Moab Happenings Archive
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Dive Into Local History—on Display and Behind the Scenes
by Moab Museum Staff

An array of photographs in the Moab Museum’s Collection. Attendees of “Caring for Keepsakes” workshops at the Museum have the opportunity to bring in their own collection of old photographs to be repackaged using archival materials and techniques. (Photo courtesy of Moab Museum)

This summer, the Moab Museum has a number of ways visitors and locals can dive into Moab’s history—both through exhibits and behind the scenes. In June, a temporary exhibition entitled Butch Cassidy was Here: Historic Inscriptions of the Colorado Plateau opened to the public, and is on display through August. This exhibit presents a fascinating array of intertwined histories, featuring a treasure trove of photographs from across the region documented by rock inscription experts and backcountry adventurers James Knipmeyer and Mike Ford. The exhibit weaves together the inscription records left behind by trappers, traders, missionaries, government expeditions, cowboys, outlaws, homesteaders, explorers, and others. Colorful and vibrant, this eclectic collage of stories piques the curiosity of both visitors and locals alike.

Behind the scenes, a variety of projects are underway—and there are lots of ways to get involved. The Museum is excited to be undertaking a history preservation and outreach initiative in 2022, designed to help community members connect with, preserve, record, and interpret Moab’s many stories both within and beyond the walls of the Museum.

The Community History Program, supported by a grant from the Utah Humanities Council, includes free community workshops on recording audio stories and caring for family keepsakes, oral history preservation initiatives, a Fall “scan-a-thon” to digitize family photographs, and more.

Community History Workshops, scheduled throughout the summer and fall, provide a gateway for community members to build skills as citizen historians. “Caring for Keepsakes” workshops, held by the Moab Museum’s Curatorial and Collections Manager Tara Beresh, provide attendees with an overview of how to care for beloved family belongings like photos, quilts, books, or documents at home. Workshop participants are invited to bring a box of items to repackage using complimentary archival materials.

The Moab Museum gallery features a temporary exhibition called Butch Cassidy was Here: Historic Inscriptions of the Colorado Plateau this summer. (Photo courtesy of Moab Museum)

Meanwhile, “Recording Stories” workshops introduce attendees to the basics of oral histories and recording audio, including the opportunity to practice using the Museum’s Listening Station recording materials. Oral histories and recorded audio are some of the richest resources in Moab’s collective history, and for many history enthusiasts, being a part of oral history collection is an exciting way to contribute to the community.

Whether you’re a lifelong Moabite or are just passing through, the Moab Museum offers an array of opportunities to engage with local history. Visit to plan your visit, learn more about programs and exhibits, register for a free workshop, become a member, or to get in touch.

The Moab Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. through 6 p.m. Butch Cassidy Was Here: Historic Inscriptions of the Colorado Plateau, opens on June 7th and will be on exhibit through the summer. For more information, please visit

118 East Center Street, Moab, UT • 435-259-7985

Movie & Western Memorabilia Museum at Red Cliffs Lodge

Indiana Jones PosterRed 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 435-259-2002.

Rio Grande 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.

A partial list of stars that have made movies in Moab
John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Henry Fonda, Lee Marvin,
Rock Hudson, Jimmy Stewart, Richard Boone, Anthony Quinn,
Mickey Rooney, Shirley Temple, Kris Kristofferson, Billy Crystal,
Robert Duvall, Gene Hackman, Bill Murray, Jack Palance, Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, Ted Danson, Tom Cruise, and many more.

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