Date of Award

5-1996

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Departmental Honors

Department

History

First Advisor

F. Ross Peterson

Abstract

Among abundant natural splendor, the canyons of the lower Escalante River enclose immense arches and bridges. Secluded in a jungle of slickrock, these natural spans attracted minimal attention until mid-century. Not until 1940 was Gregory Natural Bridge officially-if not genuinely-discovered. The "discoverer " was Norman Nevills, one of the most prominent and most colorful early commercial river runners in the West. Like Glen Canyon, Nevills' staple run, much of the bygone wilderness of the lower Escalante River now lies beneath Lake Powell. Gregory Natural Bridge was submerged by the filling reservoir, easily the largest span lost that way. Its present invisibility belies its past record of human association-with not only Nevills, but also surveyors, ranchers, and sundry travelers.

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History Commons

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