Saturday, August 8, 2020

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Moab, UT

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Moab
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    Letter: Kudos, a complaint, a clarification and a compliment

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    Public submissions to The Times-Independent can range from press releases to obituaries to feature stories and news. All submissions are subject to editorial review and approval.
    This old postcard is from the collection of Jim Boulden. Said Boulden in an email, “The photographer went by the name of Harry Reed. There were some pictures of me by Reed taken in ’49, so I’m guessing that’s when the postcard was taken also. That is my mother’s handwriting on the back, very indignantly crossing out ‘Fisher Towers’ and writing in ‘Organ Rocks–in Professor Valley’.” The Boulden family for decades ranched and farmed what is now known as Sorrel River Ranch.
    The reverse side of the postcard.

    Editor,

    Sena Taylor Hauer: First the kudos to your dad: He sent, free of charge, a newspaper to all of us in the military 50 some years ago. I really appreciated that.

    Second the complaint: I grew up just down the river from where you live at Sand Arroyo in the 1950s and early ‘60s and knew all or most of the old-timers in the area. The Castle Rock was never called “Castleton Tower.” I only started hearing and reading that term after the Pace Ranch became settled by newcomers in the ‘70s. I like to respect the history of the early people and the names that they bestowed on things.

    Which leads me to the clarification: I was always told the Fisher Towers were originally called the Organ Rocks. I won’t argue with the late Joe Taylor (a lifelong friend) over Organ Rocks or the Pipe Organs, but I remember it as the Organ Rocks. The story I heard was that the early settler in the valley was named Fisher, hence the name Fisher Valley.

    In the late 1940s, a professional photographer was in the Moab area making postcards. He was asking for the names of things but apparently didn’t remember all that he was told. He made postcards of Fisher Valley, Onion Creek and the Organ Rocks or Pipe Organs. On the back of the postcards he named each as “Fisher Valley,” “Fisher Creek” and the “Fisher Towers.”

    For some reason the name of Fisher Towers stuck but the name of Fisher Creek didn’t. This part of the story is correct. I remember seeing those postcards when I was young, and upon further digging, have found the old postcards. I’ve never heard of any history of them being named after “fissures.”

    Finally, the compliment: AJ Rogers is doing a great job telling stories from the Books and Thompson. I’ve enjoyed them; one or two may have “stretched” the facts a little, but as the old cowboys always said, “If a story is worth telling, it’s worth embellishing.”

    — Jim Boulden
    Gateway, Colorado

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