Home Events Tracing the Story of William Grandstaff


Mar 30 2021


6:30 pm

Tracing the Story of William Grandstaff

Join Gerald Elias, a musician who commemorated William Grandstaff’s life in an opera, and Nick Sheedy, Lead Genealogist of PBS’s Finding Your Roots, for an exciting look into new details about the life of one of Moab’s early settlers.

William Grandstaff was one of the Moab region’s very first permanent non-Native setters, a Black cowboy who ran cattle around 1880 in the canyon which now bears his name. His life has been commemorated in both Utah, and in Colorado where he later settled, and his story has long intrigued community members and visitors alike. Rich new details about Grandstaff’s life have been uncovered by Gerald Elias, a Salt Lake City based musician who commemorated Grandstaff’s story in an opera presented at a 2014 Moab Music Festival, and Nick Sheedy, Lead Genealogist for the PBS program Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Remarkable new details and insights to what we know of Grandstaff’s story, include updated information about Grandstaff’s birthplace and enslaver, and further details about his life before moving west. Join Sheedy and Elias for a conversation about the history of William Grandstaff, and the efforts undertaken to dive deeper into his story. This evening will be hosted by Michele Johnson, a Museum volunteer and former trustee.

This webinar will be held on Zoom and simulcast on Facebook Live on the Museum’s Facebook page. No pre-registration is required. This webinar is free and open to the general public. Click here to join.

Webinar ID: 867 6189 0229


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