterly with its special summer issues helped boost membership threefold to more than eleven hundred by 1958; and generous publicity and an involved board greatly extended public awareness of the Society.[28]

The original bylaws of the Society allowed for the presentation of certificates of honor. The first were granted when Dr. Mortensen introduced the Fellow and Honorary Life Membership awards in 1960. Since that time other award categories have been added to recognize significant contributions in teaching, scholarship, and service.[29]

The Mansion heralded in 1957 as a cure-all for Society space needs swiftly became crowded as archival work multiplied. … A make-shift records center established in four basement rooms of the Capitol in September 1961 expanded the division’s records management services to more state agencies, while the archives itself began filling available corners in the Mansion’s cellar. With the need for an environmentally-controlled building greater than ever in the mid-1960s, state officials worked with the Society in planning for an appropriate solution.[30]

The State Archives ceased to be a part of the Historical Society’s program in 1968 as a result of recommendations made by the so-called Littler Hoover Commission of 1965.[31]

[The Historical Society] retained its traditional functions and has since moved toward an expansion of activities under the legislative mandate to collect, preserve, and publish Utah’s history.[32]

In the 1967 legislation, the Historical Society is “authorized to solicit memberships” and “authorized to receive bequests, gifts, and endowments of money or property.”[33]

That same year [1967], a Division of State History was created as one of seven units under a Department of Development Services.[34]

Housed within the Division of State History, the Historical Society is now a sister program to entities such as the State Historic Preservation Office, the Antiquities program, and Utah History Day. Today, the Utah State Historical Society continues to serve the people of Utah by publishing the Utah Historical Quarterly, hosting the annual history conference and other events, and serving as a vehicle to obtain and preserve artifacts for the state’s collection.

[1] Topping, Gary, “One Hundred Years at the Utah State Historical Society,” Utah Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, Number 3, Summer 1972, pages 203 – 204.

[2] Leonard, Glen M., “The Utah State Historical Society, 1897 – 1972,” Utah Historical Quarterly, Volume 40, Number 4, Fall 1972, page 301.

[3] Topping, “One Hundred Years at the Utah State Historical Society,” 206.

[4] Ibid, 210.

[5] Ibid, 209-210.

[6] Leonard, “The Utah State Historical Society, 1897-1972,” 301.

[7] Topping, “One Hundred Years at the Utah State Historical Society,” 213-214.

[8] Leonard, “The Utah State Historical Society, 1897-1972,” 304.

[9] Topping, “One Hundred Years at the Utah State Historical Society,” 218-219.

[10] Ibid, 219.

[11] Ibid, 219.

[12] Ibid, 219-220.

[13] Ibid, 220.

[14] Leonard, “The Utah State Historical Society, 1897 – 1972,” 304.

[15] Topping, “One Hundred Years at the Utah State Historical Society,” 224.

[16] Leonard, “The Utah State Historical Society, 1897 – 1972,” 304-305.

[17] Topping, “One Hundred Years at the Utah State Historical Society,” 226.

[18] Leonard, “The Utah State Historical Society, 1897 – 1972,” 317.

[19] Ibid, 315.

[20] Ibid, 307.

[21] Ibid, 307 – 308.

[22] Topping, “One Hundred Years at the Utah State Historical Society, 1897 – 1972,” 239.

[23] Leonard, “The Utah State Historical Society, 1897 – 1972,” 308

[24] Ibid, 308.

[25] Topping, “One Hundred Years at the Utah State Historical Society, 1897 – 1972,” 242.

[26] Leonard, “The Utah State Historical Society, 1897 – 1972,” 308.

[27] Ibid, 309.

[28] Ibid, 309.

[29] Ibid, 318.

[30] Ibid, 311.

[31] Topping, “One Hundred Years at the Utah State Historical Society,” 261.

[32] Leonard, “The Utah State Historical Society, 1897 – 1972,” 334.

[33] “Laws of the State of Utah,” 12th Regular Session of the Legislature of the State of Utah, Jan. 8 to March 8, 1917, 478.

[34] Leonard, “The Utah State Historical Society, 1897 – 1972,” 311.

WWI Resources

Educational resources: Curriculum and more, searchable by grade level, subject, and type

1914-1918-online: International Encyclopedia of the First World War

Kent Day Family Collection

Utah and World War I: special issue of Utah Historical Quarterly

Utah and the Great War: The Beehive State and the World War I Experience, ed. by Allan Kent Powell: a collection of essays exploring the complexity of WWI and its impact on Utahns.

State Legislature’s Resolution (PDF)

Governor’s Declaration, April 2017 (PDF)

Utah in the World War, by Noble Warrum: published under the auspices of the Utah Council of Defense in 1924.

The Great War, from American Experience

National WWI Museum and Memorial

Board of State History

Retreat Agenda
Thursday, October 26, 2017

9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

This Is The Place Heritage Park – The Pack Home
2601 East Sunnyside Avenue, Salt Lake City

9:00 a.m.
WELCOME – Dina Blaes, Board Chair Introduction – State History’s programs and what Board members should know about them (limits, breadth, and possibility of the Board’s engagement)

9:10 a.m.
Department of Heritage and Arts Briefing – Kerri Nakamura
Dept. goals, Hamilton project, Transcontinental Railroad project, Utah History and Art Collection Center and Creative Communities

9:30 a.m.
State History Program Presentations (10 minutes each, plus 5 minutes for discussion)
GIS Unit – Deb Miller
Communication – Brad Westwood
Ancient Human Remains – Derinna Kopp
Utah History Day – Wendy Rex-Atzet
Archeology & Antiquities – Chris Merritt
Website & Cemetery Program – Amy Barry
Library and Collections – Doug Misner
Historic Preservation/Creative Communities – Roger Roper
Utah Historical Quarterly – Holly George
Monuments & Markers – Jed Rogers

12:00 p.m. BREAK

12:10 p.m. Board photo

12:15 p.m.

  • Wrap up on Board engagement with State History programs – Dina Blaes
  • Board Committees and the Committee-to-Board process – Brad Westwood
  • 2017-18 Division of State History priorities – Brad Westwood
  • Legislative briefing – Brad Westwood
  • 2016-17 Division of State History annual report – Brad Westwood

1:00 p.m.

Historic Preservation & Archaeology Committee – David Richardson, Chair
1) Approval of National Register of Historic Places nominations – Cory Jensen
National Register of Historic Places Nomination Summaries
a) American Fork (these are part of a new Multiple Property Submission)
Thomas & Elizabeth Coddington House
James & Emily Herbert House
Robert & Mary Ann Singleton House
Thomas & Eliza Jane Singleton House
b) Robert Gardner Jr, House & Mill Site
c) Layton/Davis County
Layton Oregon Shortline RR Station
Salt Lake SE and NW Base Monuments (Layton and West Point)
Building 225 Airplane Repair Hanger (Hill AF Base) (Federal nomination – no vote required)
d) Nine Mile Canyon – Great Hunt Rock Art Panel
e) William Hawk Cabin – Request for approval to move

Utah State Historical Society Committee – David Rich Lewis, Chair

Major Planning, Gifts & Awards Committee – Mike Homer, Chair

Library, Collections & Digitization – Steve Olsen, Chair

  • Approval of 2018 Board meeting dates – Alycia Rowley
    Proposed change to 4th Thursday quarterly (due to conflicting Board calendars) January 25th, April 26th, July 26th, October 25th

2:00 p.m. BREAK

2:10 p.m. TRAINING
Board Duties, Bylaws and Statutory Authority – Thom Roberts


  • Here are some other ideas regarding Board conversations. Are there others now to list or some here to remove?
    – Want more policy discussions: national and local
    – How Utah approaches the 106 and state 404 compliance process different than other states
    – DFCM mirror GSA to look at urban core and use of historic bldgs.
    – Future of Global Information Systems (GIS) and ESRI cultural resource management
    – How have State History’s mission and programs changed over the last decade?
    – What is the role of State History in the Rio Grande neighborhood?

3:00 p.m. ADJOURN


K-12 Resources

The Utah Division of State History offers high-quality educational resources designed for K-12 teachers and students that explore Utah’s rich and complex past.

History To Go – An extensive online encyclopedia on Utah history suitable for middle- and high-school students.

I Love History – Utah history for elementary students.

Interactive Story Maps – Story maps integrate history and geography to focus on how places change over time. This collection includes Contested Boundaries: Creating Utah’s State Lines, Jedediah Smith’s Southwestern Expeditions, and the buildings of Fort Douglas.

Utah Drawn: Historic Maps – This digital exhibition features six rare maps of Utah dating from 1641 through 1857, and includes classroom materials.

Utah History Day – Utah’s National History Day affiliate program engages students in extensive historical research, analysis or primary sources, and creative presentation of their findings in the form of exhibits, performances, documentary films, websites, and papers.


Artifacts Collection

Have you ever been in the presence of an artifact and felt transported in time? If you know their story, artifacts can become a tangible bridge to the past.
State History has over 31,000 artifacts in its collection and has implemented a new artifacts catalog to provide greater accessibility. Click on the link to begin exploring the collection and stay up to date as we add new objects.