Zion National Park in Utah

Michael Bushnell
Publisher


In October of 1776, two Spanish Priests, Silvestre Vélez de Escalante and Francisco Atanasio Domínguez traveled up the Virgin River Valley on an exploration mission of the southern Utah Territory. The two Padres are thought to be the first people of European descent to pass through the area. Roughly fifty years later, Trapper Jedediah Smith worked the area as a contractor for the American Fur Company.


The floor of Zion Canyon was first settled in 1863 by Isaac Behunin, who farmed corn, tobacco, and fruit trees. Behunin is credited with naming Zion, a reference to the place of peace mentioned in the Bible. More families settled in Zion Canyon over the next few years, bringing with them cattle and other domesticated animals. The canyon floor was farmed until Zion became a Monument in 1909.


President William Howard Taft declared on July 31, 1909 that the area should be re-named as the Mukuntuweap National Monument. In 1917, the acting director of the newly created National Park Service visited the canyon and proposed changing its name from the very unpopular Mukuntuweap to Zion, a name used by the local Mormon community.


The United States Congress added more land and established Zion National Park on November 19, 1919. The Great White Throne shown on the postcard is a mesa, predominantly composed of white Navajo Sandstone, rising almost 2,350 feet from the floor of Zion Canyon.


This Linen era Postcard published by the Deseret Book Company of Salt Lake City, Utah.


The description on the back of the card reads: Zion National Park is at the southern terminus of the wonderful Wasatch Range. The name, Monument Canyon, has been suggested owing to the numberless monuments to the grandeur of nature. These monuments are of varying hue and color, baffling description and stunting everything in comparison by their gigantic size, some of them reaching an elevation of over 7,000 feet. This “Great White Throne” is the largest monolith in the world. The card was mailed to Mr. & Mrs. D. H. Reeves of Muskegon, MI on April 27, 1951.

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