In the summer of 1913, Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, along with his sons Archibald and Quentin, and his nephew, Nicholas Roosevelt, paid a visit to the natural bridges of San Juan County, Utah. The Times-Independent reported that well-known guide, John Wetherill would be expecting the Roosevelts at his home and that he would be guiding them to see the Utah bridges.
In April of 2023, the Museum welcomed Harvey Leake, 2nd great-grandson of John Wetherill, to share his family’s story of that historic expedition to Rainbow Natural Bridge. On April 19, 2023, Mr. Leake presented Across the Navajo Desert: Theodore Roosevelt’s 1913 Expedition to Rainbow Natural Bridge.
Harvey Leake is an authority on the history of his pioneering ancestors, the Wetherills of the Four Corners region. His research has taken him to libraries, archives, and the homes of family elders whose recollections, photographs, and memorabilia have brought their stories to life. His field investigations have led him to remote trading post sites in the Navajo country and some of the routes used by his great-grandfather, John Wetherill, to access the intricate canyon country of the Colorado Plateau. He shares his findings in talks, books, and essays, including many articles in the online journal, The Canyon Country Zephyr.
Harvey Leake presenting at the Moab Museum in April 2023.