Friday, September 21, 2012

Steeped in History

Roger gave a interesting, well researched, and (I thought) charming presentation at the Utah State History Conference today about Frank Beckwith, a man who was fascinated by a wide variety of subjects and who edited and published the newspaper in Delta, Utah, for many years.

Frank Beckwith traveled far and wide by horseback and then by Model T Roadster and even airplane to document things like industrial projects, petroglyphs in Nine Mile Canyon and day-to-day community life; to collect things like fossils, trilobites and geodes, which he often passed on to the Smithsonian; and to explore areas like Moab, which led to his appointment as director of the survey expedition to the then-proposed Arches national monument.

As I listened to Roger speak, I realized that I was married to a Frank Beckwith soul mate: curious about his surroundings, naturally drawn to notice things that most people don't even see, interested in documenting what he finds with images and the written word, driven to explore the unbeaten path (particularly in a high clearance vehicle).

Someone at the presentation asked Roger how he discovered Frank Beckwith. It was not surprising that his answer involved an adventure to find some mysterious ruins on top of a remote dormant volcano. Roger wanted to know what the ruins were and it took a bit of digging. Turned out the ruins were part of an old wind power project Beckwith had followed.

We have a happy family memory of picnicking on the top of that remote dormant volcano in the shadow of those old ruins. Because, of course, Roger wanted to share his discovery with us!

1 comment:

Ron Bishop said...

Hi folks;

I'm actually researching a book on community newspaper coverage of the Japanese-American internment. My journey has brought me to Topaz and to Frank Beckwith. Would Roger be willing to share a copy of his paper on Mr. Beckwith? You can email me at

Ron Bishop, Drexel Universty