Geologists estimate the Grand Canyon to be between five and six million years old. In that time, the “big ditch” has seen its fair share of action. To chronicle it would take a book. Instead, I’ve taken the liberty to condense it into these 18 brief, historical highlights:
1. The discovery of spear points made by Paleo-Indian hunters indicate that men inhabited the canyon in 10,000 B.C.
2. 500 B.C. to present – Various Native American tribes have continuously lived in the Grand Canyon region. The Cohonina, Cerbat, and the Anasazi were the first to settle the area. Then came the Navajo, Paiute, and Hopi. Many of these groups were ancestors to the Hualapai and Havasupai, two tribes that today call the canyon home.
3. In 1540, Spanish conquistador Francisco Coronado happened upon the Grand Canyon.
4. The 1948-signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe made the Grand Canyon a part of the United States.
5. The first geologic survey of the canyon was in 1856 by Mr. Jules Marcou of the Pacific Railroad.
6. The first attempt to explore the canyon was in 1857 by Lt. Joseph Christmas Ives. He was commissioned by the War Department to determine if the Colorado River was navigable – and it was!
7. The first time a map included the name “Grand Canyon” was in 1868. The following year, John Wesley Powell, famously know as the “one-armed explorer” because he lost said limb to a musket ball, put together a 10-man team and led them on the Colorado River Exploring Expedition.
8. In the 1870’s, greedy miners invaded the canyon looking for large deposits of copper, lead, and zinc. They eventually abandoned their efforts because the ore was too difficult to extract.
9. The 1880’s brought the railroads. The Atlantic and Pacific …Read More