Moab Happenings Archive
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Special Exhibit: A Grand Heritage Opens in March
by Moab Museum Staff

Ringing in early springtime in Moab, the Moab Museum debuts a new special exhibit A Grand Heritage: Stories from the Oral History Collection and a walking tour Livestock Built This City: Agritourism Experience.

The Moab Museum’s History Programs Interpreter, Stephan Zacharias, leads guests around Moab’s historic business district during a preview of the agritourism experience.

Special Exhibit: A Grand Heritage Opens in March
History is far more than names and dates. It’s a rich and complex web of stories and memories that provide depth and texture to our understanding of the past. 2022 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Grand Memories, published by Moab’s Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, which chronicled histories of some of the first Euro-American settlers of the region.

To celebrate this anniversary, dive into the Moab Museum’s Oral History Collection for more memories from Grand County residents that were recently digitized as part of our Community History Program, supported by Utah Humanities. We’ve paired some questions commonly asked at the Museum, with answers from our Oral History Collection and historic images: How did settlers get to Moab? What was the landscape like back then? How did people make a go of it before the uranium mining boom of the 1950s? What was day-to-day life like in early Moab?

Livestock Built This City: Learn about the agricultural influences that transformed Moab
Come experience the legacy of agriculture in the city of “The Far Country.” Join Museum staff for this 1-hour guided tour of Moab’s Historic Business District. During this 1-mile guided experience, guests will have the opportunity to learn about and explore the legacy of some of the men and women who helped establish and build the city of Moab, through their civic leadership and investments in the community. This guided tour focuses on Moab’s fascinating, and seldom-told pre-uranium history. The tour delves into the agricultural history of Canyon Country, following the experiences of over a dozen men and women who first made a go of it at Indian Creek, creating community, raising their livestock and the families, and who would later help build the City of Moab by applying that same grit and love of community here.

Main St. looking North from what is present day Center St. (what was called Stewart’s corner in the 1920’s – the turn off for the main route through town). Moab Museum Collection.

This tour experience will be offered most Thursdays, March through October 2023. All tours begin at 10 a.m. at the Moab Museum. Tickets are required and can be purchased at the Moab Museum or online. $20 per ticket (Museum admission is included in the price of the ticket) and $10 for Members.

To learn more about Museum membership, programs, and exhibits, and to read the Museum’s blog and explore online archives and collections, please visit • 118 East Center Street, Moab
435-259-7985. And be sure to mention you read about the Moab Museum in Moab Happenings.

To learn more about Museum membership, programs and exhibits, and to read the Museum’s blog and explore online archives and collections, please visit
118 East Center Street, Moab, UT • 435-259-7985

The Museum is pleased to announce a semi-permanent exhibition entitled Spirit & Grit, which has recently opened at the Dead Horse Point State Park visitor center. Spirit & Grit tells the story of settlers who pieced together a hardscrabble living in early Moab, from the 1870s onward. Visitors to Spirit & Grit experience a window into the lives of some of these early settlers through this immersive satellite exhibit.

Spirit & Grit, an extension of stories told at the Moab Museum, was curated by Tara Beresh, Moab Museum’s Curatorial and Collections Manager, in collaboration with the Moab Museum of Film and Western Heritage (MMFWH) and with assistance from lifelong Moabite and local historian Mark Beeson. Featuring historic photographs, objects, stories, and a life-sized cow camp, the exhibition paints a vibrant portrait of ranch life in the area of Canyonlands at the turn of the twentieth century.

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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