Rename the canyon...
Dec 06, 2012 | 1507 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In 1972, Moab became my home, a welcoming place to start a young adult life and, in time, to raise two beautiful children. The landscape outside our front door was the heart and soul of living here.

  I learned about a canyon upstream the Colorado River from Moab. It has pools of clear sustaining spring water, perennial in nature, and following a long winter the native flora bloom, coloring the canyon’s walking path.    

  The local settlers of this Moab area named this canyon for a black cowboy, like themselves, a cattleman. Moab resident Louis Williams researched and found records that the given name for this early settler was William Grandstaff. He came to the Moab area in 1877 and left very suddenly some four years later, moving to western Colorado, where he took up residence and became a respected member of the community. There is no indication that William Grandstaff ever called himself what the people in Moab called him, a derogatory name indicating one with less merit than themselves. 

  Out of respect to William Grandstaff, and in the best interests of this long-time community of old-timers and newcomers, I propose that the Moab City Council, Mayor Dave Sakrison and the Grand County Council publicly support the petition to rename Negro Bill Canyon to Grandstaff Canyon.   

—Mary Rees


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