Ralph H Cameron and the Grand Canyon (Part 1)

Part of the Antiquities Act project

Author(s): Douglas H. Strong

Year: 1978


For over thirty years, Ralph Henry Cameron- Arizona businessman, miner and politician - attempted to develop and control the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Cameron's interest in the canyon dated from the 1880s when prospectors explored the depths of the canyon, and stage coaches started bringing curious tourists to view the spectacular work of nature. Cameron helped to build the first trails into the canyon and opened its first flourishing mine. In time, however, his construction of a tourist hotel and his efforts to control the Bright Angel Trail leading into the canyon conflicted with the financial interests of two powerful corporations - the Santa Fe Railroad and the Fred Harvey Company. An even more serious conflict developed when he sought the financial backing of Eastern entrepreneurs in his effort to compete with the United States government for control of the canyon. To protect his interests, Cameron sought to locate mining claims at strategic points to control access to the Grand Canyon. When this approach failed, he tried to launch projects to validate his claims. Following his election to theUnited States Senate in I 920, Cameron used his public office to carry on the struggle which finally ended in 1926. Cameron's fight to control the destiny of the Grand Canyon provides an intriguing chapter in the history of Arizona.

The Antiquity Act is mentioned in the story of Cameron's struggle to control the grand canyon.

Cite this Record

Ralph H Cameron and the Grand Canyon (Part 1). Douglas H. Strong. Arizona and the West. 20 (1): 41-64. 1978 ( tDAR id: 372482) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8C8281M

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -114; min lat: 35.662 ; max long: -111.616; max lat: 36.593 ;

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