The history behind the story


I noticed on the History Page (May 16 edition) a small article about Gov. Calvin Rampton being here to christen Tex McClatchy’s paddleboat, the Canyon King on May 13, 1972. He was also here for the formal ceremony to promote Arches from a national monument to a national park.

Well, our trusty local recorder of such happenings, Fran Barnes, was there to document it all for the historical record.

That’s Rampton at the microphone in the photo above. Tex appears second from the left in the hat and long coat. The ladies were all dressed in period costumes.

This is one of several hundred photos Fran and Terby Barnes took to document the construction and launching of this boat. They are all housed at the Museum of Moab in the Barnes Photo Collection featuring approximately 30,000 images.

The day turned out to be a comedy of errors as Tex got the boat caught on an unexpected sandbar just below the western portal and the governor had to be taken from the Canyon King by his staff in a small motor boat to make it in time for the ceremony at Arches.

–David Vaughn
Castle Valley