Saturday, June 24, 2017

6/18 Historical Grand Canyon

It is interesting when at this national park to take some time to look at the old buildings.  I tried to take some photos of the various older buildings.  (If I got any facts wrong, please let me know.)  Anyway, this is the back of the Kolb Studio.  The Kolbs were two photographer brothers who made a living for many years taking photos of the visitors to Grand Canyon. The top of the house is their studio, while they lived in the lower level in the early 1900s. 

 The brothers used this canvas boat to run the Grand Canyon and produce the first movie film ever made of the canyon.  More information is here:

This is Buckey's cabin.  Buckey O'Neill lived in the Grand Canyon Village from 1879 to 1897.  He worked several odd jobs and ran for several political offices, becoming a sheriff and mayor of Prescott, AZ.  You can actually rent this cabin from the Bright Angel Lodge.  

This is the famous Hopi House, designed by Mary Jane Colter, for the Fred Harvey Company, which brought tourists to Grand Canyon by train and to stay in his hotels.  It was used as a souvenir shop for early tourists and the Fred Harvey Company staffed it with real Hopis, who could be observed making various objects for sale.  Mary Colter was an amazing lady who designed and supervised the building of many hotels and buildings across the west for the Harvey Company.  Here is a better description of some of her buildings: 

The Hopi lived in dormitories on the top floor.

This is Lookout Studio, another of Colter's buildings built for the Fred Harvey Company.. There was once a telescope visitors could use to see the canyon better and a patio that visitors used to take photos from.

This is the El Tovar Hotel, the fanciest of the rim hotels. It was completed in 1905 and owned and operated by, who else, the Fred Harvey Company and the Santa Fe Railway.  This page gives some history and tells more about the current rooms and the lovely restaurant where my granddaughter spilled a glass of lemonade and then a glass of water on the tablecloth!  The excellent staff cleaned it up with not a single complaint.

The chicken wire garden, shown here, protects the new plants from the numerous elk that roam the area!

This store now houses a small visitor center and gift shop. It was built in 1906 to sell souviners to the tourists.  Not much has changed in 100 years!  More info is at

This is the old train station.  You can still take the train to Grand Canyon, but it only allows you a few hours at the park.  This station was built in 1910.  Here is some history of the train:

Hermit's Rest at the far west end of the National Park never had a hermit living in it.  Surprise--it was built by Mary Colter so that tourists would have a place to relax at the end of a long trip out to this part of the canyon.  It now has a gift shop and a small snack bar where you can buy ice cream sandwiches. 

This type if beam and stick ceiling was common among Native American buildings, and was used by Mary Colter in not only this building, but Hopi House and many other of her buildings. 

You can just get a peek of the huge fireplace in this photo. 

On the far eastern end of the national park is Desert Tower, the last of the Colter designed buildings in the Canyon.  Even if you feel you are tired of looking at the canyon, don't miss this building and the view from the patio.

Looking up from the second floor to the top of the tower.

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