Family of Powell expedition mapper donates artifacts to Grand Canyon

Members of the second Powell Expedition preparing to depart from Green River, Wyoming May 22, 1871. Jones is seated to the left of John Wesley Powell in the Emma Dean (center). (Photo courtesy of Grand Canyon National Park Museum Collection)

Members of the second Powell Expedition preparing to depart from Green River, Wyoming May 22, 1871. Jones is seated to the left of John Wesley Powell in the Emma Dean (center). (Photo courtesy of Grand Canyon National Park Museum Collection)

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. — In 1871, John Wesley Powell took to the Colorado River again after a decidedly rocky first expedition, this time exploring the waters between the Green River in Wyoming and Kanab Creek in Utah. With him was former Illinois school principal turned assistant topographer Stephen Vandiver Jones. Jones made a diary of the excursion detailing the features of the river and surrounding canyons, including what eventually became known as Deer Creek.

On March 21, family descendants of Jones will give a presentation at the Grand Canyon Shrine of the Ages from noon to 1 p.m. about Jones’ mapping of the then-unexplored wilderness. The family will also donate papers and artifacts from Jones’ trip down the Colorado River to the park’s museum collection. This event is free and open to the public and is suitable for all ages.

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