This presentation discusses the significance of the American Southwest in the early 20th
century when national attention shifted to the canyons and deserts of the American Southwest. Although American scientists, artists, writers, fur traders, and explorers had been visiting the Southwest since the early 19th century, the arrival of the railroads eased access which in turn increased interest in both the natural and human history of the region. This presentation discusses the efforts of William Haskell Simpson (representing the Railroad) and the Harvey Company to coordinate, sustain, and profit from American interest in the region by building and then promoting the El Tovar at the Grand Canyon. Together the Railroad and Harvey Company played a pivotal role in creating the dominant mythology of the American Southwest.
This program is cohosted by The Museum of Casa Grande. This is an in-person event.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
John Mack is a graduate of the University of Kansas with a master’s degree in Russian history and a Ph.D. in American history. His book on the settlement of southeast Kansas, Bucking the Railroads on the Kansas Frontier: the struggle over land claims by homesteading Civil Veterans, 1867-1876, was published by McFarland Press in 2012. Dr. Mack has published multiple peer- reviewed articles on aspects of both Russian and US history.