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2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Pioneer Village Museum



Historian Ray Sumner will discuss the personnel, key events, and legacy of the 1868 Powell Expedition to Colorado and highlight how recent researched as redefined our understanding of both the 1868-69 expedition and the subsequent 1869 expedition down the Green, Grand, and Colorado Rivers including the first passage through the Grand Canyon. Of particular interest will be the influence of local residents on both expeditions and the focal point of the Hot Sulphur Springs played in the expedition. Ray’s research is driven through a close personal connection to the Powell Expeditions. Ray’s second great grandfather was Jack Sumner operated an early trading post at the Springs (1866-68) and he served as Powell’s guide in Colorado in 1867-69 and his lead boatmen on the 1869 River Expedition. Jack’s older sisters were Marietta Sumner Sheriff of the matriarch of the Sheriff Ranch here in Grand County and Elizabeth Sumner Byers wife of founder and editor of the Rocky Mountain News, William Newton Byers. Jack’s younger brother, William Lucas Sumner, took over the trading post when Jack went west in September 1868 and then later assisted Byers in the original survey of the town of Hot Sulphur Springs. He purchased the southern half of the townsite from the General Land Office later selling it to his brother-in-law.