Oral Histories

Primary Subject: Personal History

Pete Byrd

Dennis E. “Pete” Byrd, Sr.

b.1921

Buddy Cowger was checking some rocks that his kids had brought in. Charlie says “I got some that good” and so he went out and got these cores out of his old red Jeep. He brought them in there and Buddy put the counter on them and nobody had ever seen anything that hot before. When Charlie saw it he took off running, screaming to his wife, who was about 100 yards away, “We’re rich, we’re rich” and he ran right through a clothesline full of clothes and broke it down.

 

 

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Jack West

John William (Jack) West

b.1916

Mentioning the places we have camped makes me think that I can just sit and think of over 50 separate places that I have camped around the area, from the Book Cliffs to the Bridges, the Maze, and up in the mountains… at least fifty places. We went into the Needles when it was still open. You could get in there with a vehicle, over the Elephant Hill, into the Needles. From that point, we hiked up to Druid Arch and then, of course, all the main points up Horse Canyon, up Salt Creek, all that area into Angel Arch. We pretty well covered the Canyonlands National Park long before it was designated as a Park, and we had some fun experiences.

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Edd & Isabelle Provonsha

Edd & Isabelle Provonsha


We got homesick for the ranch at La Sal, and moved back. About 1928, he sold Ford cars with Charley Redd and did well. Then the Depression came, and we really saw hard times. Edd built a wood saw outfit. All the family worked on it, and once in a while a neighbor would help. There was very little money involved. A neighbor needed some dental work done. He had a cow and calf to trade, so Edd took the cow and calf. The dentist got a load of sawed wood, and the neighbor got his teeth fixed.

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Lloyd Pierson

Lloyd M. Pierson


Yes, they were gung-ho days because Moab was full of people who wanted to get things done.  They were fairly well educated and the locals had always wanted a museum.  They recognized the fact that their history was kind of important and different than the rest of Utah.  One of the schoolteachers was head of a committee called Bootstraps that initiated the museum by setting up another committee.  Charlie Steen had just built his mill out there in 1956.  I did a lot of work myself.  I remember crawling under the floor, propping up the weak spots.  The Rotary Club – well, it’s in the Legacy.  How Marian worked  sponsoring the museum.  She got the gals going cataloguing and accessions.

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Merv Lawton

Merv Lawton

b.1922

Then I was moved from northern Saskatchewan down to Moab. And that was like coming around in a circle. We found the same plants, the same kind of birds as we had in South Africa. House sparrows, for example, ravens, eagles. Different models of eagles, you know different model of the raven. We had more crows actually than ravens.

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John & Mary Keogh

John E. & Mary Keogh

b.1924

It’s a different town than it was, as far as I’m concerned. It’s a real nice place, the tempo is a little different than it was. The real attractive part of Moab when we first came here, to me, was that everybody had unlimited enthusiasm and high hopes.

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Carol Balsley Hines

Carol E. Balsley Hines

b. 1913

My dad gave this piece of ground right here where this motel is, he gave that to his friend Mellenthin. I guess you have the history of Mellenthin being killed up on the mountain? He was dad’s good friend and he gave him that piece of ground right there where the motel is…

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Blankenagel, Norma P.

b.1930

They thought the La Sals were the Elk Mountains and this is why it (the fort) is called the Elk Mountain Mission. The Elks are much further south towards Blanding. This group was lead by Alfred Billings, and I think there were about thirteen men in it…

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