Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for August 5, 2009
Zion National Park's birthday celebration
"My great-grandfather named this park," announced 84 year-old Annie, upon boarding the shuttle that took visitors July 31 to Zion National Park''s 100th anniversary celebration. She said that her ancestor and pioneer Isaac Behunin, named the park, that has since become so important to Utah and the nation.
Annie said her great-grandfather had a cabin in a canyon near Emerald Springs, but later got flooded out and had to move to Springdale. She said another gentleman named Heaps was also there at the time, but he had two cabins since he was a polygamous. (There is a memorial statue in Mt. Carmel honoring Behunin, and he is buried in the cemetery there.) "I am really proud," said Annie. "Most folks don''t have a relative that named a national park."
The anniversary celebration held at Zion National Park at The Grotto, was well-attended by National Park officials, and state and local dignitaries. A welcome was offered by Zion National Park Superintendent Jock Whitworth, Arthur Richards, a Cedar Band Paiute elder, offered a blessing. He was followed by Leigh von der Esch, managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism; Pat Cluff Springdale mayor, famed park historian J.L. Crawford, and the keynote dedication by the Deputy Director for the Intermountain Region for the National Park Service, Laura Joss.
"This park is so important to Utah and the country," said Leigh von der Esch. "Thanks for the celebration. This is where we need to be in times like this."
A tour of the historic Grotto Museum followed.