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Beaver City

Beaver City Hall is located at 60 West Center Street, Beaver City UT 84713; phone: 435-438-2451.

Beginnings [1]

Beaver City, in southwestern Utah, is located in one of the valleys of the vast "Basin and Range" country. The town was settled by Mormon pioneers on the banks of the Beaver River in February of 1856 and both the town and the river derived their names from the profusion of beaver that lived in the vicinity.

The local surroundings of Beaver are magnificent. There are mountains looming on all horizons, the lofty Tushar Range rising to over 12,000 feet to the east. The Tushars were once active volcanoes but are now tranquil, forested mountains. Several peaks tower above the timberline, and are either carpeted with low-growing wild flowers, or consist of barren scree slopes. It is also in these mountains that the Beaver River has its source. Beaver City is situated on an ancient alluvial fan, washed out from these mountains over the ages. The valley is broad, approximately thirteen miles wide, bounded on the west by the Mineral Mountains. These mountains are composed primarily of intrusive granite which is now exposed.

The valley's vegetation is typical of lower elevation Basin and Range country: there is sagebrush, some cactus, juniper and pinon pine on the hillsides, with willows and cottonwood trees along the streams. The climate is considered desert or sub-humid, in that the evaporation of moisture is greater than the annual amount of precipitation. Beaver's elevation is almost 6,000 feet, and this factor has played as important a role as the desert climate in shaping the town's character. Wilson G. Nowers, one of the original pioneers in Beaver, said:

"Beaver River valley was then thought to be a cold, and inhospitable salaratus desert, although fairly well supplied with water, a good growth of wire grass between the river and Devil Creek and a frail sprinkle of bunch grass among the stunted sage brush...These resources were considered sufficient to justify the establishment of a heard ground for cattle of the southern settlements..."

Thus, Beaver was settled primarily as a stock raising village, though local farmers have always grown hay (now alfalfa), corn and oats. Both the high altitude (and therefore the short growing season) and the arid climate of the area, have dictated that settlers depend more on stock than crops.

  1. Bonar, Lumda, Utah State Historical Society, Beaver MRA, nomination document, 1980, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
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