Fifty-five years ago, the federal government began flooding a Utah canyon by building a dam. Water from the blocked Colorado River in Glen Canyon serves as a source of recreation on Lake Powell and produces hydropower for seven western states - Utah, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Wyoming.
Once the Glen Canyon Dam was built in 1963, the beautiful Glen Canyon was flooded to the brim, creating what we know now as Lake Powell. Before the dam was built, it was a very popular place for river trips and included many Native American artifacts and sites, which were all excavated and evacuated to make way for the dam. Now, 55 years later, an exhibit is being put in place.
“Our exhibit Glen Canyon: A River Guide Remembers is a memoir of Glen Canyon pre-inundation," said Martha Ham, producer for the exhibit.
Martha Ham is working with a team of other location experts based in southern Utah, including Ken Sleight, in creating this exhibit. Ken Sleight is somewhat of an icon in southern Utah. He’s 88 years old and was a river guide in the Glen Canyon and has made a huge impact in the area with his memoirs and photos of working in the Glen Canyon pre-inundation. He is working closely with the exhibit team in creating a memorable vision into what Glen Canyon used to be.
“Ken Sleight and other river guides have opened their archives to create an experience of a seven-day river trip through Glen Canyon," Ham said. "The exhibit features photos, historic boats and Native American artifacts."
Located in the John Wesley Powell River History Museum in Green River, the exhibit will have a grand opening on May 4 at 5:30 p.m.
“Ken Sleight and our team believe that remembering Glen Canyon can help us as Utahns make better decisions now and in the future protecting, preserving and restoring landscape and its culture,” Ham said.