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Moab Happenings Home

Historical HAPPENINGS - September 2018

Root Cellar Project: “The Harvest”

The Moab valley has long been used for agriculture. Hikes along the river and in canyons tell the story of the first farmers in the area with granaries, seeds, and tools. In the early 1900’s settlers in Moab started planting peaches which did so well they planted other fruit trees and vines. Agriculture in the desert is a tricky prospect. But the area’s farmers and ranchers have survived hundreds of years of our fickle arid climates through ingenuity and careful planning.

Moab was once known for the fattest and juiciest melons, apples, peaches, grapes, and pears in Utah. Many are familiar with the Mayberry Preserve on Hwy 279, but there were other orchards. Where the Moab Regional Hospital sits now was a large orchard as well as on 500 West where the Orchard Villa Apartments are. Remnants of Moab’s fruit growing days can still be found in people’s yards and various other sites.

Fruit wasn’t the only agricultural commodity. A jaunt along Spanish Valley Drive will provide views of alfalfa fields and small farms. They number fewer than they were, but are enough to hint at what the valley used to look like. Castle Valley abounds with farms, fields, and greenhouses. Most of this local agriculture provides food for Moonflower Market, many local restaurants, and the Farmer’s Market as well as for local livestock.

Do you have a story about farming or ranching in Moab? We would love for you to come tell your story or those of your ancestors at our next Root Cellar Project: “The Harvest”, Bounty or Blight. What have you learned about growing things in the desert? September 20 5-9pm at the Helipad, 239 W Center.

The Museum of Moab preserves artifacts and information, and promotes research and education, which accurately reflect the natural and cultural history of Southeastern Utah. More information about programs and events can be found at www.moabmuseum.org and find us on Facebook!

Information on all events, activities, and exhibits are on our website moabmuseum.org and Facebook page!


Movie & Western Memorabilia Museum at Red Cliffs Lodge
Red Cliffs Lodge, on the banks of the mighty Colorado River, is home to the Moab Museum of Film & Western Heritage. The lodge is built on the old George White Ranch, a key location for nine of the big westerns including Rio Grande, Cheyenne Autumn, Ten Who Dared, The Commancheros, and Rio Conchos.

The late George White was founder of the Moab to Monument Valley Film Commission, the longest ongoing film commission in the world.

In the museum one can learn more about film locations, how the sets are built, and how the filming process is managed on nature’s own sound stage. On display in the museum are production photographs, movie posters, autographed scripts, props from the many pictures filmed in the area, and displays about the western ranching heritage. For information, call Red Cliffs Lodge at 259-2002.

Through the magnificent landscapes of southeastern Utah, writers have been inspired and stories born here. Zane Grey, the famous western novelist, traveled through the area in 1912. His visit inspired him to write his book Riders of the Purple Sage. The book was made into a movie starring Ed Harris and Amy Madigan, and filmed on locations around Moab.
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