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Book review: Utah author tells the story of state’s hidden history

SHARE Book review: Utah author tells the story of state’s hidden history

Editor's note: This is one of a trio of books that highlights an aspect of Utah's history.


"HIDDEN HISTORY OF UTAH," by Eileen Hallet Stone, The History Press, $19.99, 206 pages (nf)

Utah author Eileen Hallet Stone's new book, "Hidden History of Utah," is filled with stories that might be unfamiliar to many readers, such as the story of how the residents of Parowan saved the life of an early explorer and photography pioneer, and a story about early Jewish immigrants thriving as business owners in downtown Salt Lake City.

"Hidden History of Utah" is filled with 58 stories from Utah's past. Stone's book is a rare look at life in Utah before and after it became the 45th state.

Many of Stone's stories tell how people from all nations helped shape the Utah we know today. From Basque immigrants working as sheepherders to Japanesse internees held in Utah's Topaz Internment Camp, Stone tells the stories of people struggling to make a home while trying to retain their culture.

Numerous chapters also tell stories of how women were instrumental in building Utah's infrastructure. One such story describes how Utah women worked as telegraph operators after "LDS Church president Brigham Young proposed to build the Deseret Telegraph system, connecting the territory as far north as Bear Lake and south to St. George."

Stone discovered these hidden stories while writing the column "Living History" for the Salt Lake Tribune.

This book is fascinating in the way it tells stories from Utah's past that might have remained hidden without the talent of a writer such as Stone.

This book contains some mild language and a few sexual references.

If you go ...

What: Eileen Hallet Stone book signing

When: Saturday, Jan. 25, 2 p.m.

Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Web: kingsenglish.com

Note: Places in the signing line are reserved for those who purchase a copy of the featured book from The King's English.

Also ...

When: Friday, Feb. 7, 7 p.m.

Where: Grounds for Coffee, 111 E. 2500 South, Ogden

Steve Larson is one of the founders of Information Alliance, a Utah-based data collection company. He currently serves as vice president of sales. He spends his free time writing and practicing photography. He also enjoys spending time outdoors.