Moab Happenings Archive
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Museum Begins a Season of School Field Trips
by Moab Museum Staff

6th Grade class from Helen M. Knight Elementary School visit the Doles/Titus Ranch in Professor Valley during a Museum field trip.

With the arrival of warmer weather, the Museum is excited to begin a season of field trips for local elementary school students. For years, the Moab Museum has partnered with Helen M. Knight Elementary School to bring students to historically significant sites around Grand County. This year, School Programs Manager Andrea Stoughton will be leading a variety of COVID-19 adapted programs designed to bring history to life outside.

Stoughton, who taught in the school district for many years, spending much of her career as an outdoor educator, has worked closely with teachers in years past to tailor the Museum’s program offerings to curriculum needs and teachers’ desires. During 2020, taking advantage of COVID-related closures and cancellations, Museum staff worked to refine the school program offerings for K-8th grades, aligning them with the latest core curriculum standards and compiling them into a useful manual for teachers. Online resources are now available to supplement field trip curricula, allowing teachers to integrate their field trip experience into the classroom.

Dewey Bridge, circa 1950. Later this Spring, HMK 5th grade students will have the opportunity to visit Dewey Bridge to learn about the former settlement at this location.

Field trip offerings with the Museum vary by grade level and explore a wide range of historical topics. Fifth graders, for example, visit Dewey Bridge and learn about the former settlement of Dewey, where a ferry operated to carry travelers across the Colorado River. The community of residents there was once large enough support a one-room schoolhouse. First graders, meanwhile, focus on natural history and visit the Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail to learn about some of the dinosaurs preserved in the rocks around Moab.

“We are going to be serving Kindergarten, first, fourth, fifth, and sixth grades this spring, and we’re so excited to be offering a variety of field trip opportunities,” says Stoughton.

Colin Fryer at Red Cliffs Ranch, date unknown. Local students visited the ranch recently to learn about its history.

The very first field trip of the season took place March 12th. Sixth grade students, explored the ranching history of the Colorado River corridor, had a special opportunity to visit a working ranch. Its owner, Petenia Pfnister, grew up on the ranch and still lives there. She gave students a tour of the property and introduced them to the livestock, then discussed the many facets of ranching, resource management, and local history. Later, students visited the Red Cliffs Lodge where they learned about that ranch’s history and the many movies that have been filmed in the area around Moab. Students also had the opportunity to practice tying knots, an essential ranching skill that is also widely applicable to many recreation activities today.

The Dewey Ferry, 1900. After the ferry washed away in 1914, the Dewey Bridge was built in 1915.

Teacher Carrie McKay described the trip as “a wonderful day today” adding that “[Andrea] and Petenia were instructionally awesome.”

The Museum looks forward to an exciting season of field trips ahead, and greatly appreciates the engagement and collaboration of local teachers.

Interested in learning more about our region’s colorful past? Visit the website:
Moab Museum is open by appointment! Email to make an appointment to visit Tuesday - Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Movie & Western Memorabilia Museum at Red Cliffs Lodge

Indiana Jones PosterRed Cliffs Lodge, on the banks of the mighty Colorado River, is home to the Moab Museum of Film & Western Heritage. The lodge is built on the old George White Ranch, a key location for nine of the big westerns including Rio Grande, Cheyenne Autumn, Ten Who Dared, The Commancheros, and Rio Conchos.

The late George White was founder of the Moab to Monument Valley Film Commission, the longest ongoing film commission in the world.

In the museum one can learn more about film locations, how the sets are built, and how the filming process is managed on nature’s own sound stage. On display in the museum are production photographs, movie posters, autographed scripts, props from the many pictures filmed in the area, and displays about the western ranching heritage. For information, call Red Cliffs Lodge at 435-259-2002.

Rio Grande Through the magnificent landscapes of southeastern Utah, writers have been inspired and stories born here. Zane Grey, the famous western novelist, traveled through the area in 1912. His visit inspired him to write his book Riders of the Purple Sage. The book was made into a movie starring Ed Harris and Amy Madigan, and filmed on locations around Moab.

A partial list of stars that have made movies in Moab
John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Henry Fonda, Lee Marvin,
Rock Hudson, Jimmy Stewart, Richard Boone, Anthony Quinn,
Mickey Rooney, Shirley Temple, Kris Kristofferson, Billy Crystal,
Robert Duvall, Gene Hackman, Bill Murray, Jack Palance, Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, Ted Danson, Tom Cruise, and many more.
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