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On the morning of August 14, 1909, a small, diverse group including Professor Byron Cummings of the University of Utah, Government Land Office surveyor William Douglass, pioneer archaeologist and trader John Weatherill, and Paiute guide Nasja Begay gazed at the largest structure of its kind in the world-Rainbow Bridge. Their presence marked the official discovery of the magnificent natural bridge, which spans 275 feet and towers 291 feet above the stream bed below it. Of the discovery party, only Nasja Begay had seen the stone arch before; he was one of a probably small number of Paiutes and Navajos, the true modern discoverers, who had visited it. In 1910, an executive order issued under the still fresh Antiquities Act created Rainbow Bridge National Monument, one of the first. Hank Hassell, a librarian and writer at Northern Arizona University, tells all this and much more in the first book to provide the complete story of Rainbow Bridge. Spectacular photos and informative drawings illustrate his text.
Utah State University Press
Hassell, Hank, "Rainbow Bridge: An Illustrated History" (1999). All USU Press Publications. 125.