Oral Histories

Lloyd M. Pierson

Lloyd Pierson

J. Cindy Hardgrave found it in Utah Place Names. We have this exhibit about how places got their name. First I said, “No one was named Fisher” because the DUP book, Grand Memories, said that.

L. DUP did a lot by rumor. José Knighton had his idea of where Moab came from. It was Peirce. He keeps spelling Peirce the wrong way, has to be “ei” backwards. You have to be careful with your sources. I want to look up Tomasaki, he’s the guy I want to find out about. I’m glad that you put me on to Bill Chenoweth, he has been a big help. He and I are on the same wavelength with the Salt Lake Wagon Road. I’ve got a paper on it that is finished now. He had a lot of information on his end of it from Westwater east. Stuff that I really needed and couldn’t get a hold of.

J. We recently got a map about the Westwater.

L. Recently? One of the reasons I came back here was because of the museum. Down in Florida, I’d see these old goats from up in Ohio and Indiana just retired from the farm. They’d never learned to play. They didn’t have anything to do. They would go fishing, buy a boat for about two years and then “spttt.” They didn’t have any hobbies.

J. Did you become acquainted with Dan O’Laurie?

L. Yes, that was kind of strange. Dan was always around so I didn’t make any special attempt to patronize Dan. He was a stamp collector. He liked the museum and was a member. One time, while I was gone, Billie Provonsha was running it and Dan paid for Virginia’s wages. While Marian and I were

there he sent Darby up with a $5000 check and told us to put it in the building account, which we had none. I’m not much for begging, it’’s a hard thing for me to do, and a lot of people too. Another time, Dan sent Darby with a stock certificate to give us. The stock never went anywhere. One time in the First Security Bank there he was sitting there and he had stock certificates in his lap – the Mississippi- whatever Company. I always suspected that they were selling slaves or something. He was getting rid of his so I think I convinced the Board that maybe they should get rid of ours too.

He gave us enough money so that we could build the back room. It didn’t cost much; it’s not a fancy building. We decided to name the back end of the building after him. I liked old Dan. When you changed the name and added “Canyon Country,” Darby got the wrong message. He thought you were changing the name, period, getting rid of the “Dan O’Laurie.”

J. Outsiders don’t necessarily know what “Dan O’Laurie” is, that’s why we added “Canyon Country.”

L. It worked out. It’s a good little museum. Especially the photographs, they show up in all sorts of places. I sent a bunch of photographs in to the New Mexico Magazine. I won, I’m going to get another T-shirt.

J. We’d like more of your photographs. Rusty is getting them into computer files.

L. Some day I’m going to dump all of my historic photos on you. I got lots of them. Some of them aren’t worth much.

We went to Taos one day. They were having a Veterans Day dance, and they had flags, lots of white people. One white female was dancing with the Indians; she must have been the wife of one. A lovely day. Blue skies. That’s the one they picked. I got a kick, the guy calls me up and says, “You’re a runner-up in the photo contest. We’re going to send you a t-shirt.” I say, “Oh great. We don’t have any t-shirt shops in Moab.” He laughed and said, “I’ve been to Moab, I know better.” I haven’t got it yet but it is supposed be a New Mexico Magazine t-shirt. I’ll probably wear it in Mexico. I don’t photograph to be esthetic, I just take snapshots.

J. Snapshots are important because they show the people and cars. Tom Till takes perfect pictures of the scenery.

L. And historically they have no value. That’s what I figure.

J. You said you had some written material we’d like to have.

L. I’ve written that for my grandkids.

J. When this is done we’ll give a copy of this for you. But we need pictures of you for the cover.

L. I’ve got some. I emptied my Grandparents’ home, Marian emptied out her aunt, her uncle, her parents and her other aunt. We did get rid of a lot of it.

J. Did she teach school here in Moab?

L. When I left here, I lost more money than I gained by going back east, because Marian was making money and her folks were here and they had TV. Marian was libarian at the HMK, Marian the Librarian. After five years, a house! It was under Mission 66. Finally got around to it. They built the house out there with the detached garage and the Visitor Center at the same time.

J. You moved out there at Arches?

L. During the war, they hauled in these trailers. The walls would fold out and the roof would fold out and they made it three times as big as it originally was. The Park Service picked up a bunch of these. They had been used in the war plants. The ranger before me had lived in it. We looked at some houses in town, at some of the houses in Mountain View but they looked pretty cheaply built. Then Marian’s folks moved in and they built a nice brick home. The old shack we lived in, Bates had pushed up another old shack against it and that was the kids’ bedroom.

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