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Roger Weller, geology instructor
by Hailey Baltunis
The Art Green Legacy
The Colorado River
tell Art Green that he and Goulding invented Northern Arizona, the Monument
Valley, the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon”, Jack Williams, past governor
of Arizona, said it best. I am very fortunate to have such a rich family
history in Northern Arizona. My great-great grandfather, Arthur “Art” H.
Greene\ was essential in pioneering the Colorado River and in creating access to
the beauty of Northern Arizona. “Art Greene was nationally known as a
river runner, canyon explorer, businessman and developer of Wahweap Lodge on
Lake Powell”, described The Arizona Republic newspaper in 1990. My family
was responsible for a multitude of lodges, marinas, and tours making the
Colorado River, Lake Powell, and the Grand Canyon more accessible to the public.
Colorado River is the 6th largest river in the United States. It supplies water
for over 30 million people, because of this importance it is one of the most
controlled and studied rivers on Earth. It flows through 7 states, Colorado, New
Mexico, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, California, and Nevada. In 1914, at the age of
18, Art Greene began guiding people on the San Juan River (a tributary of the
Colorado River). It wasn’t until 30 years later that Art began commercial river
were the first men to power-operate excursion boats up the Colorado River to
Rainbow Bridge. Taking almost ten hours to hike, these boat trips cut the time
in half to see Rainbow Bridge. This land monument is a 290 ft tall arch that
spans 257 ft over the river. The Rainbow Bridge
formation is hundreds of millions years old. The base and arch are composed of
Kayenta sandstone and Navajo sandstone. After millions of years of hardening
sand dunes, the river sculpted dune to create this hardened rock arch.
These first trips aided people such as photographer Herb McLaughlin, and writer
Joyce Muench. In 1949, they guided a trip with the staff of National Geographic
Magazine. Relationships with customers grew.
In 1950 Art
Greene moved to the Vermillion Cliffs (on U.S. 89) and , with his family, lived
in an old rock home. It was here that he built the Cliff Dwellers Lodge. It
consisted of a lodge, restaurant, gas station and even a runway. Art’s son,
Bill, flew in food and supplies. While operating the lodge, Art heard news that
the federal government was planning to build Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado
River. Knowing that this would put him out of his river tour business, he
acquired state grazing leases and moved his efforts to Lake Powell, starting
Wahweap Lodge and Marina in 1964.
The Glen Canyon
Dam was finished in 1963. The plant generates
more than 1.3 million kilowatts of electricity with each of the 40-ton steel
shafts turning at 150 rpm, generating nearly 200,000 horsepower.When all eight
generators are operating at full capacity, over 15 million gallons of water will
pass through the power plant's penstocks each minute. The electricity is
upgraded on a transformer deck from 13,800 volts to 230,000 and 345,000 volts
for transmission to distant markets.
It took seventeen years for Lake Powell to fill. Lake Powell is the second largest man made lake in the United States. Lake Powell is 186 miles long and has 1,960 miles of shoreline, which is longer than the entire west coast of the continental United States. With a boat or other watercraft, there are many canyons that you can explore.
Greene family was able to establish and publicize their businesses around
Northern Arizona. Soon, politicians and even royalty came to tour the Colorado
River. These growing relationships only lead to a higher tourism rate and more
people coming to enjoy the beauties of Northern Arizona. Representative John
Rhodes, interviewed by Lake Powell Chronicle, said “They have helped open
up this fantastic country to around-the-world travelers and made every effort to
make each visitor feel welcome”. Even celebrities from Hollywood were known to
visit the area. The cast members of “Gunsmoke” wrote about being treated as
“little kings” by the Greene Family.
Northern Arizona is home to an amazing natural beauty. I am proud to say that my
family allowed this beauty to be seen and treasured. Art Greene once said, “Lake
Powell will be the most popular vacation spot in the United States, but I’ll
never live to see it.” Although he didn’t get to witness it, the Green family
has left a true legacy.
Outside Links for more Information:
Crandell, Doug. "On Fire." Sun June 2013: 24-28. Web.
Fitsimmons, Pat. "This Is Your Life: Art Greene, Man of Vision." Lake Powell Chronicle [Page] 18 May 1983: 23. Print.
"GLEN CANYON DAM HISTORY & TOURS." Glen Canyon Dam at Lake Powell & Page, AZ. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2015.
Greene, Judi. "The Chronological History of the Arthur "Art" H. Greene, SR. Family." (2002): n. pag. Web.
"Page - Lake Powell Guide - The Official Lake Powell Guide." Page - Lake Powell Guide - The Official Lake Powell Guide. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2015.
Thomas, Bob. "'Mystery' Cabin Was Homesteader Hut." The Arizona Republic 18 Nov. 1990: T6. Print.
The Green Family Collection: photos and personal letters