2002 Grand Canyon History Symposium
The inaugural Grand Canyon History Symposium, the first such gathering to address historical topics specific to Grand Canyon National Park! One of our goals for Symposium I was to introduce NPS administrators and interested members of the public to the history of issues confronting the park today. Another was simply to learn more of the legacy of this crown jewel of the National Park System.In January 2002, nearly 200 historians, witnesses to history, park employees, and others with a passion for Grand Canyon history gathered on the South Rim for the inaugural Grand Canyon History Symposium. Nothing like that had ever been attempted before, and the resulting presentations, discussions, and storytelling sessions generated lively discussions among the attendees.
1st Grand Canyon History Symposium
A tremendous round of applause goes out to all the organizers, sponsors, speakers and participants in this ground-breaking 4-day event. The interest in this event was so great that, unfortunately, many people were unable to register because of the limited space. Those who were fortunate - hikers, historians, river runners, rim walkers, armchair enthusiasts and adventure-seekers - were brought together by their mutual love for the Grand Canyon.
Individual presentations included a moving tribute to AZRA for the pioneering of raft trips for disabled youth and adults, Jim Ohlman's award-winning Grand Canyon National Park Tramway of 1919, the history of the Shrine of the Ages, Lee Albertson's great research on the Kolb Airfield of 1926, John Azar's wonderful talk on the Mystery Cabins of the Buckskin Mountain, the talk by CCC worker Roy Lemons, Michael Anderson filling in for Louis Purvis's talk on "The Ace in the Hole", and Frank Barrios presented his research on the Dunn-Howland Murders (which had been highlighted earlier in The Ol' Pioneer). This is just one day's line-up!! There was also a luncheon speaker, and a banquet with Jim Babbitt as the keynote speaker.
There was only one frustration to this phenomenal event - there were too many interesting talks occurring simultaneously, and it was difficult to make decisions on which to attend. The Grand Canyon Pioneer Society was well represented and proud to be a part in the first of hopefully many more such gatherings.
Symposium I Sponsorship
Cooperating organizations including Grand Canyon Association, Grand Canyon Field Institute, Arizona Humanities Council, Grand Canyon National Park Lodges, Grand Canyon Historical Society, and the National Park service have contributed staff, time, money, and services to make this conference as affordable as possible for attendees.
In an effort to bring the ideas, arguments, and first-person accounts from that event to a larger audience, historian Michael F. Anderson, PhD, has assembled A Gathering of Grand Canyon Historians: Ideas, Arguments, and First-Person Accounts, published in 2005 by the Grand Canyon Association. This monograph is a collection of essays based on the presentations at the history symposium. The resulting volume is diverse, thought-provoking, entertaining, and controversial. Most of the essays and contributors are included in this 200-page illustrated book.
Out of print.